Hooping A Half Price Mansion

Vast Edwardian mansion with basketball court in the roof in Illinois for sale at half price it listed for in 2016; it’s on for just £20 per square foot

A 7,072 square foot Dutch colonial mansion set on a plot of 1.38 acres in Watseka, Illinois that appears to be in surprisingly good condition has had its priced halved from £281,000 to £141,000.


Built in 1912, this Edwardian “turn of the century” four-storey house has 3 reception rooms, an “enormous” kitchen, 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, but what sets it apart is a huge former ballroom on the top floor that is currently used as a basketball court.


A half price mansion with a full size basketball court – 514 South 5th Street, Watseka, Illinois may be on sale for half price and offered as “sold as is,” but it does include some vast spaces including this former ballroom turned basketball court.

With garaging for 4 cars also, the property is located in a city that is 15 miles west of the Illinois-Indiana state line and that has a population of around 5,255 according to the 2010 census. “Notable people” from there, according to Wikipedia, number the Beauty and The Beast voice actor Rex Everheart (1920 – 2000) and John Allhands, the current mayor and a man credited with “pushing out drug activities and adding a marijuana dispenser and factory.”


Agents Berkshire Hathaway Home Services seek the equivalent of just £19.94 per square foot for 514 South 5th Street, Watseka – which seems dirt cheap when compared to an apartment at Chelsea Barracks in Belgravia, London The Steeple Times featured last week that is on for £4,909 per square foot.


The Numbers – 514 South 5th Street, Watseka, Illinois, IL 60970, United States of America


July 2020 – Price reduced to £141,000 ($175,000, €156,000 or درهم643,000) through agents Berkshire Hathaway, a 49.8% reduction on the sum in March 2016.


April 2020 – Relisted for £161,000 ($200,000, €178,000 or درهم735,000) through agents Coldwell Banker Residential.


December 2018 – Relisted for £213,000 ($265,000, €236,000 or درهم973,000) through agents McColly Rosenboom.


March 2016 – Listed for sale for £281,100 ($349,900, €312,000 or درهم1.3 million) through agents Rosenboom Realty.


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An aerial image showing the house on its 1.38-acre plot and its proximity to neighbours. It is described by agents Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Chicago as “feeling like a country estate, but right in town.” Notably, they point out, it is not on a flood plain.
The entrance hall is described as “impressive” whilst in addition there is a second service staircase elsewhere in the building.
This reception room is currently used as an office. Plainly, the owner is not exactly inspired when it comes to furnishing choices, but the built-in bookcases are original.
The drawing room is currently dominated by a rather unappealing leather ‘couch’ and a coffee table featuring two rather strange images.
The room also includes an original fireplace.
The large dining room is paneled and has a beamed ceiling.
The kitchen is lauded as “enormous” and has new fittings. It is adjoined by a butler’s pantry.
There are five bedrooms in total. The agent remarks that they are “nice” and points out that the master suite includes a private bathroom and a dressing room that could be used as a “lounge.”
Another bedroom, this time currently dominated by a rather large bed.
A space described as a “bonus room.”
There are various cellar rooms beneath the house.
The front elevation of 514 South 5th Street, Watseka, Illinois, IL 60970, United States of America gives indication of the Edwardian “grandeur” of the building. The agents suggest the house offers: “Tonnes of opportunities.”
An aerial shot of the rear showing the large garage and the in-and-out driveway.
The half price mansion is located in Watseka, Illinois. The small ‘city’ is situated south of Chicago and north of Indianapolis.
Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.


  1. I’d pay £20 per square foot not to live in that place. Looks like a murder has gone on there and they are trying to spruce it up!

  2. Wrecking ball urgently required!!!!!! Looks like a paedophile pad!!!!!!!! The couch could have been Jimmy Savile’s and those images of the child are scary!!!!!!!!!!! Sick!!!!!!! Wrong!!!!!! Burn it down!!!!!!!! Now!!!!’


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