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Thread: Mega-mansion being torn down

  1. #1
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Appleton, Wisconsin

    Mega-mansion being torn down

    I don't have any more details on it, but there was a blurb on the 'Across the USA' (little state-by-state snippets) page of Friday, 2004-10-22's USAToday about a 10YO Lake Michigan lakefront mega-mansion near Grand Haven, MI that is being torn down. Apparently, the guy who built it died and after trying unsuccessfully for many years to sell it (starting asking price $7.5M), the estate decided to demolish it because it was too much of a money pit to maintain.

    Any thoughts and/or more info on this one? It sounds interesting.


  2. #2
    Member Wulf9's avatar
    May 2003
    Near the Geysers
    Mega mansions are always one step away from being converted to rooming houses or being demolished for other uses.

    A few houses of the very wealthy will survive if they are in very exclusive areas.

    However, most upwardly mobile, newly rich folks will move from the previous housing fad to the next housing fad as soon as the "next fad" is defined.

    The housing from the previous fad are too big for normal residents, so they are converted to rooming houses or demolished for land.

    Consider all of the elegant victorian and georgian mansions that became low income housing in a few decades.
    Last edited by Wulf9; 24 Oct 2004 at 3:14 PM.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus
    Jun 2003
    From The Grand Haven Tribune - Thu, Oct 21, 2004

    "Wrecking ball takes down stone and glass mansion Walls of glass that once overlooked the breathtaking waters of Lake Michigan and miles of trees from the third and fourth floors of the Van Kampen mansion are now crushed into thousands of tiny pieces. Beyond the Stonegate monument that sits at Lakeshore Avenue just south of Ferris Street and past two wrought iron gates marked "VK," a demolition crew from a Grand Rapids-based company, Pitsch, began ripping into the mansion Wednesday morning."

    more at: http://www.grandhaventribune.com/pai...0344152147.bsp

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
    May 2003
    Northwestern Ohio
    During the Russian Revolution (1917-1922 aprox) thousands of mansions were converted to multi-multi-multi family housing. Because these mansions had very little plumbing, in many cases the families would live on the upper floors and drill holes in the floor for body waste.

    Needless to say, the lower floors were breeding grounds for the worst kind of sicknesses.


  5. #5
    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
    Jul 2002
    In the bike lane
    This was in a local newspaper also. The article said it was on 27 acres of wooded duneland and had 800 feet of frontage. I'm guessing that the reason it did not sell was because there were/are devleopment restrictions on the land thus making on a portion of it undevelopable and not cost effective.
    Last edited by PlannerByDay; 25 Oct 2004 at 8:33 AM.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Apr 2003
    Somewhere between the mountains and the ocean.
    And that would have made a great first house for me.

    It is a shame that places like that can not be preserved.

  7. #7
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    May 2003
    Staff meeting

    I agree with Wulf9. It's just another victim of fashion.

    The family should donate the land to the State DNR for a new public access lakefront park. They'd probably get a gigantic tax deduction for it anyhow.

    David Wisen, president of the Van Kampen Trust and son-in-law to Robert Van Kampen, said no one has recently resided in the mansion as it was built for charitable purposes, not residential use.
    Why do you build a gigantic behemoth for charity???

    Was there a general contractor friend of the family that needed a two-year long project to keep his kids from having to go to public school?
    Last edited by mendelman; 25 Oct 2004 at 12:15 PM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Every day is today. Yesterday is a myth and tomorrow an illusion.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    And that would have made a great first house for me.

    It is a shame that places like that can not be preserved.
    It was built in the 1990s and therefore has little or no historic value. I would call it a McMansion, but it looks like it was even too big for that.

  9. #9

    Oct 2001
    Solano County, California
    Isn't a McMansion a standard single family home blown up to immense proportions? This doesn't look like a standard McMansion.

    Still, sounds like a good public park site-if the state has the money to manage the land.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Isn't a McMansion a standard single family home blown up to immense proportions? This doesn't look like a standard McMansion.

    Still, sounds like a good public park site-if the state has the money to manage the land.
    Yeah, I acknowledged that it was too big. But that picture they have is not much to go on.

    While this house may be above the criteria of for the standards of a McMansion, I know that a lot of pretentious, overblown, suburban crap is being built all over that part of the state, and am leery of anyone's efforts to build houses of such magnitude, no matter what their intentions.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Jen's avatar
    Aug 2001
    From what I've heard the land is not for sale, at least not for now.

    I feel sorry (not) for folks who are now trying to their unload multi million dollar homes now , they buy a home with 6 bedrooms and 9 baths and think their property values will continue to soar. I am seeing a ton of half million dollar homes listed for sale, well below assessed value, and the locations are ordinary except for the school diostricts which are extraordinary I must admit. Feh, I've also learned the most elite school districts in my area are anticipating student shortages so they have begun to accept out of district students in the last year or two.

    This is what I am thinking of doing with my kids, taking them out of their redneckish school district and moving them to the swankier school. THough I haven't figured out all the pros and cons with that yet.

    It would be sweet to get the schools without the tonier townships' taxes
    what is the purpose within
    if not to reach the cluBBe
    herein it remains contained
    let the journey of the words begin

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