You still have a chance to own a World’s Fair mansion in Kansas, but you have to be willing to pay for it.
An auction on Saturday proved unsuccessful, said David Holmes, broker for the Torchia-Homes Real Estate Agency in Columbus. He conducted the auction in conjunction with J.B. Robison Auctioneers & Realty of Vinita, Okla.
The minimum bid on the house was $150,000.
“We had a big crowd at the auction, but we still got the house for sale,” he said.
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The auction of the house started with the $150,000 minimum bid, which, at 12,800 square feet, works out to be about $11.72 per square foot. No other bids were made. So it was initially sold for $150,000, Holmes said.
An elderly woman was the bidder, and they went inside to finalize the contract. She called her son in Chicago, who was going to buy the house. But he said on the phone that he had changed his mind and wouldn’t buy it.
“His mother had him on the phone, but he was out of state and he got rude with me,” Holmes said. “So I hung up on him. We ran (the auction) again.” In the second bid, the house brought $50,000 and was sold subject to the court approving the sale.
The Jennings Foundation is selling the property.
“The court won’t approve it,” Holmes said on Sunday. “It was way too low, so it is going back on the market for $150,000. It’s a private sale now. If somebody were to call me up tonight, I’d send them a contract to sign.”
The wood in the house was featured at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. An Oswego man, R.O. Deming, saw it, loved it and bought it. He had it dismantled and shipped to southeast Kansas in 42 railroad cars.
Two years later, it re-emerged as part of the Deming Mansion – complete with imported woods from Brazil, Chile and Venezuela.
It features an attic that was once used as a skating rink, a bowling alley and a ballroom. The second floor boasts seven bedrooms and five bathrooms.
The first floor contains a grand staircase, chandeliers, ornate fireplaces, mink stoles, vintage clothing and a large kitchen.
The house was constructed for around $40,000, which today would be equivalent to roughly $1 million.
The property also includes a 3,000-square-foot garage and carriage house, an additional garage and storage shed and 1.5 acres of land.