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Renovating the Richthofen Castle kitchen


Though previous owners had done an admirable job maintaining the castle, there were a few repairs that needed to be made by the time we took the property over. A leaking roof had led to water damage in many of the historic ceilings and walls, and the castle had not been updated with modern amenities in some time.


Our first order of business was to replace the roof and to restore the walls and ceilings that had been damaged over time. All of the walls that were reconstructed were repaired with historic plaster, not drywall, to make sure that the historic aesthetic of the house was never compromised. There were practical things that the castle needed, like a new commercial-sized boiler that we spent a few very cold months waiting to receive. We’ve also updated the house with air conditioning, to make sure it was comfortable for our family and friends.

Since then, we’ve made a big effort to restore all of the fireplaces and chimneys to working order, including one that we were surprised to find hiding behind our stove in our kitchen. We’ve completely renovated the kitchen, using the same stones from the same quarry that Baron von Richthofen used to make sure that the new kitchen walls have the same look and feel as our historic foundation does. And we’ve re-landscaped the grounds to be more historically accurate — and inviting for the people that we love.

Repairing the Richthofen Castle Ceilings
A hidden fireplace in the Richthofen Castle
Repairing the Fireplace at the Richthofen Castle

Through our reconstruction work, we’ve found some exciting discoveries. When we uncovered the fireplace in our kitchen, we found a can of tobacco that had been built into the plaster that dated to 1910, suggesting that the fireplace had been covered up in the castle’s very first renovation project. We also discovered a chimney that had originally run to the basement, suggesting that perhaps a scullery, or historic overflow kitchen, may have been located there.


While repairing some water-logged areas of the home, we removed 3 (three!) false ceilings from what was once a bathroom, and found the remnants of a staircase within the castle tower, suggesting that Baron von Richthofen might have used the space for observation (or hunting!) not just for decoration.


Though we never expect our work to be fully complete, our goal, in the end, is to bring out the best of the Richthofen Castle by restoring and celebrating the building, its legacy, and its grounds. We admire the history behind our beautiful home and we’re so glad to have an opportunity to help secure a brighter future for it.

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Much like the Richthofen Castle’s structural integrity, the landscape that surrounded the building had been neglected for years before we bought the property in 2012. Now our outdoor space is a lot more in line with the Baron von Richthofen's original intentions

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