Multi-Million Dollar Mansions That Were Abandoned For Years

Shannon Quinn - June 11, 2021
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Michael Jackson’s former home in California. Credit: Business Insider

6. Only a Billionaire Could Afford to Buy Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, USA

Nearly everyone has heard of Michael Jackson’s famous home in California, Neverland Ranch. It is a massive property that contains his own amusement park. The mansion on the property has 6 bedrooms, and he even had his own zoo. Throughout the home, there is a Peter Pan theme, and Jackson claimed that he created this children’s paradise because he never wanted to grow up.

In 2003, Michael Jackson was charged with child abuse, and he was accused of using Neverland Ranch to lure in these kids. After the police searched his property, they couldn’t find any evidence, so he was acquitted. However, the situation made Jackson feel “violated”, so he decided to leave the property and never live in it again. In 2006, he fired all of the staff who were maintaining the house. He died in 2009, and the house remained abandoned until 2015. When the house first went on the market, the Jackson estate was asking an insane amount of $100 million. Not surprisingly, no one wanted to buy it. Five years later, a billionaire named Ron Burkle purchased the home for $22 million, because he wanted to develop the land.

Sunninghill Park was left to ruin after a divorce and scandal. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

5. Prince Andrew and Fergie’s Sunninghill Park

Sunninghill Park was a country house with a massive 665 piece of land located in Berkshire, England. It was owned by Prince Andrew, the Duke of York and his wife Fergie, gifted to him from his mother. The mansion had 12 bedrooms, a huge reception room, horse stables, a swimming pool, and so much more. This house is also very close to his mother, The Queen’s Windsor Castle. Sunninghill Park was famous in the 1980’s and 90’s. It was considered to be one of the most flashy royal homes, with people giving it nicknames like “Southyork” and “Dallas Palace”, because people thought it looked like a ranch house. Basically, a lot of people made fun of how small and oddly American looking it was compared to most homes owned by English nobility.

Things started going downhill in 1996. Andrew and Fergie got a divorce, but they still lived in the same house for the sake of their two daughters. But in 2002, Prince Andrew moved into the Royal Lodge in Windsor, which was his grandmother’s former home. When the daughters grew older, they put Sunninghill Park on the market in 2006, and it sat empty. After all of the scandal involving Andrew with Jeffrey Epstein, no one wanted to touch the property. It was eventually purchased by a billionaire named Timur Kulibayev, but he has done nothing to fix or maintain the property. Finally in 2016, the house was torn down and replaced with a new mansion.

The Stonewall Jackson Reform School. Credit: Urbex Underground

4. The Abandoned Stonewall Jackson Reform School Could Become an Epic Mansion For a New Owner

Before the 1900’s, child criminals were sentenced to the same punishments as adults. In one famous trial, a 13-year old boy was sentenced to 3 years of hard labor in prison, all because he committed petty theft. The citizens of Concord, North Carolina felt that this was unfair, so they created the Stonewall Jackson Reform School. At its peak in the 1920’s, the reform school had over 200 students. The boys who went there would learn like any school. But they also had classes to teach them practical skills that could help them get a job later in life like farming, mechanics, barbering, shoemaking, and tailoring. Sadly, this wasn’t all good, and the school houses many horrors. At the time, North Carolina had a Eugenics Board. They sterilized boys who they considered too “feebleminded”.

Like most of these abandoned buildings, its use had a limited time span. In the 1970’s, the needs for the reform school changed. Now, only kids who were violent offenders were sent to juvenile prison. And with the welfare system and child protective services now in place, fewer impoverished children were committing petty crimes like stealing food. They created a new building, and the school was no longer used as it once was. The original 1909 school building was added to the National Historic Register, so it won’t be torn down. It still waits for a potential buyer to come along. Many people believe the building is haunted, and almost no one wants to tackle the amount of work required to restore the building.

This house was once the home of tennis champion Boris Becker. Credit: The Daily Mail

3. Tennis Champion Abandons His Mansion “Son Coll”

A few of you might recognize the name Boris Becker, because he was a professional tennis player from Germany. After winning multiple tournaments, he used that money to purchase a mansion called Son Coll on the island of Mallorca, Spain for $598,000 in 1997. Becker began doing huge renovations like adding a pool, basketball court, and guest house. However, he never got a building permit from the local government. He was forced to pay $255,000 in fines and tear down all of the additions. Unfortunately, like a lot of professional athletes, Becker went through his winnings without making smart investments. And the house was clearly a huge burden on his finances.

Clearly, this experience put a bad taste in Becker’s mouth. He no longer wanted to live in that holiday home, so he tried to sell it in 2007 for $18.4 million. Then, Becker failed to pay his gardener and contractors for their work, so they sued him. When he couldn’t come up with the money, the Spanish government had the right to confiscate his home until building work was paid. He had to declare bankruptcy in 2017, and lost Son Coll along with it. Afterwards, it remained abandoned. In 2018, The Sun reported that German hippies had begun squatting on the abandoned property, because they wanted to save it from ruin. In 2019, the court ordered the squatters to leave, and they were forcibly removed by police in 2020. The house is still abandoned, even now.

Clavernack College. Credit: Old House Calling

2. This Abandoned Mansion is a Now-Debunked College

This beautiful abandoned building in Elizaville, New York is the last remaining building of Clavernack College. Never heard of it? That’s because the school was only open from 1869 to 1902. Once the school closed, a family moved into the building, and it became a privately owned home. Then, it became a school once again, as well as a foster home for children. From 1988 until now, a Russian artists purchased the property. He transformed the 12 acres into a park-like setting with sculptures and walking trails. There is even a guest cottage and a theater on the property.

Now, when you see the photos of the interior of the mansion, it has been gutted. It’s no longer in a liveable state. There are some major issues, like a hole in the ceiling that would need to be repaired. Unfortunately, with properties like this, the longer it stays abandoned, the worse it will get. I truly hope someone buys this gorgeous property.

The front of Mike Tyson’s former mansion in Ohio. Credit: UrbexUnderground

1. Mike Tyson’s Abandoned Mansion

Since he was only 18 years old, Mike Tyson has been a heavyweight champion boxer. He became a multimillionaire at an early age, and purchased a mansion in Southington, Ohio in 1980. The mansion had a massive swimming pool, zebra carpets, crystal chandeliers, and more. At this peak net worth, Mike Tyson had $400 million. This epic lifestyle came to an end in 1992 when Tyson was imprisoned for sexual assault. Then in 1998, he was in a traffic accident. He got out of the car and physically assaulted the other drivers. Again, this got him in trouble with the law. Tyson’s life began spiraling downwards, and he began running into financial issues. By 2003, Mike Tyson declared bankruptcy. He called himself “totally destitute, and broke.” 

The mansion was purchased by a millionaire named Paul Monea for $1.3 million. Unfortunately, Monea had ulterior motives behind buying the famous mansion. He was trying to sell a diamond called The Golden Eye, and set the price of the house for $20 million as a sort of package deal. He ended up getting caught by an FBI agent who was posing as an agent of a drug cartel leader, and this put Monea in jail for money laundering. In 2010, a millionaire health club entrepreneur named Ron Hemelgarn bought the property for just $600,000. Eventually, he gave up trying to build a health care club there, and donated it to a small church with 200 members called Living Word Sanctuary Church. Finally, after years of waiting, they were able to open in 2019.

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