Amazing Abandoned Homes Rescued From Ruin

It’s heartbreaking for aficionados of historic architecture to witness a magnificent old structure go away and another piece of history evaporate into dust. So we wanted to share some wonderful news with you. Here you can find a collection of palaces, castles, and ancient homes that appeared to be headed to destruction. Each, however, had a welcome respite and was restored to its former grandeur for future generations to enjoy. Want to experience these remarkable transformations for yourself? Let’s go ahead and have a look…

Clifden Terrace: before


William Parks, an entrepreneur and merchant, immigrated to New Brunswick, Canada, in 1822. Parks, a prominent character in Saint John’s Irish-Presbyterian society, erected a two-story Gothic Revival home in the city in 1856. Clifton Terrace was given to the home since it was made of locally mined stone. While Mother Nature has begun to reclaim the outside in recent years, the magnificent proportions and intimidating façade of the mansion are still visible in this shot.

Clifden Terrace: gathering dust


The interior plan is typical of most cottages erected at the period, with two parlors on the main floor, as well as a big library and dining room. While Clifton Terrace did not have gas lighting at the time, it did have indoor plumbing, which was considered a luxury at the time, and the copper tub and marble wash basin are said to still be there. Following Parks’ death in 1870, the property remained in the Parks family until 1955, when it was auctioned off. Time took its toll on the property over the next decades, until it was painstakingly restored and opened to guests in 2021.

Clifden Terrace: after

Royal LePage Atlantic

The old mansion of William Parks, now known as Clifton Manor, has undergone major restorations to meticulously restore the ancient edifice to its former splendor. An earlier listing for the property characterizes the Irish manor-style home as “meticulously refurbished for today’s lifestyle” while retaining the “original elegance of exquisite craftsmanship.” It now has seven wonderfully fitted bedrooms. It is now operated as a boutique bed & breakfast, providing tourists with a comfortable location in Saint John.

Clifden Terrace: beautifully restored

Royal LePage Atlantic

The beautiful marble hall with trompe l’oeil details and gold leaf decorated cornicing and mouldings from the 1850s remains in the imposing sandstone mansion. According to property records, the contents of the 1955 sale included “one of the biggest collections of antique wood, silver, china, and glass,” Napoleon beds, Georgian armchairs, and one of Canada’s rarest stamps. Despite many modifications over the ages, Clifden Terrace’s historic charm and beauty have been scrupulously kept over its breathtaking 7,500 square feet of living space.

Clifden Terrace: welcoming visitors

Courtesy Clifden Manor

Towering ceilings, an array of sparkling chandeliers, nine fireplaces, a huge kitchen, and specialized workplaces can be found throughout the magnificent refurbished property. Furthermore, one of the most noteworthy elements that guests may enjoy today is the central belvedere viewing gallery, which was a hallmark of the previous Regency design. Clifden Manor is also available for rent on Airbnb if you wish to experience this wonderfully reastored piece of Canadian history.

Selma Mansion: before

Jack Parrott / Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

Even though they are being consumed by nature, the remains of this magnificent home remain impressive. After the destruction of an older house, banker Elijah B. White commissioned Noland & Baskervill to create this beautiful Colonial Revival residence in Leesburg, Virginia. It was a trendsetter and one of the first of its kind in the area. It was built in 1902 and has a majestic tetrastyle Roman Doric portico as well as a royal triangular pediment.

Selma Mansion: faded high-society home

Jack Parrott / Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

While decrepit, the exquisite wood-paneled entry hall, designed by expert wood carvers the Norris Brothers of Leesburg, shows the bones of a magnificent interior. At its heyday in the 1920s, the mansion was featured on the social pages of glossy periodicals, with the White family hosting political leaders within its walls. The property was owned by the White family until 1970, when it was sold to the Epperson family, who looked after Selma for nearly 30 years. But, it was eventually sold to a foreign investor, and the property began to deteriorate.

Selma Mansion: after

@Selma Mansion Rebirth / Facebook

By 2007, the house had been abandoned for 16 years and was frequently vandalized and haunted by ghost hunters. Preservation Virginia listed it as one of the state’s Most Endangered Historic Sites. Selma Mansion, on the other hand, had a happy ending owing to business leader and history lover Sharon Virts and her husband, who renovated the mansion. The peeling white stucco over the brickwork, as well as the great staircase leading up to the portico, have been rebuilt. The end chimneys framing the hipped roof exhibit magnificent symmetry.

Selma Mansion: ornate architecture restored

@Selma Mansion Rebirth / Facebook

Have a look at the makeover on the interior as well! Following an extraordinary refurbishment, the mansion is once again a majestic dwelling. The arching archways in this corridor are highlighted by a neutral paint palette. With nine bedrooms, seven bathrooms, racehorse stables, and even an intercom system, it’s surely large enough for the most opulent of visitors.

Selma Mansion: a sensitive renovation

@Selma Mansion Rebirth / Facebook

The mansion’s ancient pool was discovered near the front of the property, but it was in too bad of shape to save, so it was transferred to the back of the house. The Virts family paid $1.2 million (£1 million) for Selma and restored it using historic architectural designs to maintain true to the original design. The renovation took two years and cost $5 million (£4.3 million). What an incredible accomplishment!

Rockwell House: before

Abandoned Southeast

After 70 years of neglect, the Rockwell House in Milledgeville, Georgia, was hidden away by dense foliage and slowly disintegrating. This lovely mansion, erected in 1838 by architect Joseph Lane and shot here by Leland Kent of Abandoned Southeast, met a tragic end. It was once the pinnacle of magnificence, built in the neo-classical Federal style with Greek Revival features for Colonel Samuel Rockwell.

Rockwell House: after

Abandoned Southeast

Three investors took on the project of repairing the estate in order to turn around the fortunes of this southern belle. Such an outcome! The bright yellow exterior is authentic, as confirmed by paint analysis and historical records. The towering Ionic columns and steep steps have been meticulously repaired.

Rockwell House: considerate conservation project

Abandoned Southeast

Here is the severely damaged master bedroom, completely transformed! Mr Woodrow, a local mason, assisted in restoring the destroyed chamber, preserving the exquisite cornicing above the sash windows. Kyle Campbell, a property conservation expert from Preservation South, also assisted the crew. This beautiful old mansion is now available for rent on Airbnb, allowing you to experience a piece of Deep South history for yourself. Visit the mansion’s website.

Page Mansion: before


This North Carolina estate has been vacant for over 40 years. The Page Mansion is a sprawling 6,000-square-foot Colonial-style brick mansion built in 1913 for lumber magnate Frank Page. It features a grand staircase, parlors and dining rooms, six bedrooms, and servants’ quarters. But, the original owners were devastated by the Great Depression, and the house began to deteriorate.

Page Mansion: a crumbling relic of yesteryear

Abby and Trey Brothers

The dining room walls were disintegrating as if hit by a bomb, yet the table was strangely intact and still set with excellent china. Abby and Trey Brothers, a married pair, came to the rescue of Page Mansion. When house-hunting in April 2018, Abby stumbled onto the listing on Zillow. They paid $155,000 (£134k) for it in July 2018.

Page Mansion: after

Abby and Trey Brothers

Abby and Trey chose a modern plan by knocking down barriers to link the dining area and kitchen. Despite the transition to an open-plan downstairs, the dining room preserves its classic appearance and historic fixtures, such as the fireplace. Light streams through through large sash windows.

Page Mansion: old meets new

@turningthepagemansion / Instagram

A heavy coating of filth had engulfed the study. A total overhaul was required. Using dramatic yellow ochre paint over a historic fireplace, the focal wall now looks beautiful. The shelves and cupboards are visually appealing while also concealing new plumbing and air conditioning systems. The sunken ceiling creates room while concealing the pipes.

McDonald House: before

Abandoned Southeast

This mid-century mansion in Birmingham, Alabama was the pinnacle of 1960s contemporary architecture at the time, with large horizontal planes employed to create a roomy interior. The house, which is also referred to as organic architecture, embraces its gorgeous position with large windows and natural materials. The home’s architect, John Randal McDonald, wanted to provide cheap, casual living areas for families, as photographed by Leland Kent of Abandoned Southeast.

McDonald House: a diamond in the rough

Abandoned Southeast

Once the owner died, the once-loved family house fell into ruin. Even in its current form, the architect’s concept of open-plan living filled with light and space can be seen. McDonald’s structures were less expensive replicas of the work of visionary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. McDonald’s designs included protruding rooflines, repeated rectangles, ribbon windows, and horizontal lines, but lacked Wright’s pricey masonry, glasswork, and woodwork.

McDonald House: after

Abandoned Southeast

Fortunately, the two-bedroom house was saved from destruction by local investors who saw its potential. Although being built in 1960, the house nevertheless appears modern today, with repaired window glass and a groomed yard with bushes. The whole property was upgraded to meet 2019 energy requirements, including new electrics, plumbing, and a septic tank.

Arkansas Victorian house: before

Restoration Nation

Kevin and Laine Berry, passionate historic house restorers, were drawn to a Victorian gem that had been left to degrade for decades. When Laine saw the property for sale in 2011 for $106,000 (£92k), she realized a childhood ambition she had harbored in her hometown of Conway, Arkansas. Nevertheless, after nearly 70 years of neglect, the home was condemned due to termite infestation and dry rot in the foundations.

Arkansas Victorian house: after

David Hatfield

While not nearly as drastic as relocating the house down the street, the couple’s initial repair was to elevate the entire building so that damaged foundations could be repaired. As you can see, the work was well worth it! Nonetheless, the first 16 months of the massive endeavor cost an estimated $120,500 (£104k). The stunning cornflower blue exterior paint helps the property stand out.

Arkansas Victorian house: unearthing historic treasures

David Hatfield

The ancient home has many hidden secrets. The pair uncovered 12-foot ceilings concealed behind paneling, as well as original eight-foot pocket doors in the garage and a magnificent kitchen sink amid a rubbish heap. The dining room is enormous and grandiose, with restored original floor-to-ceiling windows. Embroidered waistcoats and a cabinet full of Laine’s grandmother’s crockery are exhibited on the walls to provide a genuine old vibe to the room.

Château de la Motte Husson: before

Pymouss / Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 4.0]

For adventurous renovators Dick and Angel Strawbridge, a decaying castle with a fascinating history was the ideal property project. The couple’s restoration quest was covered on the hit TV show Escape to the Château. Dick and Angel purchased the 19th-century castle in the French village of Martigné-sur-Mayenne for a fairly modest $404,000 (£350k). Nevertheless, while the front of this Neo-Renaissance edifice seemed to be in good condition, the interior was a different story…

Oscar Mayer mansion: before

@atproperties / Instagram

In Evanston, Illinois’s historic Lakeshore District, a Romanesque Revival-style brick home peeks through the vegetation. Oscar G. Mayer, the son of meat-packing tycoon Oscar F. Mayer, purchased it in 1927. It was designed in 1901 by Swedish architect Lawrence Gustav Hallberg and has a remarkable circular tower, sturdy walls, and a colonnaded porch. It was advertised for $1.1 million (£954k) in 2015. Yet it had been abandoned and deteriorating for many years by then, and local tales said it was haunted…

Oscar Mayer mansion: after

Baird and Warner

With the foliage removed, the portico is beautifully restored, and the building’s unique curving shape is completely visible. The refurbishment allegedly cost more than $1 million (£867k) and included replacing the stained-glass windows, patching up the roof and plumbing, and rehabilitating the home foundations. Oscar G. Mayer, the previous owner, died in 1965, leaving a $66 million (£57 million) bequest, the most of which went to a charity trust.

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