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Home Business Robert Toll, Who Mass-Produced ‘McMansions,’ Is Dead at 81

Robert Toll, Who Mass-Produced ‘McMansions,’ Is Dead at 81

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Robert Toll, who along with his brothers built the eponymous McMansions brand of luxury goods in the United States to more than 150,000 households, died Friday at his home in Manhattan. he was 81 years old.

Parkinson’s disease was the cause, his family said in a statement.

Raised in a single-family Tudor house outside Philadelphia, Mr. Toll initially wanted to pursue a career in law, but quit after nine months. In 1967, he persuaded his father, a homebuilder, to give him two of his vacant lots on which he could build a fully furnished and decorated Colonial-style home.

“We built two houses,” said Tolle. “Instead of selling them, we used them as street samples that we owned.”

The brothers soon built 20 more homes in the vicinity and sold them for $17,490 each (about $152,000 in today’s money), making a small profit per home and earning about $100 a year on all homes. We made a profit of $12,000. Last year, the average price of homes sold by Toll was $1.04 million. Revenue was $833.6 million and revenue was $8.4 billion.

under the name Toll Brothersthe two eventually created a 150,000-family residence.

Some critics derided their suburban single-family homes as spacious “McMansions” and compared them to fast food offerings. Cookie-cutter homes often feature towering foyers and great rooms and opulent master suites derived from several sample models and masses. – Produced (although Toll Brothers added custom amenities to the buyer’s specifications).

The company expanded from the Northeast to Washington, DC in the 1980s and into California in the 1990s. Today, it operates in 24 states and develops suburban enclaves, senior communities and urban high-rise apartments for wealthy homeowners.

Mr. Toll served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Toll Brothers from its inception until 2010. He remained on the board until recently appointed as honorary chairman. He oversaw the legal side of the business, and his younger brother Bruce E. Toll was vice chairman of the board and was responsible for bookkeeping.

Robert Irwin Toll was born on December 30, 1940 in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. He grew up in a house built by his father Albert, an immigrant from Ukraine. Her brother, Hermanbecame a Democrat from Pennsylvania.

Albert was a real estate broker, used car salesman and investor, but “he lost everything in the Great Depression and had to start over,” The New York Times reported in 2005. As guest business columnist Robert Toll writes: His father went on to become a successful home builder and commercial property developer. His mother, Sylvia (Steinberg) Thor, was a homemaker.

Bob Toll received a BA in Political Science from Cornell University in 1963. In 1966, he fulfilled his parents’ dream and graduated from his School of Law at the University of Pennsylvania. He liked law school, but he hated studying law, he said.

One of his clients was his father, who did some legal work for Albert Toll on two lots he wanted to develop in Chester County, Pennsylvania. But his son conspired with Albert’s partner, Bruce Toll, a recent University of Miami graduate with an accounting major, and his father relented.

Year 2005, genuine articleIn an interview with New York real estate magazine Mr. Toll, I asked him if all his homes at the time were Mac Mansions, including farmhouses in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. he replied. His first floor ceiling in his Bucks County home is 8 feet tall. No vaulted ceilings. It’s not a big house compared to many we’ve built. Less than 5,000 square feet, I think. “

Mr. Toll was a wide-ranging philanthropist. He serves on the board of the Metropolitan Opera, and his company became a major corporate sponsor of the Met’s international radio network after Chevron’s Texaco stopped supporting his radio broadcast on Saturday Matinee in 2005. rice field.

Mr. Toll and his wife launched the Robert and Jane Toll Foundation, donating more than $50 million to the University of Pennsylvania Law School to expand programs to help students pursue careers in public service and social justice. He also supported his Seeds of Peace, a program born out of a summer camp he attended as a child in Otisfield, Maine. He brings together teenagers from Arab, Israeli, Indian and Pakistani countries to promote peaceful conflict resolution.

A previously married Mr. Thor is survived by his wife Jane (Snyder Goldfein) Thor. his brother, Bruce; Five children: Laurie Franz, Deborah Gruell, Joshua Goldfine, Rachel Thor Grassi, and Jacob Toll. and 12 grandchildren.

Toll Brothers Chief Executive Officer Douglas C. Yearley Jr. said of Mr. Toll: “In so many ways, he is still with us. Toll Brothers will always be his company because of what he taught us all.”

As a boss, Mr. Toll has been honored by many professional organizations in the industry. But not everyone knew the pitchfork he kept in his office, and he took it upon himself to alert company executives to proceed with caution when purchasing land or taking other risks. Not that I knew I was shaking sometimes during meetings.

“We kept the rake from getting stuck in the rear,” Yearley said.

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