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Dolobran Estate To Be 'Restored To Its Splendor'

The 19-room Haverford mansion designed by Frank Furness sold at auction on Oct. 6.

Dolobran, the 19-room Haverford estate designed by acclaimed American architect Frank Furness, sold at auction on Oct. 6 to a buyer intending to restore the home "to its splendor," said Michael Schwartz, the manager of the auction.

The property, located at 231 Laurel Lane in Haverford, Lower Merion Township, had been on the market traditionally—marketed extensively, Schwartz said—but the property just didn't sell.

"It needs a lot of work," Schwartz said.

Five potential buyers attended an Oct. 6 auction, with bidding for the home starting at just $750,000. Dolobran is now under agreement, as is a one-acre adjacent property, which sold to a different bidder—one of 15 vying for the land.

Inquiries were received from New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Center City, the Main Line and Bucks County, and the home ultimately sold to a Philadelphia-area buyer, Schwartz said.  Details on both sales may become public come mid-November.

Dolobran was built by Furness and partner Allan Evans in 1881, with modifications and expansions continuing until 1895, according to the Lower Merion Historical Society. The original owner of the property was Clement Griscom, a shipbuilder and prominent businessman, who named the estate after a family name in Wales.

The Victorian Gothic revival estate features a large ballroom, and is included on the National Register of Historic Places.

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