The sprawling 14,000-square foot La Ronda Mansion could soon become a pile of rubble. Despite public outcry to save the 80-year-old castle-like house, the new owner could demolish it by Labor Day.
He wants to build a 10,000-square foot home for his family, which has outraged many hoping to save the Lower Merion treasure, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“It always saddens me to hear about developers wanting to raze amazing, historically important architecture in order to make room for yet another McMansion, said Erin Flynn, Elements of Style.
Supporters need at least $7 million dollars to save the house from being destroyed. Donations are still being collected by the township historical foundation, including a preservationist group to save the mansion. But there is little chance that will happen, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
This week workers began removing fixtures from the house including sinks. In June, commissioners issued a demolition permit to the owner that can be used as of Sept. 1.
Ironically, though the mansion was built in 1929 it is not listed in the historic classification that would have allowed township commissioners to save it.
Despite the inevitable, officials are still soliciting donations and hope to find a buyer.
"The object at this point is to prevent the demolition of La Ronda in early September," Township Commissioners Chairman Bruce D. Reed said.
On Friday, the Lower Merion Conservancy plans to name the historic building the most endangered property on their watch list.
The owner, who remains anonymous, said through his attorney, Joseph C. Kuhls, that he would still entertain offers for the property, according to the paper. There have been three individuals interested in buying the property but none has made a written offer.