A 100 year old mansion bought in 1934 by the Kellogg’s magnate is to be torn down because it’s too “gaudy” inside.

People forget that era gave us men like Antonio Gaudi, famous for his “way out there” architectural ideas like the Sacred Family Cathedral, Park Gaudi, etc.

Personally I like it.

Whenever 30-year Dunedin resident John Tornga takes visitors on a tour of his quaint, coastal town, he makes sure to pass the home at 129 Buena Vista Drive S.

“It’s the only place anyone calls a ‘mansion’ in Dunedin,” said Tornga, a city commissioner. “There’s a mystique to it. Who else can say they have a Kellogg mansion in their city?”

The 7,600-square-foot, Mediterranean revival-ish home was built in 1925, and was then known as Villa Marino. W.K. Kellogg, founder of the Kellogg Company that revolutionized breakfast via ready-to-eat cereal, purchased it in 1934.

The interior is a wild mashup of styles and textures and colors. There is marble and velvet and crystal. There are tile mosaics of chariot races, stained-glass windows and hand-painted murals of the Taj Mahal.

A staircase to nowhere suggests it may have been designed by the notable architect Addison Mizner. The canopy bed is supposedly carved from trees from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. The actor Sean Connery, it is believed, once bunked down in the guest house.

Soon it will likely all be torn down and replaced with a new home on the prime waterfront acreage overlooking St. Joseph Sound, just south of the Dunedin Causeway.

The home was listed for sale for more than seven years, with four different listing agents. Realtors say that’s not surprising. An aging house that quirky does not have wide appeal in a market driven toward modern construction.

“It would take a very special buyer to want to renovate or restore a home this unique to live in it,” said Jennifer Zales, a Coldwell Banker agent specializing in luxury Tampa Bay properties, who is not involved with the Kellogg home.

Meanwhile, she said, “waterfront land is selling at an incredible premium right now, and we have little to no waterfront property on the market. There’s a severe shortage.”

In many cases, Zales said, the value of such land has surpassed that of the old homes on top of it.

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  1. President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neanderthal B Woodman Domestic Violent Extremist SuperStraight says:

    I hope someone with a high def video camera takes a walking tour throughout the entire mansion, with a running commentary of all the nooks, crannies, rooms, tile, and artwork; inside and outside; roof to basement. And then puts it out on DVD/BlueRay for everyone to enjoy.
    It’s so sad that the place has to be torn down. I can understand it. But it’s still a cryin’ shame.

  2. Bogsidebunny says:

    Maybe a Columbian drug dealer will save the day and buy it?

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