Couple's Savanna castle to reopen for public tours

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SAVANNA, Ill. (AP) The Illinois home of a couple who turned it into a castle adorned with art will reopen for public tours next month.

Alan and Adrianne St. George's Havencrest Castle in Savanna will be ready once again for public eyes during weekends in October.

The 63-room castle has many rooms decorated in traditional Victorian designs. Other rooms feature Chinese, Persian, Egyptian and Indian themes along with a medieval hall and a conservatory with Chicago-style architecture, Sauk Valley Media reported.

Although Adrianne St. George died in 2006, her husband said he's working to show that love is eternal as he continues to work on the castle and share it with the public.

"I feel it is my job to finish what we started here," he said.

Over 40 years ago, the St. Georges began living like the castle's original owners, Simon and Frances Jane Greenleaf. Alan St. George's sculpture and paintings are on the castle's walls and ceilings.

"Our mission statement was not only to recreate the house, but the lifestyle of the American aristocracy," he said.

The front hall features a 135-pound (61.24-kilogram) sculpture of a cherub with a light fixture, replicating a design from the Titanic which reflects his interest in the doomed ocean liner. A trophy presented to Harry Houdini in 1908 is also on display.

For a time, he opened 23 rooms for public tours, and since decided to allow self-guided visits in October. About 3,000 people came for tours in October 2018, including 439 on one day. Visitors came from Canada and several U.S. states including Wisconsin, Utah and Nebraska.

"A public life for Havencrest is part of the plan, and based on the success we've seen so far, I have great confidence that will only increase in the years ahead," he said.

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Information from: Sauk Valley Media, http://www.saukvalley.com

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