Wichita St. Mystery House Now in Foreclosure

The late Charles Fondow’s castle-like construction at 2309 Wichita St. in Riverside Terrace has fallen into foreclosure, a source tells Swamplot. The neighborhood landmark was listed for sale at a price of $325,000 last May. That listing expired in November, but the home’s condition and an included stipulation that only all-cash offers would be accepted may have doomed it. Fondow’s legendary 31-year renovation and expansion project remained unfinished after his death last year; the former daycare center’s top-heavy rack of decks, gables, and turrets have long attracted attention from neighbors and passers-by.

Photo: HAR

6 Comment

  • Somebody buy this & restore. PLEASE? Maybe Orange show could make it into a quirky museum. It would also make a cool bed & breakfast.

  • For an unschooled observer, how would this have happened? Was there a mortgage on the property that he owned for decades? Or were there back taxes owed? Maybe he spent all his cash on the unfinished projects. Thoughts?

  • Would this place even pass the loan requirement/inspection process? I love it, but it would be challenging enough to write insurance for it, let alone get a mortgage approved.

  • Hellsing, all the reasons you cited were probably behind the fact that it was listed as a “cash ony” sale, and why it is still available. The only reason I can think that a bank is even involved at this point is possibly because Fondow refinanced at some point. He made many of the “improvements” himself, with or without permits, making much of the structural integrity questionable, but not uncorrectable. That fact alone may be the death knell for the house. It would be sad to see it come down, but if the bank got/accepted a short sale offer for it as “lot only”, that might be where this is headed.

  • yep. I have a bad feeling.