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Unused, Gigantic Lanier Mansion Heads To Auction

A philanthropic/desperate couple is auctioning off its lakeside mega-mansion — a never-occupied beauty built a decade ago for $17.5 million that could sell for a fraction of that. The AJC reports the 24,100-square-foot crib in Gainesville, built in 2003 by George and Mary Susan Donovan but maintaining its residential virginity, has been up for sale several times in recent years. It's apparently drawn interest from movie studios filming around ATL — both for shooting and temporary housing for stars — but the couple has routinely denied access. That'll all change after an sale, with bidding open between June 24 and 26 and slated to start at a larceny-level $1.5 million. "The Donovan family designed this home to stand the test of time, with castle-like construction quality and a combination of classic and modern design features," the home's agent told the newspaper. (Added bonus: dolphin murals.)

Reportedly built in a failed attempt to accommodate grandchildren and great-grandchildren (one helluva playhouse), the manse consumes about 13 acres on Lake Lanier, and includes two docks, tennis courts and a sweeping, well-landscaped yard.

Other amenities in the six-bedroom, nine-bath behemoth include a four-car garage, gourmet kitchen and elevator. The listing price has gone from $14.5 mill in May 2010 to $8.5 million in February last year. If you're, um, super well off, you can attend open houses Saturday and Sunday afternoons, or another on June 15. Bidders in the auction will need to fork over a $10,000 deposit and "proof of funds." See the Zillow link for approximately 17,598 listing photos.

— By Curbed Atlanta contributor Tyler Estep

· 4890 Serene Shores Drive, Gainesville [Zillow]
· Hall mansion vacant since '03 up for auction [AJC]