If shipping a whole chateau overseas to Texas from France sounds straight out of a fairytale, that might be because it requires nothing short of a determined miracle-worker to make it happen. Alisanne Frew of Alisanne Wonderland is the woman that is making this fantasy a reality.
Alisanne is an expert when it comes to shipping fine French goods to Texas. A long-time Round Top Antiques Show staple, Alisanne Wonderland has been supplying Texan buyers with wholesale beautiful French flooring from her first-class Limestone Quarry.
Dealing with big picture projects, Alisanne has supplied French limestone and Italian marble flooring to major projects in cities from Las Vegas and Moscow. This experience in the world of high-end dealing has prepared Alisanne for one of her biggest projects yet.
A Bordeaux Chateau
In the heart of the French wine capital of the world, Bordeaux, Alisanne came across an 1890s chateau that the family had secretly dismantled and secretly put away in a storage facility.
Alisanne Frew spoke with RoundTop.com from her apartment in Saint Germain, Paris on this massive project.
For three months, Alisanne went in and cleaned up the place. She took all the stone had it remeasured, weighed, and put on new export wooden pallets. She accounted for each and every piece on AutoCAD so that any architect can turn the chateau into whatever they can imagine. There are no limits to what the French chateau can become.
“That’s why I call it four facades – a billion possibilities. It’s just outrageous,” Alisanne says.
Shipping a 14,000 sq ft. 1890s chateau overseas to the Lone Star State is no small feat and neither is the chateau. The front windows alone are 11 ft tall, the two pillars at the front door are 15 ft tall, the pediment at the top is 25 ft long.
“It’s like buying your favorite building in Paris and getting it shipped over,” Alisanne says.
A Chateau, 2021 style
Alisanne’s favorite architect in the world, Glenn Matsumoto gave the chateau a look and told her what he as an architect would do with the four facades. Glenn remarked that he would take all four sides for just the front entrance and then build an amazing contemporary house behind it with a beautiful view of the ocean or rolling hills.
Alisanne remarks, “It was the most brilliant eye-opening idea. He said, ‘Alisanne, they’re not looking for chateaux. They’re looking for something real that they can build something on that they want to live in.'”
The ideal buyer of the chateau facades is, of course, located in Texas, but also understands that absolutely anything can be done with this historic French home. Use it as a front for a more contemporary home, intermingle it with a more modern building while paying homage to the original chateau, the possibilities are endless.
It’s a true architect’s dream.
“We’re on the level of Hearst Castle, we’re sending a chateau over that can be built in downtown Houston,” Alisanne says.
While Alisanne could not be in Round Top this year in person, she has graciously donated the champagne for the exciting Leigh Keno appraisal event.