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Urban Mansions

In city settings, mansions are less-expected dwellings, especially in densely populated downtown areas where many people live crammed on top of one another. There, the thought of a 10,000-plus-square-foot building housing just one family is excessive. Some people prefer excess and have the fortune to back it up, and those families have left a legacy of impressively ornamented historic homes.

The ones intact today are like time capsules back to a bygone era of magnificent opulence. We’ve collected a lineup of them here, arranged in ascending order to the largest, with photos provided by Realtor.com, including no less than three mansions built on beer fortunes.

The profiles and footprints of urban palaces are a bit different from those of your average American mansions. In cities, mansions are often several stories taller, and they aren’t surrounded by sprawling estates. But don’t cry for these acreage-challenged city dwellers — the owners of urban mansions probably have country homes, too.

By Colleen Kane
Posted 5 January 2012