Inspired by Château de Valois, Baron Ferdinand employed Gabriel-Hippolyte Destailleur to build him his own French-style country house, with magnificent towers and external staircases such as he had seen while in Touraine. Destailleur submitted elaborate plans to Baron Ferdinand for a vast mansion, nearly twice the length of the house as built, with a ballroom and a winter garden. Although the architect warned him that ‘one always builds too small’; Ferdinand wanted the scale reduced and a new design was approved, a mistake Ferdinand later rued. In 1883 the completion of the house was celebrated with the first of many house parties.
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