It's probably fair to say there's not another home like the Spirit of Avalon anywhere else in the world. Located in Lake Quivira, KS, the state's most expensive listing is a 15-acre estate with a luxe mansion inspired by the legends of King Arthur. It's available for $11.8 million.
But there's more than meets the eye. Underneath the manse is a network of scuba-diving tunnels carved more than 30 feet deep into the mountain, punctuated by a number of elegant grottoes and pop-up holes. Really.
Surely this home is one of the most intriguing in the area, and possibly in the entire state of Kansas.
The main residence and guesthouse were originally built in 1993 by Dennis Langley, who worked in the natural gas business and was a scuba enthusiast. Over a three-year period, he added a series of water-filled tunnels that extended below the house, into the mountain, and around the property, accessed by a series of pop-up holes and grottoes so that divers could enter and exit at various points.
The main grotto is a sight to behold, with a 20-foot waterfall, a hot tub, steam room and wet bar, treasure chests, faux fossils, and exotic fish. For scuba fans, it's better than an amusement park!
The grottoes and tunnels were completed in 2000. Langley also added another spectacular feature, a two-story library with ornate stained-glass windows, in 2002.
These are not the only unusual treasures to be found at the Spirit of Avalon. It includes an array of antiques, including imported hand-carved dragon doors, a pulpit from Salem, MA, a Spanish hutch from the 1490s, and ornate mosaics.
All in all, the property has 17,755 square feet of lavish living space, with seven bedrooms (some with ornately painted murals on the walls and ceilings), seven full baths, and seven half baths, plus a guesthouse. Several industrial-quality kitchens serve the various wings of the mansion.
Other architectural statements include a two-story office, conference rooms, a recreation and media room with a billiard-table, a large home theater, a wine cellar, multiple wet bars and a heated garage.
Outside, there are acres and acres of golf-cart paths winding through gardens, trees, water features, and statues. Wildlife abounds on the property, and often comes into view.
Located near Lake Quivira in the Shawnee, KS, area, the estate is only about 10 miles from Kansas City, MO, just over the state line. Langley died about two years ago, and his widow, Lyn Shaw, is understandably ready to downsize. The home is listed with Gary Hosack of Crown Realty and his daughter, Katie Casey.