The Strange History of New Jersey’s Chalan Farm (PHOTOS)

Chalan Farm - The Glass House - was an unfinished 34,000 square-foot mansion, eccentrically built on 48 acres on Canal Road in Griggstown, NJ. The “Glass House,” had 360-degree floor to ceiling windows and was owned by the John Boultons. Prudence Morgan Boulton was an heir to the Flagler fortune, sourced from a partnership in Standard Oil, the development of Palm Beach, and the building of the Florida East Coast Railroad. She encouraged her husband, John, a retired Columbia Electronics CEO and an aficionado of Mies van der Roh, to spend $10 million building his dream house. A professional architect provided the actual drawings. They had to move away for medical reasons before it was actually finished, and they couldn’t find a buyer. So they auctioned it, but with a $3 million unpublished reserve. It was not zoned for commercial or nonprofit/museum purposes. The only serious bidders at the auction had commercial or nonprofit uses in mind, and they weren’t willing to gamble $3 million on uncertain zoning. There was lots of hoopla, lots of people attending the auction who weren’t serious bidders, but no sale on that day. The property was eventually bought by Gunther Bright, senior vice president of American Express’s global client group, and his wife, Jill. It has since been torn down and replaced by another house (which has attracted no notoriety). -

The Strange History of New Jersey’s Chalan Farm

New Jersey, United States

Chalan Farm’s history dates back to 1992 when construction started on the 34,000 square foot glass and steel residence. It was the vision of John Boulton, a retired Columbia Electronics CEO, and wife, Prudence, who commissioned architect James Kissane to create their dream home.  The stark mansion spanned 420-feet wide and was patterned after designs by architect Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe.  While the home was never finished, the couple did pour over $10-million into it to bring it to what you see above.  As it sat in 2003, the home was basically a shell with just three of the nine bathrooms finished, and a temporary kitchen in place of the $150,000 kitchen they had planned for.  The master suite was going to be a showstopper with private indoor swimming pool, while the rest of the home enjoyed 360-degree views.  Beneath the home was an additional 17,000 square feet of space, which would have been ideal for an art gallery, gym, studio, screening room, staff quarters, and expansive show garage. Sitting on 48 wooded acres, the owners had originally planned on adding a helipad, private golf course, tennis court, and riding trails – all of which never happened.  Due to health issues, the unfinished mansion was put on the market in 2001 for $18-million.  With no offers, the couple decided to auction their dream home in 2003 with J.P. King, a reserve of just $3-million was set.  The auction did bring in many serious buyers, however most intended on purchasing the 48-acre estate for commercial or nonprofit uses, due to zoning issues the property went unsold.  Chalan Farm was then reduced to $12-million and eventually sold for an unknown amount to Gunther Bright, the senior vice president of American Express’s global client group, and his wife, Jill.  The new owner’s have torn down the glass & steel structure and have built a more modest home on the property.  Explorers managed to get inside the unfinished mansion and took a few photographs which can be seen below.

new house






You may also like

Facebook Comments