A tour of three Victorian mansions: industrialist John Glessner's "Glessner Home" in Chicago; Thomas Edison's "Glenmont" in New Jersey; and Mark Twain's house in Hartford, Conn., where he wrote "Huckleberry Finn" and "Tom Sawyer."
The homes of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt (Sagamore Hill on Long Island, N.Y.) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (Springwood in Hyde Park, N.Y.). Also: FDR's summer retreat on Campobello Island, off New Brunswick, Canada.
Tours of the Biltmore house and gardens, built by forestry pioneer George Washington Vanderbilt near Asheville, N.C. Included: an exploration of its history and architecture; and a profile of its owner.
Mansions along New York's Hudson Valley are toured, including Lyndhurst, the Gothic revival castle of railroad magnate Jay Gould; Kykuit, the Rockefeller mansion. Also: the Hyde Park home of tycoon Frederick Vanderbilt.
Antebellum plantations along the Mississippi River are toured, including Nottaway Plantation, Stanton Hall, Rosalie, Oak Alley Plantation, Monteigne and Longwood. Included: interviews with historians. Joe Van Riper is the narrator.
The mansions of successful American newspaper owners are visited. Included: Pittock Mansion in Portland, Ore.; the American Swedish Institute; and Cranbrook House and Gardens, home of George and Ellen Scripps Booth.
Castles owned by Americans of Scottish ancestry are visited, including Fyvie Castle, home of steel magnate Alexander Leith; Crathes Castle; and Culzean Castle, gifted to General Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1945.
Mansions built by turn-of-the-century auto makers are toured, including John Dodge's Meadow Brook Hall; Henry Ford's Fair Lane; and Edsel Ford's 65-room "house" in Grosse Pointe Shores (Mich.). Also: Stan Hywet Hall, a Tudor castle built by tire magnet Frank Seiberling.
English and American estates owned by the Astors are visited. Included: the 62-room mansion Beechwood in Newport, R.I.; Cliveden, on the cliffs of the Thames outside London; and Hever Castle, in the style of an Italian villa and featuring a moat and a Tudor village.
Homes built in Colorado's high country around the turn of the century are visited. Included: Redstone Castle, built by John C. Osgood; Glen Eyrie near Colorado Springs; and Molly Brown House, built by the famous survivor of the Titanic disaster.