Wednesday, February 15, 2012

In Which Janette Wants to Save a Chateau

You might think this blog has nothing to do with literature, but trust me, you would be oh so wrong. Have you ever imagined walking through Pemberley or Tara, or any of those mansions that heroines frequently find themselves at? Have you ever played Clue and wondered if houses with conservatories and billiard rooms actually exist?

You want to visit Chateau de Vie. I'll show you a few pictures so you get the idea. A fairy tale theme runs through the mansion, which makes you feel like a princess.

This next picture is of the front stairs. It's got this beautiful mural that I'll show more pictures of at the end of this blog. (You know it's a piece of art when you need four pictures to show it.)

One of the lights

The place has indoor balconies. I totally want an indoor balcony now.

This is one of the dining rooms. My friends who bought the Chateau have been restoring the original paintings. Here you can see the one in this room is being worked on.

Before I post more pictures (Which don't show the really impressive details, by the way) I'll explain a bit about this historic Chandler landmark. (And why I want my blog followers to take one minute and email the Chandler city council.) When the Chateau was built decades ago, Chandler was a rural, sparsely populated place. Since then Chandler has grown up around the Chateau and now it finds itself directly off a major, busy road. Anyone who could afford this sort of mansion wouldn't choose to live so close to a major road. My friends bought the Chateau after it had been foreclosed. A lot of the landscaping had died and vandalism had happened. Because it's on ten acres and situated so close to a major road it's perfect for a wedding reception place. My friends have been working to turn it into one--which is great because then it would be open to the public and so many people could enjoy it.

A few neighbors don't want this to happen. They would rather see the Chateau torn down then to have it turned into a business. Which in my opinion would be destroying a work of art. They've been vocal to the city council, despite the fact that nobody lives close enough to be impacted by the zoning change. (I believe there is some sour grapes in all of this.)

Anyway, I'm urging folks to take a minute of their time and email the Chandler city council at Mayor&

Just put in put in your subject line Approve Chateau de Vie and then say that you're for saving the Chateau.

Many thanks from all the people who will be able to enjoy this beautiful building, and pretend they are strolling through some literary setting. Here's more pictures.

This is the billiard room

I totally wanted to find a candlestick and hit Colonel Mustard with it.

It seemed that every room had a fireplace and they had each been created by artisans from exotic countries, or possibly elves. I loved this one:

This library was two stories tall--absolutely huge. Look at those shelves. Seriously, when I walked in the room I wanted to cry out of pure envy. Finally a place I could fit all my books.

Another indoor balcony.

Okay, here are the murals on the front stairs.

Here is a secret passageway. How cool is that? Again, I want one.

And that isn't even all of the downstairs. Anyway, again, this place is a piece of art that should be enjoyed by many. The only way that will happen is if the city council approves of the zoning that will allow it to be used. If you're still reading and you haven't emailed the city council to tell them you support the Chateau, please do so: Mayor&


Tiana Smith said...

Emailed! That place is gorgeous. It definitely deserves a chance. Also, a secret entrance in the library?? *Jealous* I've ALWAYS wanted one of those.

i'm erin. said...

Wow! That place is amazing, and perfect setting for a novel...hint hint. Anyway, I'm off to email.

Janette Rallison said...

Thank you! Thank you! You guys are amazing!

Julianne Donaldson said...

Just emailed! What an amazing building. I totally want that library and a secret passageway.

Anna Maria Junus said...

Why would anyone want to tear this beautiful place down? There must be more to the story even though no excuse would justify it.

I've always wanted a secret passage and a two story library. And not that I think of it, indoor balconies are now on my list of desires.

How can the city demand that the owners tear it down? That doesn't make sense. Please post more on this.

Janette Rallison said...

It's not the city that wants it torn down, it's a few of the neighbors. It's zoned residential right now, but no one who could afford to pay millions for this type of home (at one point it was listed for sale for 11 million) would buy a home that is right off a busy, major road. (I'm trying to remember if Kyrene is a six lane road at this point or not--but the point is, it's off a major road.)

Homes don't work well in that sort of location, but businesses do. There are subdivisions behind the chateau and a few vocal residents have said that turning the chateau into a business will impact them because of noise and traffic--which is utter nonsense. The noise from traffic is already there, and putting a parking lot next to the major road--(there aren't homes anywhere around the area they want the parking lot) won't impact them one bit.

I have heard, but I have no proof, that one of these vocal neighbors wanted to buy and use the Chateau himself. Since he wasn't able to, he doesn't want anyone else to be able to use it either.

We're just trying to show the city council that there are people out there who want the Chateau used for weddings and other community events. (I've already talked to the owners about using the chateau for a charity Princess Festival like is held in Utah each year.)

If the Chateau isn't zoned for business, it's fate will not likely be a good one. (Personally, I can't imagine what the air conditioning bills for it must be.)

Cassandra Day said...

I'm with you all the way. I'm the history freak in 6th grade of my school, just about everyone thinks I should be a historian or archaeologist.

This is a fascinating peice of architecture and beautiful thing from the past.

I'm sending my email immediately (right after I post this comment ;-D). I can't believe people want to tear it down! So sad! A wonderful piece of art.

That 4-pic painting looks familar to me. I believe it's called THE SWING or something like that. BEAUTIFUL!!!!

I want that library, secret passageway, and indoor balcony too.

Cassandra Day said...

You want to read what I said to the Mayor and Council? It's very powerful and persuasive, or at least, I think so. Here it is:

I am Cassandra Day and I am all for saving Chateau. It is a historical landmark with much beautiful architecture, paintings, and glass-work. It, as a historical landmark, has the right to be preserved for future generations. By tearing it down, what do we do? We end up with a great historical loss and more land that will most likely turn into a unhealthy fast-food restaurant or polluted land.

I, personally, would love to tour it in its restored state. It deserves to be saved for the present and future use. It would benefit the entire community by being able to enjoy it. People are now continuing to get rid of past relics that are rare and important to have a modern convenience that are usually more temporary than the artifacts we have. Most of Arizona's employment is based on tourism, so why not create more jobs and money?

I am Cassandra Day and I will fight with the pen that is mightier than the sword, to save yesterday to keep it alive for us today and tomorrow.


Cassandra Day

What do you think?

Julie Wright said...

emailed the city of chandler. Holy cow, I have reimagined my dreams after seeing that place. AMAZING

nikkebirde said...

Wow! I had never heard of the Chateau de Vie but now I'm glad I have! It's absolutely beautiful and would be a tragedy if it was torn down! Thank you for taking your time to bring this to everyones attention! Already e-mailed!

Janette Rallison said...

Thanks, Cassandra! I'm impressed you recognized the artwork. You really are a history buff!

Julie, I'm so with you on this. If there are really many mansions in our father's house, I'm hoping mine resembles this one.

And thanks, Nikki! I think every email is important!

Clover Autrey said...

So pretty. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Janette Rallison said...

You're welcome. I'll let everybody know what the city council decides on the 23rd.

Beedubbs said...

I had no idea that that was in Chandler. That's only 45 minutes from where I live! It's totally amazing. I hope it's not too late to email!

Tressa said...

Thanks so much for sharing! I am a resident of Chandler and was not aware about this. Emailed them and hope they keep it open. There really is no reason to close it, especially to put ugly and non-historical businesses in! I would like to be able to walk through it. Also, really so crazy that you could just decide to change something like that when it has been there for ages and you don't own it. (Just my opinion.) :)