Abandoned houses are the ones often ignored and left by the owners due to some tragedy or personal loss and which gets our imagination running the marathon. These beautifully crafted spine-tingling structures have a story to tell with varying genres, be it horror or emotional. It explains how the grandeur of places and excellence of architecture cannot cross particular emotional barriers and are not a deciding factor for people to stay in a place, and the biggest of mansions can lie in disrepair.

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Here are some of the wonderfully crafted abandoned houses from around the globe:

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Abandoned House_©www.wallup.net

1. Lynnewood Hall, Pennsylvania

A neo-classical revival marvel built in Elkins Park between 1897 and 1900 for someone considered as one of America’s richest people and copious art collector, Peter Anel Browne Widener, was once one of the finest real estate examples which are now dilapidated and abandoned. The owner got this house designed by architect Horace Trumbauer with 110 rooms on 70,000 sqft of land to move to someplace unfamiliar and new with his sons after the death of his wife. 

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The grandeur, intricate detailings, elegant furniture, and massive art collection of the house, made it one of the largest historic houses in America. After his son passing away in the titanic ship accident and the property passing on to many users after his death, the place is now an abandoned house with paint peeling off its walls and overgrown encircling grounds.

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Lynnewood Hall_©FMS57 / Shutterstock
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Ruined Interiors of Lynnewood halll_©SVVVK via youtube

2.  Elda Castle, New York

Architect wife Lucy Abbott Cate and fashion industry guy David Abercrombie dreamt and designed this piece of art in Ossining fabricated with stones and called it ELDA castle, which is an acronym for the name of their four children in 1927 on a 50-acre land. Visited by many historical enthusiasts, researchers, destruction admirers, and scholars, the massive structure still showcases vaulted roofs, arched windows, and doors, wall panelled with wooden tiles, bay window, and spiral staircase cast in iron as some of the attractive elements of the deserted beauty structure. 

After the death of children and husband, Mrs Abercrombie moved with the remaining eldest daughter leaving the castle, and since then, the building has allured many restorers, but none has succeeded in restoring this abandoned house to date.

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Elda Castle_©Leslie Bennett

3. Wyndcliff Mansion, New York

Hidden in the forests of the Hudson River valley peeps out of the pine trees the turret of a splendid construction of 1853 by architect George Veitch spreading over an area of 80 acres. Elizabeth Schermerhorn Jones wanted to occupy a space that matches her grand status resulting in this magnificent marvel that even inspired the other dwellers of Hudson valley to construct such grand mansions with amazing views from all sides. 

The ornamenting brickwork and curved arched doors and windows add to the grandeur of the mansion. Abandoned since the 1950s has led to this beautiful structure’s disruption, leaving around 2.5 acres of property standing upright out of 80 acres with hanging staircases and no flooring.

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Wyndcliff Castle_©www.mapio.net

4. Villa De Vecchi, Italy

Set amid mountains of Corte nova near lake Como lies the summer house of Felix de Vecchi that reflected the eastern culture, which Felix learned all about from a young age. The construction of the villa commenced in 1854, covering 13,000 sqm of the total park area. The scenic setting, the fresco-covered ceilings and walls, extensively planted gardens, huge fireplace, and tapestries all contributed to keeping alive the ignited candle of imagination and passion. 

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The differentiating features of the villa were heating tubes inside the walls, dumbwaiters, and a large-scale pressurized fountain which were way ahead of time. The villa had different owners after Vecchi, but the ghost stories and personal tragedies led to the villa now being one of the abandoned houses.

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Villa De Vecchi_©www.mapio.net

5. Kinmel Hall, UK

The grand halls and staircases speak for the grand imagination of W.E.Nesfield, who remodelled the house in the 1870s and set another example of a calendar house with 365 windows, 12 entrances, and 122 rooms. This red brick and cream stone mansion is amongst the largest dwelling in the UK, with adorned ceilings, steep roofs, panelled walls, and chimneys projecting the grandeur of the Gothic architecture. 

After being left by its owner, the house was used for various purposes until it caught fire in 1965, which led it to be an abandoned house and one of the most endangered built forms in the UK.

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Kinmel Hall_©Nick Clark
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Kinmel Hall dilapidated interior_©Allsop

6. Carleton Island Villa, New York

An astoundingly beautiful property located on an island on the St Lawrence river with a three-side waterfront is now an abandoned house hoping to be sold out by the current owners. The villa sits on 6.9 acres of land and has a stone foundation and wooden wall frames on the upper floors. 

The picturesque home was built in 1894 by William O. Wyckoff hired architect William Miller but the dream actually never happened as he lost his wife a month before construction got completed. The tragic loss of the lady and death of the owner on the first night made a haunted and unfortunate image of the villa amongst people leaving this architectural marvel breaking down to bits by bits.

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Carleton Villa_©Kin Lunman

7. Chateau de La Mothe -Chandeniers, France

Moving back in time, around the 13th-century, a fairy tale was written with moat, turrets, and towers in Les Trois-​Moutiers city of France by the Bauçay family, lords of Loudun that is now a derelict and abandoned house. Later ownership moved from people to people, and it survived being ransacked during the french revolution till 1932, after which fire destroyed a major part of the castle. 

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The building seemed an unusual turn of events when people formed a community called Dartagnans to protect and restore the chateau contributing 50$ each forming a group of around 11,000 people who now co-own the place and will work towards the restoration of the building.

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Château de la Mothe_©Guillaume Souvant/www.dynaimage.cdn.cnn.com

8. Bissingen Castle, Serbia

One storey elongated wrought iron castle built in 1859 in Vlajkovac by Count György Moconje is a beautiful architectural piece highly reflecting the culture of the place. It was built as a free-standing structure surrounded by a park and richly adorned with iron workings. The pyramid-shaped porched roof is topped with a pear-shaped dome; rising from it is a lily ornamented pinnacle. The concern of various history enthusiasts is the castle is on the verge of collapsing and needs to be restored.

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Bissigen Castle©Lancia88/www.2.bp.blogspot.com

9. Cape Romano Dome House, Florida

The six connected concrete dome structure standing on stilts was built by retired oil producer Bob Lee in 1981 on Ten thousand island. Originally it was built on a different island which got changed when the channel between morgan pass and cape romano got filled. The idea of Bob behind the dome shape was to eliminate negative wasted spaces and have a free large space, also taking into account the weather conditions the shape can take hurricanes without major damage. 

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The increased water emergence of the structure and affecting the pillars of the abandoned house posed a threat, and the structure is set off 180 ft from the shore. Hurricane Irma in 2017, unfortunately, destroyed two domes, but the rest four are still standing and serving as a tourist location.

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Dome House©www.cdn.vox-cdn.com/shutterstock

10. Havelis of Shekhawati, India

Lying in between the Delhi-Jaipur-Bikaner triangle is Shekhawati, located in northeastern Rajasthan and is the largest open-air art gallery. Shekhawati was established by Shekhawat Rajputs on an old caravan route with Havelis having fresco details, making them fascinating amongst people. The social status is governed by the number of frescoes one has, and these Havelis were mostly built and painted by the potters. 

Now, this piece of art is an abandoned house, the owner living in a city for work and fodder. The Havelis are a tourist attraction spot and people tend to visit appreciating the fresco art.

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Haveli At Shekhawat©www.10yearitch.com

References

Cooke, L., 2021. Wyndcliffe Mansion. [online] Abandoned Hudson Valley. Available at: <https://abandonedhudsonvalley.com/wyndcliffe/> [Accessed 12 July 2021].

Country Life. 2021. The 80,000 sq ft country house — with 122 rooms and Versailles-style gardens — that sold for £950,000 – Country Life. [online] Available at: <https://www.countrylife.co.uk/property/the-welsh-versailles-an-80000-sq-ft-masterpiece-with-122-rooms-is-going-under-the-hammer-for-750000-226635> [Accessed 12 July 2021].

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Dusty Old Thing. 2021. Several Members of This Family Were Aboard the Titanic- Now Their Mansion is a Ruin. [online] Available at: <https://dustyoldthing.com/lynnewood-hall/> [Accessed 12 July 2021].

ITALY Magazine. 2021. Villa De Vecchi: Italy’s Most Haunted House?. [online] Available at: <https://www.italymagazine.com/dual-language/villa-de-vecchi-italys-most-haunted-house> [Accessed 12 July 2021].

King, S., 2021. Abandoned Abercrombie Castle In The Hudson Valley is Cursed. [online] Q105.7. Available at: <https://q1057.com/abandoned-abercrombie-castle-in-the-hudson-valley-is-cursed/> [Accessed 12 July 2021].

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Mahno.com.ua. 2021. Abandoned houses as a lost art form. [online] Available at: <https://mahno.com.ua/en/blog/post/abandoned-houses-as-a-lost-art-form> [Accessed 12 July 2021].

Marunic, M., Marunic, M. and профил, П., 2021. Bisingen Castle. [online] Serbiancastles.blogspot.com. Available at: <http://serbiancastles.blogspot.com/2016/06/bisingen-castle.html> [Accessed 12 July 2021].

the Guardian. 2021. La Mothe-Chandeniers – the French chateau now with 7,400 owners. [online] Available at: <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/05/la-mothe-chandeniers-the-french-chateau-now-with-7400-owners> [Accessed 12 July 2021].

TheTravel. 2021. 25 Pictures Of Deserted Mansions Around The World. [online] Available at: <https://www.thetravel.com/25-pictures-of-deserted-mansions-around-the-world/> [Accessed 12 July 2021].

Author

Aastha is an architecture graduate who is enthusiastic about playing with words and inditing the stories waiting to be told. Apart from being an expressionist she is an avid reader and a philomath on a journey to make a difference with her deeds.

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