The lighter side of real estate

This Lake Erie Novelty Real Estate Just About Has It All

This 160-acre novelty real estate with three-quarter miles of private beach, marina, and a helipad is perfect for any eccentric millionaire.


Stephanie Huskey is the resident real estate blogger for Movoto.

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Waterwood Estate aerial view

All photos courtesy of

The homes of the rich and famous always make for some of the most interesting novelty real estate. First, Movoto covered the Horus-Eye Eco House gifted to Naomi Campbell for her birthday, and now we’re highlighting Waterwood Estate.

Located at 5605 W. Lake Road in Vermilion, Ohio, this amazing $19.5 million-dollar property was talked about at length in a recent Yahoo! Real Estate article by Laura Vecsey of Zillow. It was built by world-renowned architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen for the reclusive inventor Don Brown, the creator of the drop ceiling, and his wife Shirley, who both lived in the home until their tragic deaths in a plane crash back in 2010.

Jacobson started building the home, but was then fired by Brown a year and a half into construction. Brown then brought in the late architect Hideo Sasaki to finish the project, despite the fact that Jacobson’s plans for the home stayed the same and Brown refused to let Sasaki alter them. To this day, Jacobson remains confused about why he was sacked.

So what makes Waterwood Estate so special? The reasons why make for a pretty extensive list:

  • The house is comprised of, as the article put it, “20 castle-like concrete buildings connected by glass corridors and each structure is topped with a slate pyramid”.
  • It’s not 38,000 square feet in size, but actually around 60,000 — the underground floor’s size matches the top floor’s.
  • The home features 160 acres of land.
  • The one-mile of Lake Erie lakefront features a private beach and marina.
  • The sand and dirt removed in order to make the beach and marina were used to construct hills to obscure the house from the road.
  • The white bricks the house is made of are entirely unique — the molds were destroyed after the house’s completion so they couldn’t be used again.
  • It includes an FAA-approved helicopter pad with a folding glass hanger door.
  • The marble floor of the garage rotates, making it so you never have to back your car out ever again.
  • Cages on the property released trained Dobermans to patrol the grounds every 2 hours.
  • The lower level features built-to-scale replicas of named streets from Georgetown, Paris, and Savannah, as well as a complete entertainment recreation complex with Grecian style lap pool, sauna, whirlpool, workout space, media area, and another larger indoor pool.
  • First-class details include travertine floors, marble mantles, and automated lights and doors.
  • Among the many rooms are 5 bars (including one featuring a full-mounted polar bear), a restaurant, a barber shop with pole where Brown got his shave every day, a 10-by-10-foot room that houses a fully decorated Christmas tree, and even one room where the floor can rise upwards to a pergola outside or downwards to the grand piano room.

There are way too many pictures to include them all in this article, so feel free to view many more photos of Waterwood Estate on Zillow’s blog article and on our own real estate listing for this property!


Stephanie Huskey is the resident real estate blogger for Movoto and thinks this may be one of the coolest pieces of real estate ever. Interested in getting her advice on your blog? She’s currently seeking guest blogging opportunities so she can share her knowledge with new communities! You can find her over here at

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posted on: October 24, 2011
934 views, 2 comments


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  2. Hollie

    The grounds surrounding this Lake Erie estate along with the beautiful baby grand piano are the best parts! Since I grew up in Northern Ohio, this is sure an interesting view for me. However, this is for sure not a place to buy for many home seekers who are on a budget, lol!


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