A Florida mansion that once belonged to W.K. Kellogg – co-founder of the Kellogg’s cereal company – is waiting to be demolished.
A photographer shared snaps of the home before it is eventually taken down, with some it to be preserved for inclusion in a museum.
Christa Carpenter purchased the building most recently in July for $4 million, but has said any plan to make it a livable home is unrealistic.
Alabama native David Bulit, 32, visited the mansion that features soundproof rooms, secret passageways, stained glass windows, mosaic tilework, Moorish arches, and curved Spanish-inspired staircases.
A mansion that once belonged to W.K. Kellogg – co-founder of the Kellogg’s cereal company – is waiting to be demolished
The mansion was known for its opulence, combining stained glass windows with velvet and marble throughout the interior
The mansion contains six bedrooms and six and a half bathrooms, as well as several different living spaces
David never expected that he would get to see it in the flesh after learning about it last year.
Things changed when a friend who had visited the house put him in contact with the owner and those overseeing the salvaging of its fixtures.
Bulit, who has been exploring locations like the mansion for over 12 years, says that his favorite part of the Kellogg estate is the artwork.
Among the mansion’s most notable features are its bar, which is in the round and features leather tables
Much of the artwork throughout the house was hand painted and curated by Kellogg himself
The home also featured an outdoor garden
‘They were painted by Don Ringelspaugh – a local artist who also did the tile work on the house,’ he said. ‘Although some of it is quite tacky, such as the Egyptian paintings with the plastic gemstones alongside them, some of the artwork is appealing, like the fountain mosaic in the driveway or the peacock in the sitting room.’
The home indeed features many outrageous elements to it, including a stairway to nowhere, a disco designed by Peter Max, a bed rumored to be carved from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate and hand-painted murals of landmarks like the Taj Mahal.
William Keith Kellogg started the Sanitas Food Company around 1897, focusing on the production of their whole-grain cereals.
One of six and a half bathrooms that relied heavily on marble structures
This room has, in recent years, become a place filled with items of the property’s previous owners
Stone lions great anyone who enters the forcourt of the Kellogg Mansion
Nowadays, Kellogg is best known for producing cereals like Apple Jacks, Rice Krispies, Corn Pops and Raisin Bran, as well as treats such as Pop Tarts.
They were also the first cereal-maker to introduce prizes in the box.
The house was purchased by W.K. Kellogg in 1934 as one of his winter homes.
A covered jacuzzi is found in the entrance to the backyard of the estate
The entrance of the home includes all of the marble and velvet architecture featured throughout, as well as hand painted murals and a staircase to nowhere
Another living space, this one showing off one of the curated murals Kellogg requested
‘Despite its name, it was built in 1925 as the personal home of Edward Frischkorn.
Frischkorn was a Detroit businessman and home builder who developed Dunedin Isles in the town of Dunedin, Florida, between 1925 and 1929.
The home also served as a Marine officers’ barracks during World War II and it is rumored that legendary actor Sean Connery once stayed there.
The demolition permit to knock it down had been in the works for some time and was recently approved, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
After multiple stalls and starts, Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins signed a contract with the seller and the buyers allowing the city to first take a number of fixtures, statues and other pieces the owners say are worth at least $100,000.
William Keith Kellogg started the Sanitas Food Company around 1897, focusing on the production of their whole-grain cereals
Bulit says that while walking around the property, it was ‘heartbreaking’ to know that it would eventually be demolished, but understandable due to the damage.
‘There’s extensive water damage which can be seen in the ceilings,’ he said.
‘With that, the house has a big mold problem, especially in the carriage house. I’ve been told there’s also asbestos.’
The home’s cinema room also featured curtains that could provide a view toward the outdoors
The landing of the upstairs features yet more of the mansion’s notorious artwork
Even the kitchen is adorned with stained glass and tile mosaic artwork
Fixing everything wrong with the mansion would be costly.
‘So, to be renovated, the house at the very least would need a new roof, new walls, probably new floors, and who knows what other problems would be found.
‘There’s not much left from the Kelloggs other than the house itself. The house was extensively renovated in the past with rooms being added or extended, entryways and windows either removed or changed drastically.
One of the bathtubs in the six and a half Kellogg Mansion bathrooms features ornate mirrors
Legendary actor Sean Connery is rumored to have stayed at the home
The pier from that mansion that leads out to the ocean and an island that has been sold separately from the estate
‘There is also a balcony or tower at the top of the mansion with no way to get up there which makes me think there is a secret passageway up there, though that hasn’t been found as of yet.’
The city of Dunedin and the Dunedin History Museum are waiting to begin investigating the interior of the home to create a three-dimensional exhibit that preserves the mansion virtually, as well as auctioning the donated items.
Carpenter, the most recent buyer, says that while some are upset about the demolition of the unique house, renovating it into something livable or even a viable museum wasn’t realistic.
The building was so opulent, it featured an elevator lined by leopard print patterns
A seating area looking out over the pier toward the ocean
The mosaic tile features heavily in this living space
‘If it was going to be saved, that needed to start 50 years ago,’ Carpenter said. ‘It’s got asbestos, structural issues. It would take a million, two million. It’s an unfortunate situation.’
Bulit explained that his hobby of photographing old houses is about exploring history, even that of people he’s never met.
‘I’ve explored many abandoned homes over the past 12 years, and I can say that homes are some of the most interesting places to photograph,’ he said. ‘There is such a personal connection when exploring homes as opposed to businesses or schools or industrial facilities. People lived here, had their whole lives here.’
‘Some have their whole family history attached to these homes and even part of the city or town’s history,’ he added.
How William Keith Kellogg transformed breakfasts by introducing cereal after spending time at the family sanitorium
William Keith Kellogg came from humble beginnings and a large, midwestern family that included his brother John.
Kellogg began working as a traveling salesman at age 14, before he moved to Michigan to help his brother run the Battle Creek Sanitarium.
John Kellogg described the Sanitarium as ‘a composite physiologic method comprising hydrotherapy, phototherapy, thermotherapy, electrotherapy, mechanotherapy, dietetics, physical culture, cold-air cure, eugenics, and health training.’
The Kellogg’s work in attempting to improve Americans’ health led W.K. to promote nutritious breakfast foods that could be eaten by people regardless of money.
He saw that rich people could have meat and eggs for breakfast, while the poor could only afford porridge and gruel. Kellogg felt the cereals could be a sort of equalizer to allow everyone to eat healthy.
For years, W. K. Kellogg assisted his brother in research aimed at improving the vegetarian diet of the Battle Creek Sanitarium’s patients, especially in the search for wheat-based granola.
William K. Kellogg started the Sanitas Food Company around 1897 and launched what became Kellogg’s in 1906 after they began producing Corn Flakes, focusing on the making of their whole-grain cereals.
There is considerable disagreement over the role the two brothers and John’s wife played in its discovery.
Kellogg were also the first cereal-maker to introduce prizes in the box.
He was also a well known philanthropist, giving $66 million of his own money to begin the Kellogg Foundation