Fans and confounded passers-by of the unique castle-like construction at 2309 Wichita St. that former VA nurse Charles Fondow left after his death in 2011 will be interested to note that the 31-year Riverside Terrace renovation and expansion project he never completed is now for sale again — as of yesterday afternoon. And the price is significantly lower than the $325,000 it was listed at 3 years ago. The new owner of the 4,861-sq.-ft., 5-bedroom property — who according to county tax records is a division of Deutsche Bank — is asking just $150,000 for the property.
In this new listing, the now somewhat decrepit Wichita St. Mystery House looks a whole lot sadder, of course, than the bizarrely charming scenes displayed in its 2011 appearance. That listing (and reports from readers who toured the home) noted significant work and repairs would be needed from any buyer who wanted to keep the property. That’s all the more evident in the sad, time-stamped snaps included in the current listing. The home went into foreclosure in 2012.
What’s the story behind what’s possibly Houston’s most-gawked-at house? For more than 3 decades, its owner put hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours of labor into transforming the 1935-vintage former daycare center into a not-entirely-sensible stew of half-timbered gables, turrets, and rooftop decks on the outside, backed up by coffered ceilings, pilasters, and wood paneling on the inside, modeling his always-in-process creation after outlandish or simply prized architectural scenes he had encountered on his many travels. Fondow passed away in a Barbados hospital at the age of 64, after taking ill on a cruise.
- 2309 Wichita St. [HAR]
- Previously on Swamplot: Wichita St. Mystery House Now in Foreclosure, Everything But the Turrets: The Riverside Terrace Estate Sale You’ve Sorta Been Waiting For, Wichita St. Mystery House Goes on the Market Today: Your First Peek Inside, Charles Fondow Leaves His Wichita St. Mystery House Unfinished