See Inside the Sioux Falls ‘Castle on 22nd Street’
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I don't know when I first saw the home, nor do I remember when I started lovingly referring to it as the "Castle on 22nd Street." I only know that I did and have referred to that Sioux Falls house as such for about 20 years now.
What I do remember with absolute clarity is the moment I found out who owned this extraordinary home. To clarify that statement: all I remember is the moment; not the exact day, month, or year; not the exact time of the morning; not what I was wearing; how I was feeling; or what else was going on in my life at that time. Just that moment.
Ben and I were doing our morning show on 97.3 KKRC and had just finished playing a trivia contest with a very fun contestant. I was retrieving our standard needed information to either mail our winner "Dave" his prize or have him stop by and pick it up. He gave me his last name, Witzke, and before he could spell it for me, I spelled it back to him.
"That's right! Geez, you're good" (I am a really good speller, it's true).
I thanked him for the comment and wondered to myself if "Dave" might be Dr. David Witzke, a renowned plastic surgeon with a business that quite often advertised on our station. But I didn't ask the question. That seemed like too much.
But the minute he gave me his address, I knew he was the owner of my "castle" and that he was indeed, that Dave.
I stared at the address and desperately wanted to ask all sorts of questions, but again, my better nature prevailed, and I kept my intrusive questions and comments to myself.
I wanted to ask how many bedrooms and bathrooms it had, how many fireplaces, did it have a pool, a home theater, an amazing cook's kitchen, how many staircases, how long did it take to clean, did you design it yourself?
For years I would drive past that sumptuous beauty and imagine a phenomenal life with quiet family gatherings and fantastically loud parties with friends, food, laughter and music blaring, decorated to the nines.
And really, who could fault me?
I could only gather clues at Christmastime when my "castle" was adorned with multiple Christmas trees in the windows, as well as outdoor trees and wreaths and lights galore!
I watched with anticipation the construction of some sort of shelter in the backyard. I truly thought it looked like a Shakespearean amphitheater and imagined children putting on plays there.
Dave called us several times after that first time to partake in various contests, which he inevitably won, and then one day I heard the very sobering news that he was very ill with colon cancer.
Sadly, Dr. Witzke passed away in 2007 at the age of 56. I could only imagine the void that was left in his family's life when someone so loved, youthful, and accomplished departed too soon.
But the castle continued to dazzle every Christmas.
That is, until this past Christmas when it did not. It sat dark and lonely through the holiday season. I had a feeling something had changed.
Today, I saw the "for sale" sign. I hope the next owner loves the home as much as the Witzkes obviously did. I hope they let my "castle" fascinate, bedazzle and hypnotize, again, for years to come.
You can learn more about the home on the Lloyd Companies website.