The “ugliest house in America” is turning into apartments

There’s finally a clear future for the infamous Kessler Mansion.

Exterior of the Kessler mansion

Finding curtains to fit all these windows would be... time-consuming.

Photo by INDYtoday team

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“Absolutely everything is wrong with this Indiana house,” has been a phrase used to describe the Kessler Mansion at 4915 and 4923 Kessler View Dr., so maybe transforming it into a series of high-end apartments will be just the ticket.

“The Dolphin House,” as it’s known to Hoosiers, has been rezoned and will be converted into 10 luxury apartments.

The house’s history

It was built by and home to a controversial character for several years. Then it was sold many times, it became an Airbnb for a period, and since then has been sitting in disrepair for years.

It gets its name from the number of dolphin statues scattered around the cobblestoned property. The eccentricity doesn’t stop there, though. As City Editor Anna learned when she attended its estate sale last year, the dolphin statues merely scratched the surface of the many-textured, gaudy, and seemingly nonsensical layout.

A room with vaulted ceilings and a star on the floor

This is what we guess is a ballroom — it also has a pool table.

Photo by INDYtoday team

The mansion’s future

Though it’s called the Kessler Mansion, the property is actually made up of a handful of residential buildings. Those buildings will be divided up into six three-bedroom apartments and four four-bedroom apartments. We haven’t seen a timeline or a price tag on the proposed project yet, but we’ll keep you updated.

Ugly or interesting?

Though the experts have called it a “Midwestern Vegas Versailles” and a “kitschy Indianapolis landmark,” we’re curious, do you really think the mansion is ugly? Should kinder words be used to describe it? Answer our poll below and look for the final vote in an upcoming newsletter.

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