Category: Haunted House
Sauer's Castle is a 3 story, 18th century German Gothic inspired brick mansion built by German businessman/entrepreneur, Anton Philip Sauer for his second wife Marie and their 5 daughters. It has a tall watchtower and a walkway on the roof. The double front doors are huge, being 10 feet wide as a unit, 10 feet high and 6 inches thick.
The inside was /could be beautiful, with 12 foot ceilings, with an impressive entry floor, which alternates walnut and oak. There is a 4 story staircase which connects the floors, attic and tower together. The first floor rooms have marble fireplaces. Imported chandeliers provided light in the rooms.
We were expecting to see a glorious, Victorian brick mansion, being lived in by a private owner, but were sorely disappointed. YIKES! Instead, we saw a German gothic, fixer upper opportunity with a spooky countenance, which would be hard to live next to or across the street from on a daily basis.
We asked a neighbor, out for his daily stroll what the story was on this neglected mansion. Sadly, this once magnificent brick mansion is in funky shape, looking like the neighborhood haunted house, living up to all the ghost folklore, (some of it fables) attached to it, sitting forlornly, yet majestically back on its hilly estate. The city of Kansas City tried to take this property under the eminent domain stature, as it sat on a section of Kansas City slated for an urban renewal project. There were plans by the city to restore it to it's former glory, and turn it into a bed and breakfast to earn money for its upkeep. The owner, who lives and makes his living in New York City, did take the city to court and won.
This current owner, a descendent of the family who built it, had bought it with the best of intentions back in the late '80s, planning to restore and renovate the mansion, but found that it was harder to do than he thought. He faced a variety of problems, such as a dishonest employee. The caretaker was caught red handed stealing $30,000. worth of stuff from the mansion in 1996.
Being a mansion with a spooky appearance, with no one living inside of it, has attracted vandals, and people breaking in, to look around. This has been a real problem. Keeping a caretaker employed here has also been a challenge because the caretaker had his hands full keeping people off the property, until the 8 foot mother of all fences which surrounds the property was installed, which has been a big help in slowing down/stopping trespassers.
In 2000, this owner did basic repairs to the mansion's structure, such as stabilizing the front porch so it wouldn't fall off the rest of the house, replacing he mortar between the bricks, repairing the balconies and replacing windows broken by vandals. A sign in the front yard proclaims that the mansion is a historical landmark and will be renovated and restored.
It is a shame that the owner doesn't live in Kansas City. If he did, it would be easier for him to spend his spare time fixing up the place. It would also provide him the opportunity to be on site frequently and to develop a better working relationship with the city authorities, who are miffed not only because he has made slow progress in renovating this mansion in the 11 years he has owned it, but because he won his case in court against them. The Kansas Landmarks Commission of Kansas City currently scrutinizes every improvement he does manage to make on the mansion, to be sure it is authentic to the style and time period of the mansion, which was declared a historical site in 1977.
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