Everything But the Turrets: The Riverside Terrace Estate Sale You’ve Sorta Been Waiting For

What’s to see at the Wichita St. Mystery House estate sale today and tomorrow? The usual household stuff . . . but “tons” of it, according to the Craigslist ad. You know, several refrigerators, an uninstalled “apple and desert rose” jacuzzi bathtub, and an uninstalled elevator. Sadly, all contents of the well-turreted home at 2309 Wichita (as well as its neighbor at 2306) must go. The home Charlie Fondow just couldn’t stop adding onto and renovating for more than 3 decades is still listed for sale at $325,000, but teevee reporter Isiah Carey — who calls the persistent builder’s distinctive creation the Castle of Third Ward — says he’s heard that “the bank is ready to get rid of it for much less in a short sale.”

Photo: Candace Garcia

15 Comment

  • The Craigslist add is poorly punctuated. The “apple and desert rose” refers to the Franciscan tableware, not the jacuzzi.

  • Just watch. Another Houston treasure totally vulnerable to the whims of the free market. Enjoy it while it’s still here.

  • We need a frat from UH to buy it!

  • I actually would be interested if I hadn’t just bought a house. Dang. Might just go to the estate sale tomorrow morning for fun. Maybe I could use an elevator?? The estate sale is still on tomorrow, right?

  • This is actually the third estate sale they have had at the house since the owner died. There was a mix of some interesting stuff and a lot of junk. But I did get to climb up to the top deck. Not for the faint of heart. It seems like he started a lot of projects and never finished any. There are a lot of missing boards going to the top.

  • If the bank really wants to let it go cheap, I’ll pay $150,000 for it. I’ve been needing a house.

  • That’s a relief, toadfroggy. Spode Blue Willow jacuzzi, maybe, but Desert Rose? Gotta love punctuation errors – a Highland Games festival writeup a few years back got very interesting when the comma was put in between “caber” and “tossing” and went on to list bagpipes, crafts, musicians, dancers, food, beer, and men in kilts. That’s a lot to be dodging.

    I wonder how many household estate sales have ever had that in their ads.

  • I wanted to climb to the top deck, but there was a sign “do not walk up these stairs” or something like that. I’ve admired this house for years, neat to see the inside.

  • I went there today and saw the same sign. hehe, I really wanted to climb up there :)
    From the pictures, I thought all that add-on stuff outside was meant to be open, but it looks like he had a lot of rough in electrical and plumbing, like he was going to close it up and have it as indoor space.
    omg would an inspector have a field day at that house. I got a red tag a few days ago because a toilet paper roll holder wasn’t the right distance from the ground. I can imagine what they’d find if they went over there.
    My guess is PriusPatrol is just waiting for someone to buy the place.. then…. *POUNCE*! Before the ink is dry on the closing documents it’ll be covered in red tags :(
    But hey, I got a cool 1980’s looking deck of Carnival Cruise playing cards for $.25 so i’m happy :)

  • We inquired about the elevator.. Parts were missing and after seeing the cost of everything else, I didn’t want to know the price. The house was def unique and would be awesome if it were restored, but it looks like a very expensive endeavor. The bank is going to have to basically give it away in order for it to be worth restoration, in my opinion.

  • I work in the Med Center, and I have always loved this house. If I had half a million, I would buy it in an instant (after haggling them down to $200K), fix it all up, tear down a couple of those weatherbeaten decks, rent out the garage apartment, and think I was the luckiest princess in the world, living in my own castle. Unfortunately, I don’t have anywhere close to half a mil, so I guess I’ll stay in my ranch house in Westbury. If this place gets torn down, though, I will cry.

  • How do I Get in touch with the bank that now owns the property? Serious about purchasing!!

  • Contact information for the owner according to HCAD (since this is public record I don’t see why it isn’t OK to post):

    2600 SOUTHWEST FWY STE 1080
    HOUSTON TX 77098-4698

  • It’s for sale for $150,000!!!! Go for it! :)