About the Wonder House
The Wonder House is located in Bartow, Florida- an hour from both Tampa and Orlando- and only 20 minutes south of Lakeland!
The Wonder House was built by Conrad Schuck, a visionary inventor and builder originally from Pennsylvania. The house stands four stories tall, with an additional two stories underground. The Wonder House was made from Schuck’s own blend of concrete reinforced with steel, and inlaid with glass and tile mosaics. The house featured many time saving devices like delayed light switches, a laundry chute and inventions including air conditioning in the 1920s!
Did you know...
Conrad Schuck and his family never lived in the Wonder House.
The house was a popular tourist destination in the 30’s to 60’s.
Most of the material used for the house was acquired locally.
The house was built without blueprints; blueprints were drafted 11 years later in 1937.
Conrad Schuck acquired the property for the house in Bartow on April 29, 1926. Originally it would have been about 10 acres, but the property has now dwindled down to less than 2 acres. Schuck grew his own fruit, plants and even had goats! The former pond or moat (as we call it), was filled with water and fish, however it is no longer able to retain water and requires extensive restoration work. And yes, we do hope to restore water back into the moat one day!
Did you know…
Schuck invented and implemented special equipment in the construction of the Wonder House, such as a wall sized tilt table used to plaster walls.
The walls of the Wonder House are up to 18” thick at the base.
The Wonder House was not furnished in its hey day as a tourist attraction- it only had a few rocking chairs on the front open porch.
Schuck was a collector of curiosities and oddities- proudly displaying snakes in jars, taxidermy of Florida birds and a coffin in the parlor.
We found the Wonder House on January 17, 2015 and instantly fell in love with the house and its story. After many months of planning and waiting, we acquired the house online at auction in October. We hit the ground running on our restoration efforts, beginning with clearing the moat of debris and invasive plants. We have worked tirelessly to bring back the Wonder House to her former glory and hopefully will be able to preserve her for generations to come.