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.”10256816_751180141601575_7804511945051258215_nThe porches are two-tiered with front and side supports held by 4 Corinthian columns.

25561311226_0a88339887_kThe porch extends around 3 sides of the mansion. The enormous 3-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.

24466269289_4ca97d80a7_kA right angle staircase is one of the unique features of the Money Pit.

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Historic photo of the staircase.

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26027490652_7269fa445a_k.jpgThe 90 degree bend in the upstairs railing.

24732075301_846e6d8dcf_k.jpgWith the plaster removed you can get an idea of the craftsmanship that went in to building the Money Pit.interior.jpgHistoric interior photo showing the fireplace and columns.

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26120014065_089575219f_kThe living and parlor rooms 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.

26093994326_869cf2c77e_k.jpgNumbers 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.

24197367964_320f724251_k.jpgThis Civil War era Chas M. Stieff square grand piano sits in the parlor. I have never seen a piano like this before. A quick search suggests these pianos are worth between $25,000 and $30,000.

24215122333_563fb4534e_k.jpgA stripped wall and fuse box with glass fuses.

24526809934_69fbf7c223_k.jpgMaterials stored upstairs for the pending renovation.

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.

24214858663_484ee8c854_k.jpgThe third floor attic area.

26093992276_9929bba66a_k.jpgThe 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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10 thoughts on “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

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