Endangered historic Connersville mansion saved by local couple’s purchase

A Connersville, Indiana couple helped save an endangered historic mansion, promising to preserve it for years to come. 

The Newkirk Mansion at 317-321 Western Avenue was put on Indiana Landmarks’ 2017 Most Endangered List. In order to save it from future decay and vandalism.

The mansion was built in 1880 by William Newkirk, the owner of a manufacturing company. The house is full of handmade woodwork. It’s seen many different owners since that time, including Mike and Jenny Sparks, who bought it this week from Indiana Landmarks. 

“We owned the house from 1987 to the early ‘90s,” Mike Sparks said, via Indiana Landmarks . “We sold it so our two boys could grow up on our farm in the country outside Connersville. We really loved the house. It was in great shape when we lived there. Clean, dry, no leaks.”

To save the house, Indiana Landmarks bought it for $65,000, then sold it to the Sparks family.  

“Shame on us if we couldn’t save a place like the Newkirk Mansion,” said Marsh Davis, president of Indiana Landmarks. “We took a $9,000 loss from our Efroymson Family Endangered Places Fund, and we consider it well worth the cost. Mike and Jenny Sparks understand what the property needs and they felt they couldn’t pay more, given the amount they will have to invest to restore it.”

A lot of work is required to restore and stabilize the house. The couple intends to replace a mirror destroyed by vandals. They’ve already cleared the overgrowth around the house, and plan on fixing the roof to make sure it’s airtight for winter.

This amazing Greek Revival home was formerly known as the Thomas J. Lalor Residence

Bring this beautiful lady back to life! They do not build homes with this type of detail and craftsmanship anymore. This amazing Greek Revival home was formerly known as the Thomas J. Lalor Residence, sits on over an acre of land in the center of town and is commercially zoned. Some of the big items have been completed (new roof, replacement windows, new septic) but the home still requires extensive work. 

The grand center hall and staircase greet you as you enter through the front double entry doors with very detailed and ornate woodworking detail throughout. The other period features include granite posts and stairs, hardwoods, fireplace surrounds, light fixtures and plantation shutters. The old servant quarters have been gutted and are awaiting the new owners vision to make as grand as the rest of the home.

‘Uninhabitable’ 1887 House Is Lovingly Restored To Its Former Glory

For a long time, a house in York, PA, stood falling apart, its shingles and siding crumbling, and its once-beautiful details being slowly hidden under layers of dust and rubble.

It didn’t always look like the sagging, washed-out shadow of its former self, though. Built in 1887, this house was designed in the Queen Anne style, which features a lot of delicate brick detailing, contrasting trims, large porches, and lots of beautiful decorative details.

The five-bedroom, three-bathroom house was beautiful and solidly built, but everything needs care if it’s to stay in good shape. And sadly, no one had cared for this house in a very long time, and had no one stepped in, the house might have been a total loss.

Luckily, though, someone saw its potential, and the value in restoring a piece of architectural history. After all, seeing different kinds of old buildings gives character to any area, and teaches us about what happened in days past. As one makeover showed us, there was a time when people bought their houses in kits from Sears.

Check out the makeover that this old house underwent, and see how beautiful it is today.

This was what the house looked like before anyone took an interest in it.

You can see its detail and beauty, but all of that was hidden under years of neglect and exposure to the elements. At this point, it was declared uninhabitable.

Luckily, though, it wouldn’t be long before someone would give it a second chance.

Today? It doesn’t even look like the same house!

Everything has been lovingly restored, and enriched with these warm, inviting shades of olive green, terra cotta red, and gold.

It certainly looks much more inviting, doesn’t it?

The inside has been restored, too, with the restorers salvaging what they could, and faithfully replacing what they couldn’t.


Today, the floors are composed, luxuriously, out of five different types of wood, and splashes of color and light come in thanks to these stained glass panels.

Each room is full of stunning details and accessories, all creating a feeling of timeless charm and coziness.


The rooms have all been decorated carefully, and each one has its own vibrant color scheme, like this pink dining room.

And the kitchen is a wonderful slice of history, too.

Of course, it’s complete with modern appliances, because there’s no reason you can’t have historic charm andmodern convenience!

There’s a cozy stove, perfect for curling up next to with a good book.

Upstairs, each of the five bedrooms also has its own decorating scheme and unique charm.

Right now, the house is actually licensed as a bed-and-breakfast, and would really be a perfect little getaway.

Of course, it could be used by a family as a home, too.

There’s even this lovely, sunny room that would be perfect as a workspace.

And there’s a little hideout in the finished attic, a great place to hang out on a rainy day and chat, play, and craft.

As you can see, there are already some hobbies up here, like a guitar and even a spinning wheel — not exactly a common hobby these days, but being in this house, you might want to give it a try!

It’s amazing what kind of transformations can take place when someone sees under the dirt and grime to the beauty underneath.

Oh, and it’s for sale, so if you know anyone who would love to live in a slice of 19th-century history, SHARE this stunning home with them!

The 1800s Mansion That Inspired The Phrase ‘Keeping Up With The Joneses’

You’ve probably heard the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses” a few times in your life.

Maybe it was about neighbors who always had to outdo one another’s Christmas light displays. Maybe it was in response to the pressure felt when it seemed like everyone on the block was putting an addition on their house.

The term conjures up images of suburbia, where people display their prosperity through home improvements, cars, and even parties. It became a code term for materialism and flaunting your wealth, but also for a desperate need to fit in with the neighbors.

But the term didn’t start in the 1950s. And the Joneses? They were real people.

You probably know just how ornate and opulent homes from the 1800s could be, and our Joneses were all about it.

In 1853, Elizabeth Schermerhorn Jones built a 24-room mansion for herself in Rhinebeck, NY, in the picturesque Hudson Valley. The Gothic mansion had towers and gables and arched windows, and looked like something right out of a fairy tale. Even its name, Wyndclyffe, had a magical air about it.

Wyndclyffe enjoyed a rich history, but then the Great Depression hit, and it fell into disrepair.

Today, it stands crumbling and melancholic in the forest, and it’s become a favorite spot for explorers. It looks like its fairy-tale charm persists even in ruin…

If you happen to wander around in the forested valley of Rhinebeck, NY, you might find a silent, mysterious old mansion peeking through the leaves.

This is Wyndclyffe, a 24-room Gothic mansion built in 1853 by Elizabeth Schermerhorn Jones.

Inspired by, and perhaps jealous of, her luxurious new home, her neighbors began building their own lavish houses up and down the Hudson Valley.

The now-common term “keeping up with the Joneses” originated with this very house.

People in the Victorian period were fascinated with all things medieval, and so it was stylish to build in the Gothic style, with features arched windows and lots of ornamentation, like an old church.

Even the name “Wyndclyffe” was probably chosen for its old-timey ring.

The house passed through several different owners, including the aunt of novelist Edith Wharton.

Wharton didn’t especially like the house (or her aunt), but it did serve as the inspiration for a house in her 1929 novel, Hudson River Bracketed.

During the Great Depression, though, the owners simply couldn’t afford to keep up such a large house, as well as the 80 acres of property on which it stood.

By the 1950s, the house had been abandoned for good, and remained that way for a long time. The surrounding land was sold off, too, and today, the property is only two and a half acres.

During that time, it became a favorite spot for explorers and lovers of all things historic and spooky.

The house has fallen into disrepair, but you can still see how beautiful it must have been in its heyday.

It must have been a great place to throw parties.

And, perhaps ironically, its romantic decay and haunting beauty would make it just as beloved during Victorian times.

The house and property were recently sold at auction for $120,000, and hopefully, the new owners will work to preserve this piece of history, so we can continue to keep up with the Joneses.

Glenborrodale Castle dates from 1902 and is a five storey Scots Baronial mansion built of red Dumfriesshire sandstone

Glenborrodale Castle dates from 1902 and is a five storey Scots Baronial mansion built of red Dumfriesshire sandstone. On its south front the ground floor is high above ground level and opens onto a balustrade terrace. Curved flights of stairs descend to further garden terraces. The Castle itself dominates the steep south facing hillside which overlooks Loch Sunart. The panoramic view takes in the islands of Risga, Carna and Oronsay and the Morven Hills on the far North side of the loch.

Additional buildings include a Gate Lodge, detached Coach House, Gym, Boathouse and jetty.

The grounds of the Castle extend to about 132.99 acres (53.82ha) and include the Isle of Risga and Eilean an Feidh.

Glenborrodale Castle is situated on the southern shore of the picturesque Ardnamurchan Peninsula. The area offers some of the most outstanding coast line scenery together with an abundance of wildlife. Otters, seals, porpoises, deer, golden and white-tailed eagles and a wide range of other birdlife are frequently seen from the property. Sailing, angling, kayaking and whale watching are just some of the activities you can enjoy. Local amenities are available in the nearby villages of Salen and Acharacle including a primary school, doctor, dentist, shops and hotels.

There’s A Town In Kentucky That You Won’t Ever Be Able To Find On A Map, And For Good Reason

You won’t find Elsewhere, Kentucky on any map.

The overgrown gravel road leading to the abandoned settlement doesn’t even connect to a main road. As with most places you shouldn’t go, even Google satellite images have been scrubbed with what looks like a bad use of a blur tool. It was located in south-eastern Calloway County just off the shore of Kentucky Lake. Elsewhere sat surrounded by forest. Until recently, several buildings remained.

I’d heard stories about Elsewhere growing up. Being a Calloway County native, I heard most of the local folklore and ghost stories. I spent several nights in Asbury and Old Salem cemeteries looking to verify stories of creepy ghosts and various monsters. The most I ever got was spooked friends and a bad case of the willies. I was volunteering at the Senior Citizen’s center when Earl, a man of about 80 years old, told me a story about the fall of Elsewhere.

It went like this:

When I was a boy, my pa’ and I went to the Elsewhere General Store to get some rock candy and chicken feed. I stood outside while pa’ talked to Mrs. Ellison the shopkeep. Pa’ loaded the feed into the truck and handed me the candy. Right about then there was this loud scream from the schoolhouse. I don’t know right well what happened ’cause pa” told me to stay in the truck, but after that we never went back to Elsewhere.

When I was a few years older, I went back there with some friends. We were just dumb kids foolin’ around. My friend Jason went inside the schoolhouse and I never saw him again. We spent the rest of the day looking for him and later the police did a search but found nothing. Shortly after that the county disconnected Elsewhere road from HWY 280. It’s been about 60 years and you’re the first person to mention the place in half a century, son.
I did some digging after the story. The Calloway County Public Library has a pretty good archive of town history and folklore. I had read every book on the subject, but I’d never seen mention of Elsewhere.

I ended up at the Waterfield Library up on the Murray State University campus looking through old microfilm when I found reference to Elsewhere in the Louisville Courier-Journal. A single paragraph story covered how the unincorporated town was being abandoned for health and safety reasons. It was dated April 2nd, 1953. There was one detail that stood out.

“Located two miles north of New Concord just off of HWY 280”

I waited until Saturday morning and I made sure to charge my cellphone before parking roughly two miles north of New Concord just off the side of the road. I moved about a 50 yards past the treeline and hiked back and forth until I found the remnants of Elsewhere Road. I followed it northeast for about a half a mile before coming to a clearing where several dilapidated buildings stood over the tall grass and broken pavement.

I moved closer to the center of the town when I saw a sign to my left that read “Elsewhere General Store.” The windows were boarded up and the door was nailed shut, but after pulling at the boards for a few minutes, I was able to pry it open. The wood was weathered and brittle, it popped right off leaving the nails in place.

I was surprised to see goods on the shelves were left in place. They sat rusted on old wooden shelves. An old timey cash register sat on a counter to my left and several burlap sacks lay tattered across the floor. I pressed a few keys on the old mechanical cash register and then pulled a lever to reveal several tarnished coins and some paper money. I had a sandwich in a Ziploc bag I’d brought for lunch and I decided to eat it before putting the old money in the bag and stuffing it in my backpack.

I moved toward the back of the store when an unexpected noise caused me to stand at attention. I caught the distinct sound of footsteps on the wooden porch of the general store. I turned around and peered out the door to see…nothing.

“Hello? Anyone there?” I called out.

There was no response.

I crept towards the door slowly with my hands out in front of me, just in case. I slowly peeked around each corner before verifying that no one was standing outside and made my way back out to the street.

I was sufficiently creeped the fuck out at that point.

I decided to pack it in and come back later with friends. It was just about then I heard the crack of thunder. The weather app on my phone said zero chance of rain, but the clouds overhead were moving in fast. I thought about hoofing it the half mile in the rain, but it came down fast and hard. I didn’t want to go back into the general store, so I darted to the nearest building — an old house.

The front door was unlocked and the door opened on the second pull. Standing in the parlor, I looked around at the old furniture and dusty floors and decided to sit on an old wooden chair that seemed sturdy enough. The storm raged outside and I could see water coming in from the ceiling. There were several old papers sitting on the coffee table in the living room and after a while I got up to go look at them.

The yellowed papers were single page editions of an old periodical called the Elsewhere Gazette. The stories covered church events, pie recipes and an advert for the Elsewhere General Store. One of the papers in the stack bore the headline: “Tragedy In The Schoolhouse.”

The article told the story of a hysterical school teacher who had poisoned the cake she had prepared for the students. The one surviving student ran out of the schoolhouse screaming when the woman tried to force him to eat some of the poisoned cake. It was dated August 12th, 1936.

Earl’s story put him there nearly 20 years later. I was curious as to what would have happened some 20 years after the tragedy, but not entirely willing to continue investigating. When the rain let up a little, I trudged back to my towards my car. Around the time I got halfway down Elsewhere Road, the sky cleared up and the rain stopped. When I got back to 280, I marked the spot with with a couple of fallen branches propped up against a tree and drove back into town.

That night I was sitting at Mary’s Kitchen nursing a cup of coffee when Jerry came in and sat at the table adjacent to mine. Jerry and I didn’t talk much, but we would often find ourselves sitting there through the midnight hours drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. He tapped me on the shoulder this time.

“You look like you saw a ghost kid,” he said.

“I didn’t see one, but pretty sure I heard one,” I said, shaking my head.

Jerry got a confused look on his face.

“I did some hiking out by Elsewhere this morning,” I added.

Jerry’s face went pale. “Bullshit.”

I showed him a couple of the pictures on my phone.

“See that building right there…” he said pointing at my phone, “Don’t go in that building, ever.”

“I take it that’s the schoolhouse,” I said.

He nodded.

“What’s the big deal about that place? Earl up at the Senior Center said he didn’t know what happened. I found an old newspaper article from about 20 years before Earl was there, but it didn’t explain the scream he heard coming from it in the 50s,” I said.

Jerry shook his head. “’Round here we don’t talk about Elsewhere in polite conversation. It ain’t one of those things that needs discussing. But I can tell you’re all curious so I’ll tell ya, and then leave it be.”

I nodded.

“I was born in ’59, about six years after they abandoned the town. It was the 70s by the time I was a dumb teenager lookin’ for a thrill. My buddy Tom Blankenship found pictures of Elsewhere in a book up at the library saying the town was abandoned in a hurry. We drove his truck out there and found everything boarded up, save for the schoolhouse. Tom went inside the schoolhouse and I stood by the truck. You could still get to Elsewhere road if you didn’t mind driving over some saplings at that point.”

Jerry lit a cigarette and took a drag. “Tom let out this wail like he’d been bit by a snake and I rushed up to the schoolhouse expecting to see god knows what. The single room schoolhouse was empty. I looked all over for Tom, but I couldn’t find him. I ended up goin to the cops and that was when they told me about the ghost.”

Jerry took a long drag and stood up from his chair and moved across from me. There was this somber look in his eye that told me everything I needed to know about Tom’s fate.

“So the deputy tells me that every couple of years, some idiot goes out there and goes in the schoolhouse only for nobody to see them again. Thing is, the county sheriff’s department knows about the ghost. He told me that back in the 50s, this kid came to school with a machete and hacked a couple of the kids up. The school teacher ran out screaming. They questioned the kid and he said this pretty lady that stood outside the schoolhouse from time to time said it would send them to heaven. They ended up putting him under the jail.”

Jerry put out his cigarette and looked at me with a stern face.

“I don’t know what happens to the people that go into that schoolhouse and I don’t want to know. Don’t go back there. The county should demolish that place,” he said. Jerry left a five dollar bill on his table and walked out. Despite his story, I was even more curious about Elsewhere at that point. I paid for my coffee and left.

By the following Saturday, I was able to wrangle a friend to come with me back to Elsewhere. Katie was a local college student who was obsessed with ghost hunting and abandoned towns. It wasn’t very hard to rope her into coming along. I told her the stories as they had been passed down to me and it was all it took for her to wake me up at 5AM on a Saturday morning with some coffee and a camera ready for a hike.

Katie and I strolled into town a little after seven in the morning. The sky was bright, but the sun was still barely over the trees. We decided to open the doors to the schoolhouse and look inside from a few feet back. I opened the door and shot back off of the stoop and back into the grass. It was dark inside and we couldn’t make anything out. Katie produced a flashlight and shined it inside the doorway. I could make out a few upturned desks and a chalkboard in the back. We stood there for a bit when the sun crept over the trees and started heating up the morning dew resulting in a thick fog. I turned for a moment to look back at the general store when Katie darted past me into the schoolhouse.

I immediately ran after her and we both stood in the dilapidated building as I begged her to go back outside.

“I could’ve swore I saw a kid standing in here,” she said.

“Yeah that’s great. Spooky kids. First time I was here it rained out of nowhere. Now its fog. Let’s go,” I said.

Katie walked a few steps forward and let out a yelp as she fell through a hole in the floorboards to the cellar down below.

I laid flat on the floor and reached my arm down for her to climb up. She grabbed my wrist and I grabbed her with my other hand and tried to roll back to pull her up. She wouldn’t budge. I looked back down and saw a half-transparent woman holding on to Katie’s legs and pulling her into the darkness. I pulled harder as Katie started screaming. The ghostly woman looked up at me and smiled in the dim light of the morning shining from the door.

Katie was pulled quickly into the darkness and in the struggle, I too was pulled down into the cellar. Katie fell silent after I pulled a couple of glowsticks from my backpack and cracked them open. I tossed one in her direction and one towards the other end of the room and brought up the flashlight app on my phone. Katie sat slumped against the wall on the far side of the room. There were bones all over the room in various states of decay. I walked over to Katie and checked her pulse at the neck, it was faint, but it was there. I turned towards the back of the room and that is when I noticed a small sliver of light coming from two wooden cellar doors about 20 or so feet from me.

I crept past the scattered bones and over to the cellar doors. I tried to open them only to hear chains rattle on the other side. I pushed harder and kept banging at them until one of the hinges broke. I pushed the doors open and went back for Katie and threw her over my shoulder. As I walked towards the opening, I felt a sharp pain across my back. I didn’t look back. Instead, I bolted for the light. I tripped over a corpse and fell to the ground. My cellphone slid across the floor. I looked back and the ghostly woman was almost on top of me. I bolted up, grabbed Katie by the wrist, and took off for the stairs leading to freedom, dragging the young co-ed behind me.

Just as I crossed the threshold into the light I felt a tug and looked back to see the woman holding Katie by the leg. I tugged and pulled and cursed and fought. This otherworldly voice came from the apparition saying, “LET HER GO TO HEAVEN!”

“Go to hell!” I shouted.

The woman’s grip on Katie loosened and I fell back onto the soft grass with Katie landing on top of me. I didn’t wait around for her to show up again, so I fireman carried her back to my car.

Architect Turns Old Cement Factory Into His Home, And The Interior Will Take Your Breath Away

When Ricardo Bofill stumbled upon a dilapidated cement factory in 1973, he immediately saw a world of possibilities. La fábrica was born, and almost 45 years later, the structure has been completely transformed into a spectacular and unique home.

The factory, located just outside of Barcelona, was a WWI-era pollution machine that had closed down, and came with many repairs to be done when Ricardo Bofill and his team purchased it. After years of partial deconstruction, the determined architect proceeded to lace the exterior of the property with vegetation, and furnish the interior as a modern living and work space.

La fábrica is a work in progress to this day, to which Bofill likens his own life, as his visions for the future continue to change shape. The industrial chimneys that once filled the air with smoke now overflow with lush greenery, a fine example of the beautiful transformations that result from creative thinking.

In 1973, Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill purchased a WWI-era cement factory near Barcelona

He immediately saw potential in the building, and began renovating it into his home

After years of partial deconstruction, his team proceeded to furnish the interior as a modern living space

The exterior was laced with vegetation, and now overflows with lush greenery

The structure has been completely transformed into a spectacular and unique home

“The Cement Factory is a place of work par excellence” Bofill writes on his official website

Each room is designed with its own special purpose, and no 2 look quite alike

“I have the impression of living… in a closed universe which protects me from the outside and everyday life” Bofill writes

“Life goes on here in a continuous sequence, with very little difference between work and leisure”

A variety of indoor and outdoor relaxation spots can be found throughout the property

Work space is also a crucial component here, as Bofill’s team uses part of the residence as a studio

The exterior is mostly covered by grass, but also eucalyptus, palm, and olive trees

This gives the building a “mysterious aspect of romantic ruin that makes it unique and unrepeatable”

“The kitchen-dining room located in the ground floor is the meeting point for the family”

Despite its incredible transformation, the factory is still a work in progress to this day

Bufill likens the project’s constant evolution to his own lifestyle and creative visions

La fábrica will always have further work to be done, which is part of its symbolic charm

With enough creative thinking, any space can become something new and beautiful

Inside The Empty, Gilded Halls Of Elkins Estate

To describe the Gilded Age interiors of the Elkins Estate in Cheltenham as anything short of incredible would be a crime against neoclassical architecture. The rolling, 42-acre property and its pairing of Italian High Renaissance-and Elizabethan-revival mansions, designed by architect Horace Trumbauer, come into frame at the front gate with the distinguished nobility of an English country manor. The estate at 1750 Ashbourne Road speaks to a time when Philadelphia’s utility magnates treated themselves like royalty and articulated their accomplishments in the grandeur of their manors. Today, like Trumbauer’s other residential masterpiece nearby, Lynnewood Hall, the mansions of the Elkins Estate are vacant and without a capable steward willing to reactivate the properties with a financially sustainable reuse plan, while attending to upkeep and preservation. For now, the future of this resplendent white elephant remains shrouded in uncertainty.

Elstowe Manor, the crown jewel of the estate, was built in 1898 by William L. Elkins, the prominent Philadelphia businessman who, along with Peter A.B. Widener, built the Philadelphia Railroad Company and the streetcar monopoly, the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company, through acquisitions of smaller lines and political opportunism. The interior of the mansion, designed by esteemed French interior designers Allard et Fils, is an architectural treasure chest filled with heavenly frescoed ceilings, carved mahogany panels, stately marble columns, and an eye watering display of crystal chandeliers, gold leafing, and regal, gilded molding.

The estate’s other mansion, Chelten House, was commissioned in 1896 for Elkin’s son, George. The façade of the house is fortified in Wissihickon schist and dark timber. Its upper floors are covered in cream-colored panels of prickly pebbledash. The interior walls are suited in Tudor-style wood paneling, and a lavish web of Gothic tracery weaves geometric texture into the ceiling. Both mansions contain large, industrial kitchens where, in the tradition of the French manor, the simplicity of worn, rustic wood and abraded, stainless steel contrasts with the overwhelming splendor of every other room in the estate.

After Elkins died in 1903 the estate was passed down to his offspring. By the 1950s, the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine de’ Ricci had acquired most of the property–they purchased Elstowe Manor from William L. Elkins’ grandson, William L. Elkins, and Chelten House from Stephen X. Stephano of Stephano Bros., Philadelphia manufacturers of Rameses cigarettes, in 1948. The Dominican Sisters used the two mansions as a religious retreat for women for over 75 years, while taking care of the properties and their original interior features through dedicated conservation. (It’s worth noting that in the same period another religious organization, the Peace Mission Movement of Father Divine, similarly preserved Willis G. Hale’s Lorraine Hotel along with several other buildings of Philadelphia’s Gilded Age.)

Due to the financial pressures of building maintenance expenses and dwindling retreat attendance, the Dominican Sisters closed the Dominican Retreat House in 2006 and sold the entire estate to the New Age nonprofit Land Conservancy of Elkins Park in 2009, which planned to use the property for a large-scale spiritual wellness center and special events venue. By 2010, the conversancy had so far executed a scattershot business plan pitted with small yoga retreats, wedding receptions, performance space for White Pines Productions, and a three-week photo shoot for Victoria’s Secret and was in mortgage default after missing nearly a year’s worth of payments. Possession of the estate was relinquished to the Dominican Sisters in January 2013 following a heated, three-year legal battle over $6.9 million in defaulted mortgage payments and the conservancy’s refusal to vacate the premises.

A feasibility assessment of the estate for preservation and business modeling was conducted in 2012 by CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia for White Pines Productions and the Wyncote Foundation. However, finding a capable operator based on the report’s advisement was met with a tepid response by the Dominican Sisters and the Township.

In 2014 the Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners approved three zoning amendments to clear the way for luxury hotelier Apeiron to purchase the estate and convert Elstowe Manor into a boutique hotel with full-service luxury apartments. The project included using a portion of the 42-acre property for a public arts and cultural destination. To date, Apeiron’s plan has not moved beyond the proposal stage and no other projects for the estate are on the table. 

Text by Michael Bixler

Inside the mansions of Elkins Estate. Photographs by Kris Catherine.