BARTOW, Fla. (FOX 13) - One of Florida’s most unusual homes may once again be opening its doors to the public.
The new owner of Bartow’s infamous Wonder House is going to ask the city if he can give tours. He thinks people will be intrigued by it, just like he was.
“I saw the house. I love the house,” Drew Davis told FOX 13. “I am so invested in the house I want to make sure it is preserved now, and for future generations.”
Davis has been working on the home for three years, and says he has another seven before it is done. He wants to bring it back to the way it was during its heyday in the 1920s and 30s.
It isn't an easy job, as he is finding out.
“Every time I start a project, it is ten times more expensive and takes ten times longer than I expect,” he said.
The house was an all-consuming passion for the man who built it. When Conrad Schuck was told by his doctor that he had only one year to live, Schuck decided to move from Philadelphia to Bartow so he and his family could build his dream home. It took forty years to complete.
Schuck ironically never lived in it. However, he left his mark all over.
Schuck came up with a unique way to cool the home. He built a fireplace in the middle of the house. To burn, it needed air, and sucked it out of each of the rooms.
To supplement that, he collected rainwater on the roof, and funneled it through the walls, which brought down the temperature in the house.
Schuck also installed a system of mirrors so that you could see who was at the front door from any room in the house.
He built a bathtub and ponds on the balconies of the bedrooms, and constructed a bridge that crosses a moat leading to the house.
“There was always a new crazy invention in every room,” Davis said.
Davis hopes he can show them off soon. He will be asking commissioners Monday night if he can begin giving people tours.