You’re sure to be charmed by this gorgeous grand dame of a mansion. The creepy Alabama beauty has been abandoned for years, but it doesn’t appear that this has much diminished its allure. The home, a charming throwback to the early 1900s, seems to have been trapped in time, with a bridal dress still hanging in the bedroom. Thanks to photographer Leland Kent of Abandoned Southeast, click or scroll on to learn more about its mysteries…
The abandoned rainer lewis house is built in the Deep South and has a majestically intimidating neo-classical revival façade that is meant to resemble a Roman temple. The massive portico of the house, which has four opulent, towering Corinthian columns, and the home’s steeply-pitched ornamental roof reflect this in its great grandeur. A beautiful balcony on the second story and the massive Doric columns rising up behind the home provide an extra touch of drama.
The impressive neo-classical design, which dates to the early 20th century, carries on into an incredibly spacious entrance hallway. Your eye is led through the lovely symmetry of the interior by a grand staircase that is framed by elegantly molded columns. Walls with a marble look and spotless white paint keep the space seeming tidy and traditional. The only indication that the property is abandoned are the mounds of dust on a red carpet runner.
From the hallway, you can see one of the living rooms in this image. A further homage to neo-classical style is provided by the double doors’ enormous size. The residence, which dates back to 1904, is situated in Bullock County, Alabama’s charming and historic town of Union Springs. The 27 freshwater springs that previously converged in the town’s center, which made the area fruitful and alluring to residents, are thought to be where the name came from.
Sit in the window seat and take in the view of the vast grounds, which are just waiting to be changed. The Muscogee Native Americans once resided in Union Springs before being dishonorably uprooted from their ancestral lands as part of the Federal Government’s Indian Removal Act of 1830. Sterling Jr.’s father, Sterling Price Rainer Sr., prospered as a prosperous businessman there after European colonizers poured in and made money off the region’s lush terrain, creating a thriving industrial center.
This little, cozy space was formerly probably used as a study or library. It might have served as a servant’s quarters or a kitchen at one time. On the far wall, the contemporary heater is startlingly unattractive, but the Tiffany-style ceiling light with its blue and green stained glass is stunning. This beautiful old home has endured heartbreaking years of neglect, as evidenced by the cracks in the walls and ceiling, as well as the peeling paint on the floor.
This close-up side view of the staircase demonstrates how sizeably significant this interior detail is. The wood-coffered walls have withstood the test of time well, with the exception of the area behind the stairs, where you can see the wood deteriorating, perhaps as a result of dampness. It’s amazing how the delicate stair spindles have escaped deterioration. In 1909, Sterling Jr. wed Jean Lacoste Evans, five years after the house was built, and by 1918, they were parents to three kids.
This bedroom’s vibrantly painted walls undoubtedly stand out. The neo-classical design of the structure is once more echoed by the fire surround. Take a look at the appealing metal fire cover. Strangely, there seems to be a door hidden behind the contemporary wardrobe on the left.
This blue room, which shares a layout with the previous bedroom, features a still life painting on the wall and what appears to be an extremely vintage radio or music player in the corner. The ceiling is damp and cracked, and there are paint splinters all over the floor. To make the house livable, it will undoubtedly require a significant remodeling.
This pink bedroom is in terrible shape, with the ceiling falling in and water damage visible on the floor. Both the stunning metal fireguard and the fire surround in neo-classical design are distinctive. There is a dangerously close electric cord on the wet floor, and one of the windows appears to be decorated with a strand of Christmas tinsel.
In this photograph taken from the front lawn, the abandoned house can be seen in all its beauty. It is flanked by other buildings on a residential street, some of which are historic homes, but this one is unquestionably the largest. Initially, Dr. Hikes-McDonald resided on the property along with her brother and their pet poodle. However, they relocated to be nearer to relatives a short time after. The home may have been vacant for more than six years.
It’s heartbreaking to view the external damage up close. Both the roof and the large structural support column affixed to the side of the home are falling apart. How long before the entire house crumbles? If you look closely, you can just make out the home number “202” without the zero.
As you can see, the elegant white and yellow paint job of this southern treasure is eroding. It would be a terrible tragedy to have this wonderful home collapse, especially with so much history embedded in its walls. This historic mansion, a beautiful remnant of Union Springs’ past, should be saved as soon as possible.
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