The Villa Kathrine was built as a home in 1900 on the bluff in Quincy, with a breath-taking view of the Mississippi River. It is on the National Register of Historic Places, Illinois Register of Historic Places and Quincy Local Landmarks. George Behrensmeyer was the architect.
Built for wealthy Quincy native and world traveler W. George Metz, based on his sketches and photos of villas in various parts of the Mediterranean world, the exterior is modeled after the Villa ben Ahben in Morocco.
When not travelling around the United States or the World, Mr. Metz lived in his Villa alone, accompanied only by his 212-pound dog, a Mastiff named "Bingo". He did however, like to entertain his friends, when in town.
He sold the Villa along with the furnishings and other contents in 1912. After going through numerous owners, various uses, and many years of deterioration and neglect, the Friends of the Castle, a not-for-profit group of dedicated preservation-minded individuals, was formed in 1978 to save the Villa from demolition and restore it to its former splendor.
Exterior and interior restoration work was begun by the Friends of the Castle in 1978 and completed in 1998. Appropriate furnishings and enhancements were obtained in 2010, and an endowment fund was established in 2011 to guarantee continued future earnings to help ensure this unique building will remain in restored condition for use and enjoyment by the people of Quincy and her visitors.
The Friends of the Castle are celebrating their 36th Anniversary during 2014.