Touring an unusual Guntersville home for sale - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Touring an unusual Guntersville home for sale

The multi-million dollar home features a lighthouse and other opulent rooms. (Source: WAFF) The multi-million dollar home features a lighthouse and other opulent rooms. (Source: WAFF)

Just traveling down Light House Way there is a mammoth structure which looms on the horizon. 

Outside the gate, signs indicate it's for sale. Loretta Kennamer and her late husband, Jim, called this place home since moving in Christmas Eve of 1963.

They were on their third renovation when Jim passed away, and Loretta says it's too big just for her. 

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We begin our tour in the foyer with a grand staircase, and move to the sun room where there are panoramic views from the octagon-shaped room. 

Loretta says the lighthouse portion of the home is built with concrete and steel, using forms for a "waffle effect." 

"He hired an engineer from Huntsville to come and check his drawings before he built it, and he told him he could remove every other rebar in there, but Jim didn't," Loretta recalled. "This engineer came back after he had the 4th floor finished and he said this house would withstand 250 mile-an-hour wind." 

She says that opinion was tested during Hurricane Katrina. They watched from 8th floor of the lighthouse. 

"And we didn't feel a tremor, we didn't even hear the noise!" 

Her late husband Jim owned a construction company and was constantly updating. 

"Sometimes construction work would get slow and he'd send his men over here to work on something," Loretta said. 

The home is 8,000 square feet, with 6 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms. Every bathroom is sleek and modern. Most closets are cedar-lined. Updated extras are everywhere. Most of the rooms have a beautiful view of Lake Guntersville. 

"This right here was the guest master suite," Loretta said during our tour. "When we had the weddings, the bride and her party would use this room to get dressed." 

She says there are many rooms with a purpose. "We have an art studio; there is even an exercise and tanning room," she said. 

So how did these additions happen? Loretta remembers them all. 

"He called me in one day and said, 'Mom, come in here.' I said, 'That looks like a lighthouse, stuck on the back of our house.' He said, 'Yeah, and I'm fixing to build it.' I said, 'Jim Kennamer you have lost your mind,'" Loretta laughed.

Since the beginning, she says up to 4,000 people have toured the home - a term she stresses is the correct one.

"It's not a mansion, and it's not a lighthouse - it's home," she said.  "We have raised four children. We have 10 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. And they all have enjoyed life." 

How could they not? Long corridors for hide and seek. Beautiful large bedrooms and swanky his-and-hers bathrooms. You'll think you've died and gone to his-and-hers closet heaven. And every inch of space is masterfully used. 

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We hear people talk about the "lap of luxury" when it comes to certain items... a beautiful closet or bathroom. But for this lap of luxury, it all centers around the "privy." 

Loretta has a big story about the type of toilet she has in her bathroom... "And I think I can prove I'm the most spoiled girl in the country." 

She says a late night run for fast food, lots of lemonade and a freezing cold toilet seat there led to heated toilet seats at home. An elevator leads to Jim Kennamer's office. Beautiful, winding stairs lead to the observation deck atop the lighthouse. 

There are surprises around every corner. Even in the kitchen. 

"You think this is just a china cabinet - but it's a walk-in pantry, hidden behind the cabinet," Loretta said as she demonstrated the feature. 

This house, this home, is sacred to Loretta. They raised a family here and hosted numerous gatherings. 

It will be sad, but also a new road to travel in her life as she moves in with one of her children in a different corner of Bobby's Bama.

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