Take a look at the house the SC businessman got for $2.59 million


The Castle on Lake Keowee comprises 1.75 acres – three combined lakefront lots.

The castle on Lake Keowee has been a mansion in the making for over 50 years and now a new owner intends to make it his primary residence.

Several families have owned the property which began as a simple brick ranch style home on the new developing reservoir built by Duke Power Co. Now the the house covers 11,500 square feet with a turret and vast boulders, Lake Keowee on three sides.

The interior remains unfinished. It will be the work of Kevin Whitaker, which owns Cadillac and Chevrolet dealerships in Greenville. Earlier this month, Whitaker paid $2,590,000 cash for the house and 1.45 acres.

“There’s nothing quite like it on the lake,” said Marsha Burrell, realtor at Allen Tate, which listed and sold the home.

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Extensive rock work is featured at the castle on Lake Keowee. Allen Tate

Burrell declined to name the buyer, saying only that he was an upstate businessman.

The South Carolina Secretary of State lists Whitaker as the agent of the LLC that purchased the property and its car dealership as the address. He could not be reached for comment.

The seller was Carl Martin Welcker, the managing partner of Alfred H. Schütte KG, a German company established in 1880 by his great-grandfather as an import business. By the mid-1910s, the Cologne-based company was manufacturing machine tools. It is now an international company.

He paid $560,000 in 2011 for the castle under construction which had been seized. At the time, her in-laws lived on Lake Keowee, but moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, a few years later.

To date, he’s spent $1.6 million on exterior and framing and other interior work, Burrell said.

She approached Welcker to sell the house. He flew in from his home in Cologne, Germany, and agreed.

Burrell sold it within a month.

Three lakefront lots make up the property that, if sold today, would cost at least $1 million each. A previous owner paid $4,500 each in the 1960s, Burrell said. That would be about $40,000 in today’s money, representing the increase in value of the Lake Keowee property.

Burrell said most lakefront homes now sell for $1 million, and some are as high as $6 million.

At Lake Keowee Castle, a gated entrance comes off a cul-de-sac in the Normandy Coast development on Heritage Road in Seneca.

The house is made of stone with a green roof made from recycled tires.

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The interior of the castle on Lake Keowee remains unfinished. Allen Tate

As expected now, there would be seven bedrooms, including a master suite with a large fireplace and a two-story library in the turret. The kitchen and living areas complete this floor.

A curved staircase leads to the ground floor, designed to accommodate five bedrooms and three bathrooms. An old-style wine cellar is built into the floor.

Extensive rock work and stone arches lead to the waterfront and gazebo, which will include a kitchen, entertainment area and underground storage. The columns are pre-wired which will add to the light show of the house from the lake at night.

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The castle on Lake Keowee sold for $2.59 million. Allen Tate

A rock dyke was constructed prior to Lake Keowee’s completion. The attached garage holds four cars.

Burrell said builders she spoke with estimated the house would take two years to complete. There’s no way to tell what it will cost because price and quality vary so much in building materials.

This story was originally published November 9, 2022 8:00 a.m.

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