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Inside the sprawling five-bedroom seven-bathroom mansion where cereal tycoon W.K. Kellogg lived


A photographer shares snaps of a mansion that once belonged to W.K. Kellogg – founder of the Kellogg’s cereal company – as it waits to be demolished.

Christa Carpenter purchased the building most recently in July for $4 million, but has said any plan to make it a livable home is unrealistic.  

Alabama native David Bulit, 32, visited the mansion that features soundproof rooms, secret passageways, stained glass windows, mosaic tilework, Moorish arches, and curved Spanish-inspired staircases. 

A photographer shares snaps of a mansion that once belonged to W.K. Kellogg – founder of the Kellogg’s cereal company – as it waits to be demolished

The interior is a mix of outrageous styles, featuring marble, velvet and crystal. It also displays tile mosaics of chariot races, stained-glass windows, hand-painted murals of landmarks like the Taj Mahal and even a stairway that doesn't go anywhere

The interior is a mix of outrageous styles, featuring marble, velvet and crystal. It also displays tile mosaics of chariot races, stained-glass windows, hand-painted murals of landmarks like the Taj Mahal and even a stairway that doesn’t go anywhere

The bathroom, one of six and a half in the mansion, is primarily made of marble

The bathroom, one of six and a half in the mansion, is primarily made of marble

David never expected that he would get to see it in the flesh after learning about it last year. 

FACT BOX TITLE

William Keith Kellogg started the Sanitas Food Company around 1897, focusing on the production of their whole-grain cereals. 

Nowadays, Kellogg is best known for producing some of the world’s most popular cereals and treats.

They were also the first cereal-maker to introduce prizes in the box. 

He was also a well known philanthropist, giving $66 million of his own money to begin the Kellogg Foundation

Things changed when a friend who had visited the house put him in contact with the owner and those overseeing the salvaging of its fixtures.

Bulit, who has been exploring locations like the mansion for over 12 years, says that his favorite part of the Kellogg estate is the artwork.

‘They were painted by Don Ringelspaugh – a local artist who also did the tile work on the house,’ he said. ‘Although some of it is quite tacky, such as the Egyptian paintings with the plastic gemstones alongside them, some of the artwork is appealing, like the fountain mosaic in the driveway or the peacock in the sitting room.’ 

The home indeed features many outrageous elements to it, including a stairway to nowhere, a disco designed by Peter Max, a bed rumored to be carved from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate and hand-painted murals of landmarks like the Taj Mahal. 

William Keith Kellogg started the Sanitas Food Company around 1897, focusing on the production of their whole-grain cereals. 

Nowadays, Kellogg is best known for producing cereals like Apple Jacks, Rice Krispies, Corn Pops and Raisin Bran, as well as treats such as Pop Tarts.

They were also the first cereal-maker to introduce prizes in the box.   

The house was purchased by W.K. Kellogg in 1934 as one of his winter homes.

‘Despite its name, it was built in 1925 as the personal home of Edward Frischkorn.

Frischkorn was a Detroit businessman and home builder who developed Dunedin Isles in the town of Dunedin, Florida, between 1925 and 1929. 

The home also served as a Marine officers’ barracks during World War II and it is rumored that legendary actor Sean Connery once stayed there. 

The demolition permit to knock it down had been in the works for some time and was recently approved, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

After multiple stalls and starts, Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins signed a contract with the seller and the buyers allowing the city to first take a number of fixtures, statues and other pieces the owners say are worth at least $100,000.

The mansion's so-called 'disco' has a floor designed by Peter Max and curtains in the ceiling that part to show the view outside

The mansion’s so-called ‘disco’ has a floor designed by Peter Max and curtains in the ceiling that part to show the view outside

Unique windows are a theme throughout the house, including this one that provides a view of the dock outside

Unique windows are a theme throughout the house, including this one that provides a view of the dock outside

A carriage house features a unique round bar with rich leather padding

A carriage house features a unique round bar with rich leather padding

William Keith Kellogg started the Sanitas Food Company around 1897, focusing on the production of their whole-grain cereals

William Keith Kellogg started the Sanitas Food Company around 1897, focusing on the production of their whole-grain cereals

The bed is rumored to have been carved out of Thomas Jefferson's famous Monticello estate

The bed is rumored to have been carved out of Thomas Jefferson’s famous Monticello estate

Bulit says that while walking around the property, it was ‘heartbreaking’ to know that it would eventually be demolished, but understandable due to the damage.

‘There’s extensive water damage which can be seen in the ceilings,’ he said.

‘With that, the house has a big mold problem, especially in the carriage house. I’ve been told there’s also asbestos.’

Fixing everything wrong with the mansion would be costly.  

The murals and artwork throughout the mansion were curated by Kellogg himself

The murals and artwork throughout the mansion were curated by Kellogg himself

Outside the house, there is also beautiful artwork, including statues to go along with the facade, as well as a beautiful view of the

Outside the house, there is also beautiful artwork, including statues to go along with the facade, as well as a beautiful view of the 

The mansion even has soundproof rooms and secret passageways

The mansion even has soundproof rooms and secret passageways

‘So, to be renovated, the house at the very least would need a new roof, new walls, probably new floors, and who knows what other problems would be found.

‘There’s not much left from the Kelloggs other than the house itself. The house was extensively renovated in the past with rooms being added or extended, entryways and windows either removed or changed drastically.

‘There is also a balcony or tower at the top of the mansion with no way to get up there which makes me think there is a secret passageway up there, though that hasn’t been found as of yet.’

A walkway toward the guest house, where rumor has it legendary actor Sean Connery once stayed

A walkway toward the guest house, where rumor has it legendary actor Sean Connery once stayed

The city of Dunedin and the Dunedin History Museum are waiting to begin investigating the interior of the home to create a three-dimensional exhibit that preserves the mansion virtually, as well as auctioning the donated items.    

Carpenter, the most recent buyer, says that while some are upset about the demolition of the unique house, renovating it into something livable or even a viable museum wasn’t realistic.

‘If it was going to be saved, that needed to start 50 years ago,’ Carpenter said. ‘It’s got asbestos, structural issues. It would take a million, two million. It’s an unfortunate situation.’

Across from the dock is an island that used to come with the mansion but was sold separately before the home's most recent sale

Across from the dock is an island that used to come with the mansion but was sold separately before the home’s most recent sale

Bulit explained that his hobby of photographing old houses is about exploring history, even that of people he’s never met.  

‘I’ve explored many abandoned homes over the past 12 years, and I can say that homes are some of the most interesting places to photograph,’ he said. ‘There is such a personal connection when exploring homes as opposed to businesses or schools or industrial facilities. People lived here, had their whole lives here.’ 

‘Some have their whole family history attached to these homes and even part of the city or town’s history,’ he added.

The city of Dunedin and the Dunedin History Museum are waiting to begin investigating the interior of the home to create a three-dimensional exhibit that preserves the mansion virtually

The city of Dunedin and the Dunedin History Museum are waiting to begin investigating the interior of the home to create a three-dimensional exhibit that preserves the mansion virtually



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