Lake County landmark will reopen in January for events and tours

The historic Howey Mansion, a 20-bedroom residence in Howey-in-the-Hills, was built in 1927 by a two-time candidate for governor

Interior view of the Howey Mansion
Interior view of the Howey Mansion

The new owner of the legendary Howey Mansion built in 1927 will reopen the Lake County landmark in January for events and historic tours.

Wealthy citrus business owner William J. Howey, twice a candidate for governor of Florida, was the original owner of the 20-bedroom mansion in the city of Howey-in-the-Hills. He once brought the New York Civic Opera to his estate, drawing a crowd of 15,000.

Brad Cowherd of Orlando and his brother Clay bought the 7,188-square-foot residence in July for $630,000 and say they have spent at least $500,000 to restore it.

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The brothers intend initially to open the Mediterranean-style mansion for weddings and other events as well as tours and then to start operating it as a bed-and-breakfast guesthouse in late 2018.

Brad Cowherd owns several food and beverage businesses in Orlando, including a café called Infusion Tea, an ice cream shop called Soda Fountain, and the Doghouse restaurant.

Vacant and deteriorating for years, the Howey Mansion was sold to the Cowherd brothers by mortgage holder Nationstar, which seized the property in a 2008 foreclosure against the previous owner, a Chicago heiress named Marvel Zona. [Orlando Sentinel] Mike Seemuth