Dining With Denise Neil

Historic Campbell Castle coming back to life for Mother’s Day weekend events

The Campbell Castle is coming back to life with a Mother’s Day weekend event.
The Campbell Castle is coming back to life with a Mother’s Day weekend event. File photo

The Castle Inn Riverside closed in the historic Campbell Castle in 2013, and ever since, Wichitans could admire the architectural treasure on the river only by driving past and staring wistfully.

But suddenly, there’s life in the 128-year-old, 28-room castle at 1155 N. River Blvd.

An event coordinator out of Kansas City is putting on a Mother’s Day weekend event at the castle, and it’s already sold out.

“It’s become kind of a big thing,” said Terry Lowry, who owns the castle with his wife, Paula. “I’m getting 10 calls a day about it.”

Lowry, who took over and remodeled the castle in 1994, said he was recently contacted by Kansas City Women’s Events about using it for an event. The Lowrys have had the castle on the market since closing it in 2013, and over the years, they’ve rented it out a half dozen times for weddings. Otherwise, it’s been empty, Terry Lowry said.

He agreed to lease the castle for the Mother’s Day weekend event, which is scheduled for May 7, the Saturday before Mother’s Day. It’ll combine shopping with cocktails, food and music.

Organizers put tickets on sale, and they were gone almost immediately, Lowry said. They added a second event for the same day, and it sold out just as quickly. The event caused such a stir, its organizers have removed the Facebook page promoting it.

People are endlessly fascinated with the castle, which boasts an imported English staircase, a three-story stone tower and nine fireplaces, Lowry said. He and his wife have continued living in the upper level of the castle’s carriage house while it’s been on the market. They’re about to start working with a new realtor who specializes in selling upscale homes and buildings, he said.

The castle was built by Col. Burton Harvey Campbell at a price of $90,000, and it was finished in 1888. He designed it in the classic Scottish feudal style. It’s been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1973, and the Lowrys ran it as a bed and breakfast from the mid 1990s until 2013.