Fairleigh Dickinson University's Florham campus in Madison, NJ used to be the home of the Vanderbilt-Twombly family from 1897 to 1955. Named "Florham" after its owners Florence and Hamilton Twombly, the estate is now home to over 3,000 students and faculty of FDU. Here are a few things you may not have known about the campus and its history.
1. The campus was only a small part of the Vanderbilt-Twombly estate.
The Twombly family owned over 1,200 acres of land from Madison Avenue (What they used to call "Millionaire's Row" back then) to beyond areas, such as Florham Park and Chatham.
2. Florham's landscaping was designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted.
Fredrick Law Olmsted designed New York City's Central Park and was hired to turn 150 acres of the estate into lawns and formal gardens.
3. Thomas Edison and J.P. Morgan worked with Hamilton Twombly to create an electrical tunnel system beneath the Twombly mansion.
4. The Playhouse (Now the Zen building on Florham campus) was built specifically for Ruth Twombly, the daughter of Hamilton and Florence.
5. Some original furniture from the estate is now in the White House.
Once the property was auctioned off in 1955, William Burden, son-in-law to Florence and Hamilton gifted many pieces to the White House. Some of the pieces are still in use, including some chairs in the oval office.