Wichita's Historic Castle Inn Soon Up For Auction

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Monday, November 12, 2012

It’s been a part of Wichita for over a century, and it could soon be yours. The famous Castle Inn in Riverside is going up on the auction block.

Terry and Paula Lowry say owning and operating the Castle Inn Riverside as a bed and breakfast since 1994 is long enough for them.

"We're just really ready to retire,” Paula said. “We've had this business for 17 years. We've owned the castle eighteen. And it's just time for somebody else to have the opportunity to own it."

They signed on with JP King, a nationally recognized company, specializing in selling upscale properties at auction.

"The glory of the castle will be carried on by whomever buys the castle, I'm sure," Terry Lowry said.

And it’s a glory Colonel Burton Campbell had built in early-day Wichita in 1888. Campbell seemed to spare no expense importing items from around the world to place at the Castle Inn. Fire places, some several hundred years old, imported from Latvia and Greece became the centerpieces of the rooms.

"The chevaliers that are the dual posts on this stair case were imported from Spain,” Terry said. “The stair case, again, is from London."

There are several stories with every room in the castle. The bedrooms come with names, such as “The Mary Queen of Scots” room. It’s the highest requested room by guests.

"This was actually used as the master suite for Walter Morris and his wife," Terry said.

Castle Inn Manager Shannon Weniger says one of the favorite spots guests visit is the turret. It takes some effort to climb the flights of stairs to the top, but the view is worth it.

The Lowrys say they spent $3 million renovating the castle and say now it’s time to move on.

“A lot of money, so yes we think it's very pristine,” Paula Said.

So, if you're looking for a bigger house to spread out in or your own bed and breakfast, line up your financing and decide your bid, because the house goes up for auction Dec. 18.

Digging deeper, the castle was built in 1888 by Burton Harvey Campbell at a cost of more that $92,000. It was duplicated from architectural drawings of a castle in the foothills of Scotland. In 1960, it was purchased by Maye Crumm, who began calling it “Crumm Castle.” In 1973, it was placed on the national register of historic places.

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