They say money doesn’t buy taste, which couldn’t be more true for the unsellable Kessler mansion that has just hit the market for the seventh time in five years.
The mansion has been dubbed “one of the most unique pieces of real estate in Indianapolis” and was dreamed up by Jerry A. Hostetler, who Indy Star refers to as “the almost-famous pimp-turned-construction mini-magnate.”
Hostetler has proven to have one niche taste as his not-so-humble abode has not been able to get any bites for an asking price of $1.75 million. The outlandish fantasy estate has been referred to as being the ugliest house in America and has a bizarre story behind it.
Jerry A. Hostetler bought the property at 4923 Kessler Blvd. East Drive back in the 1960s when it was just a modest ranch home. However, he ended up buying up neighbors’ homes to construct this designer’s nightmare of an estate.
Hostetler was clearly not concerned of adhering to any particular aesthetic style and instead opted for a hodgepodge of architectural designs that do anything but compliment one another.
“He cobbled [the houses] together, dug a swimming pool, dug ponds, imported fountains, added ballrooms, added life-sized statues of gorillas, added — if all things — a stone grotto (into which he installed a hot tub),” Indy Star wrote in their piece on the property.
Hostetler, who was known by cops as “Mr. Big,” passed away in 2006 and by that time, had expanded his ranch home into a 26,000 square foot mansion.
The property was eventually purchased by Chad Folkening, an Indiana-born entrepreneur, who had to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars just to make the estate safe to live in.
“There were zero railings on any of these exterior landings or balconies,” current lister Brain Sanders told Huffington Post. “The thing was like a death trap. [Folkening] spent over $100,000 just putting in those railings, and more just restoring it to livable conditions.”
Despite Folkening’s efforts, the Kessler mansion has not attracted much interest since he put it back on the market. According to New York Post, between 2012 and the present, Folkening has listed the estate at least seven times, for the lowest at $875,000.
While $1.75 million is certainly not in everyone’s real estate budget, it’s certainly a steal considering it’s priced around $44 per square foot.
This gaudy home would stick out like a sore thumb if it were surrounded by other mansions, but according to Realtor.com, the median home value around the mansion is only $202,450.
One neighbor reportedly resorted to planting trees just to shield the eye sore that is the Kessler mansion from their view.
“I didn’t know it was theoretically possible for a couch to independently clash with masonry, tile, and ceiling texture until I saw this,” Duke professor, Gabriel Rosenberg, tweeted after the listing went viral.
However, despite all of the negative attention the Kessler mansion has received, Sanders is optimistic it will be right for someone, saying, “It’s definitely going to take someone who has a lot of personality.”