The beginnings of a castle in the Badlands can be yours—with some assembly required.
“It is very unfinished. The foundation and the bottom floor—which is basically a concrete bunker—is in place,” says the listing agent, Faith Lewis.
“It has the whole basement in place, with all the piers and everything that it needed, and the main floor has the concrete walls and the concrete pillars in the middle. And that’s as far as it goes.”
The Picardi family began construction on the property in 1999, after a trip abroad sparked a grand dream.
“The [family] went back to Italy to trace their roots, and when they went over there, they just were taken aback by the state of the beautiful old castles or old buildings that were so well-built that they’re going to be here forever,” Lewis explained.
“[They] just thought they wanted to do something that was going to be around forever. So that was their goal: to build something that would be here for a thousand years. It’s called the Millennium because of that.”
But construction stalled out and stopped about a decade ago, due to a variety of problems. The Picardis did the construction themselves, and the equipment they used will be conveyed along with the structure.
A buyer will acquire a milling machine, hacksaw, John Deere front-end loader, forklift, road grater, air compressor, backhoe, and much more.
“It’s just kind of crazy and sad that it’s just sitting there not done. It really is,” Lewis said. “I think [the buyer] is going to be a church group or some kind of nonprofit organization that is going to do something with it. It is going to be somebody that has a big plan, that can use the land and figure out some resources to finish the building.”
A mobile home is also included with the sale, so a buyer can live on the property during construction. Only about 5 miles from Sturgis, the acreage includes a pond and glorious views of the Black Hills.
The property sits on the trail where Gen. George Armstrong Custer traveled on his Black Hills Expedition of 1874. A pin sits on the corner of the property, showing where Custer walked.
Finished portions of the home are extremely sturdy. The concrete pillars are at least 2 feet in diameter, with reinforced steel and rebar inside, and they are driven into the ground up to 12 feet below the surface. Some pillars are even bigger and extend even further into the earth. The walls are made of 10-inch reinforced concrete.
The concrete also comes complete with personality. “You can see on the columns that there’s a few pictures in there,” says Lewis.
“Some pictures of [the Picardi family] and a picture of a camel with people on it—those are from trips that they took over to different countries. And then they made the whole process to do the relief for the concrete.”
Plans to complete the castle will be included in the sale price, but a buyer has plenty of options. Neither Lewis nor the current owners have an estimate of how much it will cost to complete the castle according to the original plans.
“You don’t have to continue with his plan,” Lewis explained. “You’ve got the first floor there, but if you wanted to do something different from there on up, you could change it how you want it.”
She adds that the current owner “does have the plans, if somebody wants to continue on with what he had in mind.” The full set of original blueprints is available, she says.
All that’s needed now is a knight in shining armor with an offer in hand.
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