Renovations on the Roebuck Castle are starting mid-July [PHOTOS]

Roebuck Castle
Renovations will start on the Roebuck Castle soon. (Abandoned Southeast)

If you live in South Roebuck, you’ve probably seen the Roebuck Castle, tucked away at the intersection of Lance Way and Lance Boulevard. If you’re like me, you wondered about the turrets, the backyard pool, the caved-in roof, and thought both “what’s the story” and “shame nobody lives in such a unique house.” That’s about to change. Keep reading for all the details.

Meet Paul Mielke of Monroe Park Homes + the Roebuck Castle

Paul Mielke
Paul Mielke of Monroe Park Properties. (Paul Mielke)

Last time we wrote about Paul Mielke, it was right before the launch of A&E’s Flipping Down South. Now he’s gone solo with Monroe Park Properties, and his next big project is the Roebuck Castle, located at 416 Lance Way.

When he first heard about the Roebuck Castle over a year ago, he was excited at the idea of the project, but had no idea how much would actually go into being part of a TV show.

Getting the Roebuck Castle

Roebuck castle roof falling in
The roof of this once-impressive home was falling in. (Abandoned Southeast)

Here’s what happened when Mielke first went in to check it out:

“I walked in, floors were falling in and it was literally raining inside. But I just immediately fell in love with it and knew I had to have it.”

Mielke said they put the money together and bought it, but ran into problems with permitting and work crews not showing up, so the project kept getting put on the back burner.

“About two months ago, we decided it was time to prioritize this project again in a big way—the plan is to start in the middle of July.

This is going to be a huge project—the entire left wing of the house has caved in, including the roof and floors. It’s going to take a special crew to get in there and take the house apart, then put it back together piece by piece so the house is stable and safe.”

Paul Mielke, Monroe Park Properties

Big plans for the house

pool at the Roebuck castle
They’re planning to fill in the pool because, well, there are trees growing out of it… (Abandoned Southeast)

“It needs everything. On the outside, we’re going to keep the look—we’re going to wash it and have some iron work done to bring back the original pieces, like the plating on the side of the house. We’re going to try to get some reproductions made for the pieces that are missing. There’s also a lot of brickwork to do.

Then we’re probably going to fill in the pool to get a nice little back yard. From a budget perspective, it’s going to be much more cost-effective when we’re spending that much money rebuilding the house to just not worry about the pool at all and to spend that money inside.”

Paul Mielke, Monroe Park Properties

History of the Roebuck Castle

Scenes from inside and outside the Roebuck Castle. (Abandoned Southeast)

Mielke didn’t know much about the history of the house, but we saw in a South Roebuck Facebook group that the Khalaf family, who owned Salem’s Pharmacy near East End Memorial Hospital (now Ascension St. Vincent’s East), may have built the house.

Since they lived there, it looks like the house has had several owners, but nobody’s been living in it for at least a decade, maybe 12-15 years, Mielke estimates.

“It’s the worst condition house I’ve ever bought—and we’ve bought $9,000 and $5,000 properties from the City before. This one is by far the most challenging.”

Paul Mielke, Monroe Park Properties

Mielke bought the property from a wholesaler who had bought it from someone else who had bought it—he thinks they may have been on the West Coast but doesn’t know all the details.

“I do know that I was not the first person to look at it—I was just the first person that was up for the challenge.

Luckily, value has grown tremendously out there in Roebuck Springs over the last year, which has really, really helped us feel good about getting the project kicked off. It’s just a cool house—it’s got a library and an in-law suite downstairs. You walk into a foyer that has a fountain. It’s a spectacular home.”

Paul Mielke, Monroe Park Properties

What happens now?

Roebuck castle house
Can’t wait to see the “after” pictures on this one. (Abandoned Southeast)

Mielke expects the project will take about three to three-and-a-half months to complete, from start to finish. His goal is to have the home completed, staged and on the market by Thanksgiving.

“I’m pumped to get the project started and to have some light shed on it. It’s just another piece of blight, and it’s getting turned around and is being given back to the neighborhood.”

To see more pictures from Abandoned Southeast, visit their website or Facebook page. Follow Monroe Park Properties on Instagram.

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Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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