FFf Eclectic Red Barn: A Mansion in Disrepair

Saturday, April 22, 2017

A Mansion in Disrepair

Last fall while out for a drive, my husband and I came across this home peeking out from the trees. I hollered for him to stop and we got out. I was drooling looking at this house. I got my camera and took some photos. (Even though signs were posted everywhere to keep out)
Eclectic Red Barn: Howey Mansion

It was amazing and sad at the same time that it was in such a state. 
You could tell that it had been a beauty at one time.
Eclectic Red Barn: Howey Mansion
Just look at those doors. They have to be beautiful. 

Eclectic Red Barn: Howey Mansion - side view
It has been sometime since anyone took care of this place. I wanted to go in so bad, but didn't want to get arrested. 


Eclectic Red Barn: Howey Mansion  gates
Here is a gate on the side of the property and a stone entrance. 


Eclectic Red Barn: Howey Mansion  stone wall
I was amazed that this pot was still there until I attempted to move it. It was NOT going anywhere.

I learned that the house was built by William John Howey. He came to Florida and many considered him the greatest citrus developer. 

The town was orginally called "Town of Howey" but in 1927 the name was changed to Howey-in-the-Hills to reflect the location of the town in an area of rolling hills that he called "The Florida Alps". 

In 1927, construction of his mansion was completed; a 20-room, 7,200 square foot mansion at the cost of $250,000, around $3.2 million after inflation. To celebrate, he hosted the entire New York Civic Opera Company of 100 artists, drawing a crowd of 15,000 arriving in 4,000 automobiles to the free outdoor performance.

 (The following pictures are not mine)

You can see the entrance walls that I took with the pots sitting there. 

Howey died of a heart attack on June 7, 1938 at the age of 62. His wife, Mary Grace Hastings, lived in the Howey mansion until her death on December 18, 1981 and was laid to rest in the family mausoleum on the mansion grounds along with William and their daughter Lois.


(Here are those front doors, so beautiful)

The next owner was Marvel Zona,who purchased the home in 1984 for around $400,000 along with her husband Jack. In 1996, the property was in trust to Marvel’s name because her husband's health was failing. 

I won't go into all of the details, but because of bad advice, she was not able to keep the home after she went into a nursing home. On July 13, 2015, Marvel Zona passed away at the age of 97. The mansion is currently owned by Nationstar Mortgage LLC, a mortgage lender.



Finally, after years in litigation, the house is up for sale - $450,00. Not bad you say? However, they have estimated that it will take 1 - 1.5 million to fix it up. The roof needs to be redone, there is no electricity or air conditioning. 
Although the grounds are in disarray, the house is is rather good shape.

Original light fixtures are still there and the flooring is not bad. 



Look at that gorgeous floor. You can certainly have a party in there.


Original subway tile. Love it.

Who would have thought of a double door refrigerator? If you are looking for a fixer-upper, this just might be the house for you.

Hope you enjoyed a little history and this amazing mansion. I hope to get to see the inside but it might get sold before I have a chance.



The post A Mansion in Disrepair first appeared on Eclectic Red Barn.

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