3. Underground Tunnels and Buried Gardens

  • Aerial view of Lynnewood Hall
  • Aerial view of Lynnewood Lodge

The Lynnewood Hall Estate didn’t just include the 100,000-square-foot mansion and the nearly 35 acres of land it sits on today. It originally covered 300 acres. On that land were two structures that still exist – Lynnewood Lodge (the former stables) and the Gatehouse – as well as a lost farm, a Normandy-style village for the staff, a powerplant, greenhouses, a polo field, and more. Snaking below the property is a large system of underground tunnels. VanScyoc told Untapped New York that the tunnel system may be even larger than they know. One branch of the tunnel system definitely goes from the basement of the main house to the central fountain in the front yard. A few manhole covers have been found around the property, but there may be more to uncover.

Another fun fact about the land is that the original gardens were buried. Upon the death of Peter Widener, his son Joseph inherited the property. Joseph and his father had slightly different tastes when it came to architecture and landscape design. Peter’s original landscaping for Lynnewood Hall was of an Italianate style with sunken gardens lined by balustrades. After Peter died, the sunken gardens were filled in and topped with a formal French garden.