Posts by Ilyce R. Glink

  • Abandoned, rotting sea forts improbably transformed into luxury getaways

    Ilyce R. Glink at Spaces 17 hrs ago

    Three weird sea forts left to rot off the south coast of England are seeing new life.

    Directly across the English Channel from France, about a mile from Portsmouth, they were built about 150 years ago at the order of the prime minister at the time, Lord Henry Palmerston. He feared a French invasion after Napoleon III -- nephew of the much more famous Napoleon Bonaparte -- went from  popularly elected French president to emperor of France through a coup.

    Where once there were soldiers, now there are weddings, day spas and highbrow vacations. A company called AmaZing Venues has been snapping up these little defensive rotundas and transforming them into luxury accommodations, similar to those you might find on a cruise ship.

    (Click here or on a photo for a slideshow.)

    Hundreds of soldiers were stationed at the sea forts. But the French never came after Portsmouth -- Napoleon III's reign ended in 1870, long before the Brits were even finished building -- and the pricey forts went down in history as "Palmerston's Follies."

    More abandonment issues on Yahoo Homes:

  • $59K will buy you a Stephen King-worthy poorhouse-turned-Bible-college-turned-'House of Nightmares'

    Ilyce R. Glink at Spaces 4 days ago

    The Knox County poorhouse in the tiny hamlet of Bangs, Ohio, has served as an infirmary, a Bible college, and an authentically decrepit Halloween haunted house, and now awaits a new purpose--or the wrecking ball.

    The immense Gothic structure lords over every other building populating the rural town. It consists of four floors, nearly 100 rooms, a 65-foot tower and a back courtyard, and it's on the market for $59,000. (Click here or on a photo for a slideshow.)

    That may seem cheap for the 40,000-square-foot space, but the building is condemned, and clearly not your average fixer-upper. A listing that starts out sunnily enough, promising that the property has "tons of potential," concludes by taking advantage of caps lock: "DO NOT ENTER. ANYONE ENTERING BUILDING WILL BE CONSIDERED TRESPASSERS AND WILL BE PROSECUTED."

    In fact, when the building's current owner, Toby Spade, first saw the building go up for auction in April 2014, nobody bid on it at all, he says.

    More abandonment issues on Yahoo Homes:

  • The 15 best states for women

    Ilyce R. Glink at Spaces 8 days ago

    Looking for a place where men and women are economically and socially equal?

    Good luck.

    Perhaps the best place to start is Minnesota, where women are active in government, vote in large numbers, and have quality health care and long life expectancies, according to data gathered by WalletHub. The site looked at women's economic and social well-being as well as women's health issues in order to rank the states, as the issues are generally intertwined. (Related: Click here to see the 15 worst states for women.)

    Most of the best states for women are in the Northeast, with a few falling a little further south toward D.C. (counted in this list as a 51st state) and a few more in the northern edges of the Midwest.

    Here are the 15 states that are the best bets for women.

    15. New York

    14. North Dakota

    13. Iowa

    Nearly 92 percent of girls in Iowa graduate from high school, far more than the national average of 84 percent. Iowa also rated eighth for women's health issues, due in part to its standing as the seventh best state for having a baby.

    12. Washington, D.C.

    11. Virginia

  • Beautiful home or eyesore? Controversial home made of glass cubes for sale in Vail

    Ilyce R. Glink at Spaces 8 days ago

    Beautiful home or total eyesore?

    Vail is stuffed with sprawling European-style chateaus that could just as easily be found overlooking a winding river in the Black Forest as they could in Colorado. But Michael Tennenbaum, a California-based financier, didn't want one of those for his vacation home.

    Instead, he opted for a modern, cubed glass home that looks more like it belongs in Q*bert than in Vail. (This was less of a dated reference when the home was designed almost 30 years ago.) Click here or on a photo for a slideshow.

    Neighbors were rankled, according to the Wall Street Journal, but Tennenbaum's home, with its aqua steel beams, floor-to-ceiling glass windows and expansive floor space, was approved.

    Now the controversial 5,132-square-foot home is on the market for the first time, asking $13.9 million.

    Although many more modern abodes now join it in Vail, this is one of a kind -- and likely to remain that way.

    Also on Yahoo Homes:

  • Homes that disappear: no smoke, all mirrors

    Ilyce R. Glink at Spaces 15 days ago

    Mirrored homes are all the rage these days.

    One, at Joshua Tree National Park in California, looks like a desert mirage thanks to its alternating panels of mirrored glass and wood; one looks like a fancy treehouse camouflaged in the woods (and another actually is a treehouse); and one, clad with a reflective top floor and opaque second floor, appears to literally float off the ground. (Click here or on a photo for a slideshow.)

    "The world is currently awash in mirrored buildings that claim to 'disappear,'" Curbed writes.

    While all that smoke and mirrors may make them seem a little gimmicky, the mirrored house actually makes a lot of sense in the right environment.

    Typically, these homes are clad with reflective glass, which allows residents wide views from inside without allowing passersby the same views of those residents. The mirrored homes work best when there's something to look at, and something worth reflecting—mountains, lakes and forests—where residents may want to go about their business without having to pull the shades for privacy.

    Finally, they just plain look cool.

  • Onetime socialist hotbed asks $6.5M after radical renovation into luxury home

    Ilyce R. Glink at Spaces 15 days ago

    San Francisco's Albion Hall has a long history of use for radical causes: First it was the Socialist Party's local headquarters, then the meeting place for militant union workers, and in the 1970s was purchased by an Olympian who founded the Gay Games.

    After a radical renovation, it has become one of the most expensive properties in a blindingly hot market.

    Now a 4,500-square-foot home on the market for $6.5 million, its three-story living space showcases the building's original ceiling. Arched, dotted with skylights and supported by crisscrossed iron beams, the space immediately recalls the building's original purpose as a meeting hall.

    Click here or on a photo for a slideshow.

    Early users of the hall would undoubtedly stand aghast at the price -- one of the highest ever in the ridiculously hot Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, a city where workers are increasingly priced out  -- and probably by the transformation of the hall as well.

    In 2009, the property was transformed to the luxury home it is today.

    Also on Yahoo Homes:

  • The 15 worst states for women

    Ilyce R. Glink at Spaces 15 days ago

    Maternity leave, birth control access, unequal pay and treatment in the workplace, sexual assault, catcalling on the streets, threats of violence for -gasp- talking about feminism in video games online: Women are grappling with a number of headline-grabbing issues these days.

    But in Arkansas, where 1 woman in 5 lives below the poverty line, where few women own businesses and where barely half of women vote, the problems are worse than anywhere else in the U.S., according to WalletHub. (Related: Click here to see the 15 best states for women.)

    15. Montana

    11. Texas

  • A handmade Enchanted Forest comes complete with live-in Candy Cane House

    Ilyce R. Glink at Spaces 15 days ago

    It's every kid's dream: spending time with magical characters in an enchanted forest guarded by a dragon.

    It will also be the reality for kids-at-heart Blair and MJ Johnson, who just bought an amusement park that brings to life the world of nursery rhymes and fairy tales -- and even includes its own live-in Candy Cane House.

    (Click here or on a photo for a slideshow.)

    Tucked away in the cedar forests and mountainous terrain of British Columbia, the 55-year-old Enchanted Forest had been on the market, along with its sister site, SkyTrek Adventure Park, for a cool $2.7 million.

    "The owners have been running the park for more than 40 years," listing agent Steve Daschuk told Yahoo Homes. "They are ready to retire and pass the park on to someone else."

    That someone was Blair Johnson, who actually has a long history with the park. His family has a lake home in nearby Sicamous and he's spent summers visiting the park since he was 4 years old. Now, with his wife MJ and three sons, he spends time there every summer again as a dad.

    Fair enough.

  • Incredibly, these castle ruins are livable -- even luxurious

    Ilyce R. Glink at Spaces 21 days ago

    One look at Astley Castle and it looks almost like any other ruined ancient, English castle.

    Almost.

    It is part fort-castle, but it's also part modern luxury rental. Two contrasting brick exterior walls are distinctive for a reason: One wall is from hundreds of years ago, while the other, lighter brick wall was just installed in 2012. The wood-lined windows, too, hint at something more modern than ancient. A peek inside and the full, modern renovation is made clear. (Click here or on a photo for a slideshow.)

    Astley Castle in North Warwickshire was actual ruins just a few years ago. A fire in 1978 had all but destroyed it; only a few sections of the building were standing, hunks of brick covered in weeds and moss.

    But British building and cultural conservation charities the Landmark Trust and English Heritage, along with its owners, badly wanted to rescue it.

    The Landmark Trust first attempted to save the building in the late 1990s, but no conventional restoration solution could be found. The cost of such an extensive rehab was hard to justify.

    Also on Yahoo Homes:

  • Asking less than $1M after 4 years, this house by the most famous architect ever STILL won't sell

    Ilyce R. Glink at Spaces 22 days ago

    Want a Frank Lloyd Wright home? 

    Well, you can have one, and you can have one, and you can have one.

    Homes designed by probably the most famous architect ever have popped up on the market so quickly -- especially in Chicago -- it's like Oprah’s giving them away. There's the Laura Gale House in the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District of Oak Park, on the market for $1.1 million. Then there's the Winslow House in neighboring River Forest, on the market for $1.55 million, and the F.B. Henderson House in Elmhurst for a million (well, $995,000).

    But wait, there's more. You can actually own a Frank Lloyd Wright for a lot less than a million dollars: the Millard House, at $799,000. (Click here or on a photo for a slideshow.)

    It's not necessarily uncommon to find a number of FLW homes up for sale, especially in an area that has the nation's largest collection of Wright residences. 

    A work by a master

    (Click here or on a photo for a slideshow.)

    Tough sell in a ritzy neighborhood