HIGHLANDVILLE, Mo. — Many people want to know more about the nearly indestructible, isolated castle under construction in rural Missouri. Owner, Steven Huff, used to work for the CIA, and is building the campus for a number of reasons. The palatial home is being built in Highlandville, Missouri, in a wooded area that is hard to get to.
The Pensmore Chateau is being built to survive a bomb blast, an earthquake, or even the strongest tornadoes. The building is 72,000 square feet and has religious symbols on the roof. Huff planned to heat and cool the building with a system using solar energy to distribute liquid in tubes through the concrete walls.
Huff, and his family, were all supposed to live in the castle, which has 13 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms. The building was also meant to house meetings for the Huff Family Foundation. There is also a space for a historical museum that will feature America’s founders and materials from a church organization called the Providence Forum.
About six years ago, Huff gave the Kansas City Star a tour of the house and talked about how the symbols on the roof were meant to honor the Christian God. The symbols seem to stand for the Holy Trinity.
He said that the symbols are on the main tower because, “in the Christian right, the fundamental element of reality is that everything’s derived from God. So it’s there on the main entrance tower.”
The Springfield Daily Citizen reports that construction of the castle is ongoing. Since everything is custom, the castle is being built slowly. Construction started in 2008 and was supposed to be done by 2013.
Google Earth has a recent photo, which is linked here. It shows that the structure is still a work in progress.
Journalist Steve Pokin said that when he covered the mansion in July 2022, he did not have access to the property.
“The road up to the mansion is often blocked off. There is much signage there saying ‘No Trespassing,’ and one sign says that if you drive up the road, the local sheriff will be notified,” writes Pokin. “You also have to keep in mind that many of the people who live nearby in this rural area are somehow employed by the builder, Mr. Huff.”
A freelance photographer who was with him, Bruce Stidham, said that he has been up to the property before and that the most recent time he had experienced some technical difficulties.
“The owner, Steven Huff, is a billionaire defense contractor, so maybe he has some sort of signal blocking technology,” said Stidham. “All I know is that my drone did not like being up there and would not communicate with the controller very well.”
Stidham goes on to say, “I understand he owns hundreds of acres around the house. You also can’t get close to the actual house since the gated driveway is so long.”
In 2014, a “whistleblower” said that the plant manager of City Wide Construction, one of the builders on the project, had cheated Huff by shorting him on materials and hiding the difference (72,000 pounds) so he could sell it later.
Huff is suing the company and two of its branches, Monarch Cement and City Wide Construction. Huff wants $63 million in damages, and he also wants his castle torn down and rebuilt the right way.
The case was settled outside of court in 2017, and the information has not been released to the public.
Huff and his family are living in Virginia while the project is under construction.