I’ve seen a good number of modern US homes made to look like castles, but this Connecticut listing takes the cake.
Like, it’s not even a close competition.
Half an acre… That’s not the lot size, that’s the size of the house. It sits on 75 acres, which includes most of a very large pond.
It doesn’t let up inside. Check out the sky painted on the ceiling in the kitchen:
Am I really looking at someone’s home here, or is this some kind of amusement park?
$45 million bucks and it’s yours.
I found this flyover of the property on YouTube:
From the sounds of the stories of this place I found strewn across the Internet, the home and its owner have a… let’s say “colorful” history:
- Mysterious Fortress: Entrepreneur rankles some local residents, Woodstock officials
- A Man’s Home is His Castle…
- A Millionaire Steel Mogul With A Petting Zoo Refuses To Pay Child Support
- Woodstock Castle Makes for Unusual Tale (Google Cache, page 2)
$45 million would probably pay quite a bit of past-due child support.
Here are some choice quotes from a few of the above articles:
Until recently, a Web site, www.castle-models.com, advertised that an international modeling agency was operating at the castle, which is in a residential area. The Web site displayed pictures of young women listing their “ethnic look,” measurements and details such as the number of piercings and tattoos they have.
An excerpt from the mission statement listed on the Web site said, “Just one look at the shapely form of beautiful women brings about physiological changes that our senses will not allow our minds to deceive, nor pretend does not exist. And with the laws of attraction in hand, comes desire, intrigue, and lust, which man has learned to exploit and sell as if it were a commodity.”
The Web site listed a rate of $125 per hour for a model to do a photo shoot, with a two-hour minimum requirement.
Whoa, that isn’t slimy at all.
If this waiver were to be granted it would be, in my opinion, the first step in a long carefully planned out process of turning this property into a cross between the Playboy mansion and Disneyland. … The castle is reported to have a TV and media studio where they can broadcast “live webcasts”. Did I mention the shower large enough for parties or the glass floor, the zoo or the 50’ bar? Do you see a pattern here?
Totally on the up-and-up.
The animals on the castle property also came up in the [2010 divorce] case. Mark has long run a nonprofit refuge for exotic animals called Wilderness Kingdom, Inc. Since 2004, the property has been licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a traveling zoo.
When a camel died in 2010, both Mark and Galt alleged the other was neglectful. In a motion filed on June 25, 2010, Galt claimed “the animals are not being properly taken care of” and “a camel on the property has recently died.”
In an email to Galt written on July 3, 2010, Mark countered that “when you sent the workers home and animals were not fed for 4 days, the camel lost a lot of weight since and died last week.”
Not sure how a castle this size can be a “traveling zoo,” but okay, whatever.
“I designed it and manufactured a lot of the components, it was a struggle building,” [owner Christopher Mark] says of the castle. But he’s clearly reluctant to provide more information about his unusual home. He asks if he could have someone cowrite the story with me. He says, “I’m worried because there’s been so much BS written about it.”
After I say no to a cowriter, he says he’ll call me back. He doesn’t. Three days later I try him again. Mark answers and again is friendly without providing details about the castle. He says he will have someone call me back later. Two days pass. I call again. No answer. About a week later I call one more time, a woman answers and says Mark will call back, he doesn’t.
Yeah, it’s all “BS.” So of course why would the owner be interested in sharing the truth?
Anyway he’s obviously tired of dealing with such a terrible burden, so why doesn’t someone just take this place off his hands. Come on, forty-five million bucks is a bargain you guys.
I’ve used the term ‘craptastic’ before, but craptastic to the tune of $45M? No, this is more on the scale of ‘craptasmagorical.’ What a piece of architectural junk. It’s not even a good example of whimsey architecture. And what – for $45M it’s not even landscaped? It has dirt for a backyard? As of 2 years ago (the date the video was uploaded to Youtube) it also had what’s left of a fighter jet – wings removed, hole punched in the canopy – in the front “yard,” along with an RV, construction equipment, and other oddities. Even without the oodles of unflattering personal matters discussed in the various articles, observers can tell “somethin’ ain’t right here…” Money, money, money, little to no taste, and not even much concern about presenting a complete, finished homestead.
Speaking of the personal matters, the bit about the owner/builder having at one time wanted to run a ‘modeling’ agency provides some non-structural insight into the creation of this place. “The [agency’s] Web site displayed pictures of young women listing their ‘ethnic look,’ measurements and details such as the number of piercings and tattoos they have.” And yours for the hiring for only $125/hour, 2 hour minimum. (This is from the first article link.) Modelling… sure. The excerpted paragraph from the no-longer-in-existence website is worth the price of admission all on its own. You’d think 1) someone with that much money would have enough education to write decently, or, 2) would know to hire someone who can.
Although the modeling agency is now defunct, according to the second article link, “the castle is reported to have a TV and media studio where they can broadcast ‘live webcasts’ Did I mention the shower large enough for parties or the glass floor…” All you need to host any of the other myriad business plans the owner has proposed… for his residential-permit-only property.
Anyone wanting to buy this place will be in the same pickle of having to pay for it with funds earned elsewhere. But then anyone with the money to buy this place presumably also has competent business advisers telling the to run, not walk, to, oh, say… anyplace that isn’t here.
@Emerald63: I’m with you. If you’re going to go for a “castle” this isn’t it. This isn’t even fantasy, it’s more like nightmare.
There are two positives, however, if you could call them that:
1) They at least have whole elephant statues.
2) They found the right kind of residence to display a sarcophagus. I wonder if it conveys.
@Frodo: The “whole” elephant – LOL! But I’m not sure I’d want the sarcophagus… The way this guy leaves things hanging, I’d be willing to bet the person inside was not thoroughly mummified. (O_o)
@Emerald63: Oh my – that begs the question what kind of crime scene one would be purchasing here.
I think the key to buying this property would be to assemble an interested group of well-heeled local folks, to wit, folks interested in getting rid of it – and losses could be mitigated with some research and advance planning.
The “BS” includes reference to unique fixtures the owner claims to have designed and manufactured himself – and the exterior facade certainly backs that up. I’d suggest parting the place out: everything from the weird fixtures no doubt to be found in the basement up to the last weathervane-cum-pointy-gargoyle-roost above the top turret. There’s all kinds of stuff there that would bring a price and do better elsewhere, and everyone will feel better once it’s all gone and the place is down to its foundations – which, along with at least some of the existing site improvements, could likely also be re-purposed as well. :D
@Anodean: Unless the town can manage to make the most kick ass haunted house ever out of it, I think you’re idea is the best solution, Anodean. Way to accomplish a bit of clear thinking. ;)
@Emerald63: Geeze… “your” idea.
@Frodo: Hubby Mark just reminded me… we are not supposed to talk about the elephant in the room. Er, the elephants.