August 8, 2022 | Jack Jenkins Homes
Still Unfinished After 17 Years, $7M Castle Von Frandsen in Idaho Needs a Royal Touch
The owner “has a unique passion for the medieval times and culture,” says listing agent Danny Davis with Coldwell Banker. “This has been a passion project for him for a long time.”
And when Davis says a long time, he means it. Construction on the structure known as Castle Von Frandsen began in 2005—and 17 years later, the castle still isn’t finished.
The walls are 2 feet thick and filled with concrete, conduit, and rebar. Stones for the walls were hand-chiseled on site, and wood was sourced from the nearby forest.
“It was built with wood from the property by an actual castle builder, based on medieval building style and craftsmanship. No heavy equipment was utilized,” Davis explains. “It was built by hand, stone by stone, and using original medieval-style construction practices.”
The idea for the fantastic fortress ties right in with the popular plastic building blocks.
“Where it started, [it] was literally just castle Legos with my client and his castle builder sitting there,” Davis says. “They put castle Legos together and said, ‘Hey, this would be cool,’ and they actually were crazy enough to go do it. So here we are.”
A turret tower sits near the main structure, thanks to the History Channel. The network filmed an episode of the long-forgotten show “The Big Build” on site to highlight medieval construction techniques.
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“They brought about 50 masons on site and banged it out in a few days,” Davis says. “That kind of created momentum for [the owner] to go build the actual castle.”
The first floor of the 8,000-square-foot castle is mostly finished, but the second and third floors don’t offer much beyond great views.
There’s a functioning bathroom, but the radiant heating and plumbing systems need to be finished.
The owner “has been spending time out there for the past 10 years and it’s livable,” Davis says. “It’s just missing some key amenities to be considered finished.”
Estimates on finishing costs could require a king’s ransom. Davis says he hasn’t had any contractors out to get an estimate.
Right now, the owner is working on the installation of a plunge pool.
“It’s the first thing that you see when you come from the dock. There is a tunnel, and you walk through the tunnel from the dock and walk into that pool area. It’s going to be emerald green, and there’s going to be glass where you can see in front of it,” Davis explains.
The home sits on almost 9 acres on the banks of Lake Pend Oreille and attracts plenty of attention.
“Everybody up here knows it. Everybody brings their kids by to show it to them. There’s a charter boat that comes by as part of a tour, and everyone wants to ohh and ahh on it,” Davis says. “My first thought when I saw it was, ‘I’m in Disneyland.’ It feels like Disney magic when you walk through it. Having been in real authentic castles when I was in Europe, I got all those same vibes walking through this.”
He says this castle is a trophy home for a buyer with a regal vision.
“There are really extravagant, special, and unique properties that have no comparables to them. This fits in that category. It’s a special trophy home that someone can have and be an owner of a one-in-a-million-type property. I think that’s who our buyer is.”
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