The Money Pit

Deep in the heart of Florida sits a Neoclassical Greek Revival mansion known as the Money Pit. Built in 1908 by a Georgia lumber tycoon, the enormous 11,000 square foot mansion is made entirely of mahogany wood. It took 3 years to complete at a cost of $25,000. The Money Pit was one of the most ornate mansions in the county and quickly became “the talk of the town.”

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The two-tiered porch with front and side supports held by four Corinthian columns.
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The porch extends around three sides of the house.

The enormous three-story mansion had plenty of room for the lumber tycoon’s wife and 7 kids. The ornate columns and plaster work extended throughout the downstairs.

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A right angle staircase, one of the many unique features inside the Money Pit.
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Historic photo of the staircase.

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The upstairs railing inside the home.

24732075301_846e6d8dcf_k.jpgWith the plaster removed you can get an idea of the craftsmanship that went in to building the Money Pit.

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A historic interior photo showing the fireplace and columns.

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The parlor room in 2016.

In 1924, the lumber tycoon and his family moved out. The family traded homes with the vice president of a local bank. The Money Pit was sold in the 1940s and converted into a funeral parlor. It remained a funeral home for about 20 years before being converted into a meeting hall. Soon after it was sold and turned into apartments.

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Numbers and door knockers remain on some interior doors.
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Historic photo, early 1990s

Left empty to decay for a number of years, the Money Pit fell into a state of disrepair and became bank owned. In 1989, a fight over demolition began with the city. A local couple stepped up and purchased the Money Pit in 1992 for $90,000 saving it from the wrecking ball. The extensive termite damage would require $225,000 or more in renovations.

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A Civil War era Chas M. Stieff square grand piano sits in the parlor.
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The plaster has been removed from several walls, mounted on this wall is the original glass fuse box.
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Materials for a pending renovation were stored inside the home.

The couple planned on opening a non-profit to aid in the renovations. They secured enough funds to repair the outside of the structure to reduce further interior damage. They hoped within 5 years they could have it open to the public as a historic library or a wedding venue. Unfortunately, donations slowed and the house sits idle.

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The third floor attic area.
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An exterior shot of the Money Pit in 2016.

Some locals say the house is haunted. Paranormal investigators who have explored the home say they have heard noises, seen orbs, and felt cold spots. No concrete proof has ever been found that the Money Pit is haunted.  On my visit I never felt anything out of the ordinary. The house is one of central Florida’s most ornamented 20th century mansions. After WWII many of the early mansions in Florida were destroyed to build commercial buildings and condominiums. The Money Pit is indeed an architectural treasure.

 

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16 Replies to “The Money Pit”

  1. Amazing photos. I teach history, not U.S., world.
    I met you in the Community Pool where you indicated you are a new blogger. I help new bloggers at my site. Tips for engaging readers, improving content, and increasing traffic are waiting for you. I brought you the link to my About page, so you can read more about my blog. I also have regular networking opportunities and offer free incentives for subscribing.
    http://mostlyblogging.com/about/
    Janice

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s where I met you too – the Community Pool on Janice Wald’s blog! So you were a new blogger back then – well congratulations for still being here – a few I tried from that list have since gone. This house is really beautiful but I find it quite eerie and brooding to look at. Like it is waiting for something just like in a horror film!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wonder if the couple would be open to selling this home for a low price so someone else could take on renovations? It’s actually in fantastic shape for a house that old. Termite, electrical, and plumbing repairs alone would be in the 1 million dollar range. Restoration in total probably about 2 million if you were going to fill the home with some furniture and trinkets from that era. Add in the paint and wood repairs plus more modern amenities. I can’t imagine what the kitchen and grounds look like. Probably another $20,000 to fix any landscaping or pools.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey there! Is there any shot of renting this space for a film shoot? I’m trying to find some more info on this and if anyone could help I’d greatly appreciate it. I’m looking for an abandoned-looking interior space similar to this that would allow filming.

    Thanks!

    Like

  5. Not bashing but just curious. Are you also trespassing to take these photos for your blog? Or do you get in contact with the city and like get a permit to go on the grounds?

    Like

  6. Wow, another really cool article, not just a photo dump like so many other urbex sites.
    About this one I have a question though:
    “No concrete proof has ever been found that the Money Pit is haunted.”
    Has there ever been concrete proof (scientific proof) that any place is haunted?

    Like

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