Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit

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Conrad Schuck and his Wonder House


Conrad Schuck had more than a great name, he had a vision. The Wonder House was 15 years into construction when this postcard was published. Schuck started construction in 1925 after being told by his doctor he had only a short time to live. Rather than worrying or checking off his bucket-list...he built this eccentric marvel. It had natural air conditioning using rainwater, outdoor bathtubs and numerous innovative and downright strange enhancements. By the way, you all know by now I love postcards. So did Walker Evans. His postcard collection is on display now through the end of May 2009 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. Evans built his collection for 60 years. The Met acquired the lot in 1994.
Conrad Schuck's Wonder House Curteich Linen Postcard, c. 1940. Collection Jim Linderman

27 comments:

  1. Amazing project, there is no time like the present to do something......

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  2. He was my grandfather, I played in the Wonder House when I was a young boy while he gave tours to the public. You could look down the bath tub drain on an upper story and see who was at your front door. Lots of other eccentric ideas were found everywhere. Loved the arched bridges over the hand shaped pond.

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  3. Isn't that fantastic, thanks for writing! What is left of the house? was it preserved?

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    1. Basically its just still standing there. Its a mess. All of us in Bartow would love for it to come back to life. If you would like a picture of it text me @ 863-440-1743 and let me know who you are

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  4. I drove by the Wonder House last on 10/17/09 and it still looks great! It is no longer completely covered with plants, and some of the water features of the front yard are either no longer there or are not being used.

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  5. Hi Jim, sorry i hadn't comeback to this site for awhile. Most of it is preserved the new owners have done the most with renovating and updating it. I have not met them but I would love to. We (my uncle Conrad ) the eldest son who is in his late 90's did meet the contractor. It was funny he gave us a tour of what he was doing, he was telling my uncle who helped build it how he was doing the wiring by the fireplace and going through the wall. My uncle said you didnt have to go to all that trouble, he lifted up the fireplace wood storage box which was made like a hidden compartment to show how he could have accessed all the wiring in the wall. It looks beautiful and the Heidens have done a fantastic job. I'm Paul, my mother was his youngest daughter. The mosaic tiles still are intact as are all the thick walls. This house was like a fortress built after a castle my grandfather saw in Germany. He did all ths without plans.

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  6. Interesting> Today I went through the house from bottom to top. The owners were having a "moving sale" I had been by the house several times in the past. I must say it was a very interesting to walk through this piece of history

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  7. That is great! Is there still foliage on the outside?

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  8. Sorry to say the foliage "fig vines" are gone. The house had been empty for many years. I also had the tour today, noted the original sofa still sat, secretail desk 'beautiful' !!<3 " air condition" was cool, the pool 'bathing' water was flowing. I went back to visions of the first time I had ever seen this house in awe... The Mr of this house took a big step in trying to do right by it. Even though the moat is not operatable now I'm sure the Mr would have brought it to grander of it's days. Laying a brick driveway with inlaid tile..updating the baths,,laying of tiles, kitchen update. This Castle could be the show place of Bartow. I would Love winning the Lotto!!

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  9. I went by the house today it is a far cry from the original.The moat is not filled and over grown with vines and weeds, The house itself is in great need of repair so sad that it has been let go . I had never heard of this until my son took me to see it today.Hopefully someone will restore it and make it a historical site. Sheena

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  10. i work for a mortgage contracting company and today i got to see the wonderhouse 1st hand and wow i was in awe! the home is in need of many repairs if i only won the lotto

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  11. I can see that this is an older post so I am not sure if it is still read and maintained. However, we have been told that the home was in foreclosure. It does not show this on tax records. We are doing all we can to try to purchase the home but no success. We have contacted 3 realtors at this point and none return our calls. I do have Mr. Heidens address in Arcadia but am not sure what kind of man he is and would he be willing to write me back. Our 13 yr. old son has been dreaming of this house since he was 4 yet has never seen it nor even been to Bartow. When I saw it on a Pinterest post he was sitting next to me and actually screamed that this WAS the house. He even told me of a fish pond upstairs before I read it had one. PLEASE, if anyone would care to help we would be most appreciative. Photos of inside? I can be contacted at hischevygirl57@gmail.com Thank you all.

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    1. I went by today - the only signs are for Chase bank. Maybe notifying the Lakeland Ledger? They may be willing to do a follow-up. I would LOVE to help in the re-vamp - as a social worker, I can't help a lot financially, but I'm handy around a house (electric, painting, whatever). Put out the notice that you're looking to help that house - I think people would come out of the woodwork!

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    2. Try the historical place in the old court house in Bartow. We all want this home restored to its natural beauty

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    3. Ive been wanting to see the inside too. From what i can see there is nothing left inside. Vandals got into it. All the cyrstal doorknobs were stolen. There are 80 doors and stories under ground. And a huge library

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    4. Everyone in Bartow wants it restored

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    5. Dana - I hope this sends a notice to your email or something! A friend randomly posted a listing and this page to facebook. It's for sale now and it looks AMAZING. Long link posted below...

      http://m.realtor.com/#details?property_id=5880145752&rdc_return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.realtor.com%2Frealestateandhomes-detail%2F1075-E-Mann-Rd_Bartow_FL_33830_M58801-45752

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  12. ANONYMOUS.... WENT TO THE WONDER HOUSE YESTERDAY, 2/23/14, NO ONE IS LIVING THERE AT THIS TIME,,, HOUSE IS STILL BEAUTIFUL, LOCAL RUMORS SAY IT IS HAUNTED!!!!????

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    1. No its not

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    2. We the people in Bartow really want this beautiful place restored

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    3. No its not haunted. Just needs a lot of work and a lot of money is owed on it. We all wish it could be restored by someone

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  13. looking for information on how to buy the wonderful place do you know who is the owner now and would they sell???

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  14. I am very interested in this house. I fell in love with it from the moment I seen it. I've only seen the outside but this house is beautiful. I have tried to get a Realtor to show me the inside but no one seems to want to show me. I want to restore this home to the beauty and magnificence as it was before. This home deserves to be put back to its original state. I have a few other individuals that are really willing to help me get this house back so that all can see her beauty. If anyone knows how I could get a chance to see this home on the inside then I would appreciate it. I really want to restore this home.

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  15. I am very interested in this house. I fell in love with it from the moment I seen it. I've only seen the outside but this house is beautiful. I have tried to get a Realtor to show me the inside but no one seems to want to show me. I want to restore this home to the beauty and magnificence as it was before. This home deserves to be put back to its original state. I have a few other individuals that are really willing to help me get this house back so that all can see her beauty. If anyone knows how I could get a chance to see this home on the inside then I would appreciate it. I really want to restore this home.

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  16. It's going to the auction! https://www.auction.com/florida/residential-auction-asset/1969880-19944-1075-e-mann-rd-bartow-fl-33830-o_578

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