KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Built in 1871, there’s nothing else in the metro quite like the iconic Sauer Castle on Shawnee Road in Kansas City, Kansas.
“It was one of the first buildings in America with indoor plumbing,” Jason Simmons said. “And closets! Closets were unheard of at the time.”
The majestic mansion built by Anton Sauer, with its impressive central tower, has long fascinated many longtime residents.
“I grew up with the castle, l love driving by it,” Brandi Biswell said. “I have a love for it, and I want the same for my children.”
No one has lived in the residence since the 1980’s and much of the once stately home is now clearly in disrepair.
Simmons and Biswell have organized a Facebook page dedicated to the Sauer Castle with nearly 8,000 members.
On Monday night, dozens of those people with a special affection for the old residence showed up for a special program on the Sauer Castle at the downtown KCK library.
One of the biggest challenges in saving this public treasure, according to Biswell, is that the property is still privately owned.
Carl Lopp is a descendant of the original owners. Biswell argues that Lopp has allowed the mansion to fall into disrepair and repeatedly pays off taxes owed on the property just before it hits the public auction block.
“It’s very frustrating to get your hopes up,” Simmons said. “And then at the last minute, he goes in and pays for the taxes.”
Lopp did not return messages from FOX4.
Biswell is hoping a public awareness campaign can convince the city and county leaders to find a way to take ownership of the Sauer Castle.
“There’s enough people, I think the city has changed enough in the last 30 years that there’s enough people that will stand behind the castle,” Biswell said. “And we can stand behind the castle and do something.”