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Colonel Harvey Vaile


Built by Colonel and Mrs. Harvey Vaile in 1881, it was "the most princely house and the most comfortable home in the entire west," the Kansas City Times reported in 1882. Situated on North Liberty Street, a mile north of the historic Independence Square, the three-story Gothic-like structure today sits in solitary splendor, an architectural anomaly among the surrounding Midwestern homes.


The 31 room mansion includes 9 marble fireplaces, spectacular painted ceilings, flushing toilets, a built-in 6,000 gallon water tank, and a 48,000 gallon wine cellar. This mansion is one of the best examples of Second Empire style architecture in the United States.



  • The mansion, Second Empire in architectural style Italinate and Gothic details is the victorian showplace of Independence, Missouri. 


  • The kitchen although primitive in appearance, was the latest thing in modernity in its day.  Complete with speaking tubes, and indoor running hot and cold water, it was every cook's dream. 


  • Eastlake and Gothic in style, the solid black walnut grand staircase welcomes visitors as they enter the through the vestibule doors. 


  • Hand carved, snow white Cararra marble from Italy with onyx accents decorate the mantle in the main parlor. The onyx pillars were said to radiate with the glow from the fire. 


  • The mansion is constructed of hand-pressed red brick, partially trimmed with white limestone and 12 foot tall, narrow windows that seem to soar into the sky. 

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