House of the Day: 50 Rooms of Handcrafted History

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Generally when somebody screams "Once in a lifetime opportunity!" in our direction, we think about the proverbial snake oil salesman and hurry our pace away. This time, that somebody means it.

This 50-room mansion was designed by famed Boston architects Peabody and Stearns during Boston's most notable era in architecture. The Ames-Webster Mansion is a carved-wood aficionado's dream and there are enough hand-made details in every massive nook and cranny to make you feel like you're in a museum, which to some extent, you are. The palatial entertaining rooms are fitted with murals, John La Farge stained glass and mosaic tiles. The 26,000-square-foot home has 28 fireplaces and a baronial scale dining room that features a hidden passage to the butler's pantry and a secret stairway to the master suite above. The orangerie is fitted with walls of curved glass and floored in hearth tile.

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Frankly, they just don't make them like this anymore. Price tag: $23 million.

The home was commissioned by Stephen Van Rensselaer Thayer and his wife, Alice. But at age 24, Thayer died unexpectedly while the home was under construction and the property eventually wound up in the hands of Frederick L. Ames, a man who became one of the principal owners of the Union Pacific Railway Company.

The home is listed with Tracy Campion of Campion and Company, Boston.

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