Cell Exec's Dream Chateau Becoming Nightmare

Briggs Freeman Realtors
Briggs Freeman Realtors

One writer has deemed it the "best little teardown in Texas." Champ D'Or at 1851 Turbeville Road in Denton could truly be the icon of housing-bubble, trophy-home excess. The 34,800-square-foot mansion set on 119.2 acres waaay north of Dallas, was completed in 2002, put on the market a year later and is still seeking a buyer.

The spread was inspired by a real French chateau 35 miles southeast of Paris, Vaux-le-Vicomte, home of the tragic Nicolas Fouquet. The knockoff is named after its owners, Texans Alan and Shirley Goldfield ("gold fields" in French, get it?). The Goldfields built their Lone Star chateau 25 minutes northwest of Dallas with an original price tag of $72,000,000.

The neighborhood is slightly different than its inspiration's: The chateau is about a half-mile from a trailer park and a Chili's is about seven minutes down the street, off Interstate 35. Neighboring homes include scrubby ranches and a few newer McMansions. It's also near the ghost-town-like Cornelius Town Center and the back entrance to a Wal-Mart.