Kessler Mansion: Indianapolis estate sale this week at 'dolphin house'

2022-06-16 10:12:46 By : Ms. Ann Lee

Been looking for that dolphin statue to spruce up your property? Look no further than the Kessler Mansion.

“If you can grab it, it can be for sale,” said Jocelyn Dawson, a realtor from Highgarden Real Estate who was hired by the new owner — who purchased the property in the spring and whose identity is unknown  — to run an estate sale at the property.

IndyStar got the chance to preview the sale at what some design and architecture experts have termed the “ugliest house in America.” 

Read more on the Indianapolis home:That Dolphin mansion on Kessler, one of the weirdest homes in Indiana, is on the market

Walk along a wooden porch that has a hole big enough for a foot, past a dolphin statue surrounded by a little swamp to a main entrance. Then one arrives inside to more than six rooms filled with odds and ends for sale. 

Lawn chairs, swivel chairs and cushioned chairs.

Dining tables, coffee tables and a game table.

A stray, unpriced child's airplane; a $300 “Fruit Works” soda machine and $275 heavy lion statues made of wood and clay.

All items are priced and ready for new owners — with some labeled for as low as $1 and some as high as $1,000. One could even purchase a landscaping rock underneath one of the various dolphin statues if desired.

Step outside, underneath caution tape hanging from gutters, and one reaches another part of the house where a musty room with a damp floor and exposed ventilation in the ceiling is filled with objects such as a gas grill and untethered door. 

Wander by the swimming pool that has a thin green film on its surface and find wooden benches marked with “Union Station” and more statues. 

More Indianapolis news: From the archive: At his death, 'Mr. Big' left gaudy north-side Indianapolis home in shambles

“Some of the items are original and some have been used during staging for Airbnb,” Dawson said.

Dawson said the house will no longer be used as a short-term rental property and that the real estate investment group representing the owner is “working with the neighborhood on the planning” for next steps. More information will come in mid-July.

The 1953 house was originally owned by Jerry Hostetler, a “pimp-turned-construction mini-magnate,” according to a 2012 IndyStar article. Hostetler died in 2006.

Up until earlier this year, the property was owned by Chad Folkening — a tech entrepreneur born in the Hoosier state who had, unsuccessfully, attempted to sell the house at least three times in the past decade, each time for a lower price than the last. 

Folkening previously had an estate sale in 2015.

Kessler Mansion is located at 4923 Kessler Boulevard East Drive. The sale runs Thursday, June 16 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, June 17 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, June 18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Parking will be in a lot across the street from the house.

Contact IndyStar reporter Lizzie Kane at ekane@gannett.come. Follow her on Twitter: @lizzie_kane17.