Pipe break leaves 6 million gallons of water in Burr Ridge mansion
A three-week-long water main break discovered March 5, 2011, at Villa Taj poured an estimated 6 million gallons of water into the 30,000-square-foot mansion. | Doings file photo
Updated: April 8, 2011 11:32AM
A real estate agent got an unwelcome surprise when he arrived to show the mansion at Plainfield and County Line roads to a potential buyer on March 5.
The agent called for help when he discovered the 30,000-square-foot mansion, often called the Villa Taj, was filled with water from an apparent pipe break.
"There is all kinds of damage. There was water everywhere," Burr Ridge Development Director Doug Pollock said. He toured the damaged home with other members of the village staff last week and issued a stop work order.
"It's not safe to be in there," Pollock said.
Pollock said the water could have been running for as long as three weeks before it was discovered. Village Administrator Steve Stricker said the 6 million gallons estimated to have flowed into the home in that time is enough to supply the entire village for two days.
Burr Ridge police and the Pleasantview Fire Protection District were called to the home, but there was little to be done beyond turning off the water. The heat reportedly was turned off or was not working when emergency personnel arrived.
Pollock said permits will be required before any work can be done inside the uninhabitable home, which once was listed at $26.5 million. The home, which has been on the market since 2009, has never been lived in.
Built by Burr Ridge dentist Husam Aldairi, the home includes a 2,400-square-foot ballroom, six expansive bedroom suites, and a 20-car heated garage.
A friend of Aldairi told The Doings in 2009 that the owner loved the process of building the extravagant home, which lasted nearly four years. The family had planned to live in the home, but later decided instead to move to a warmer climate, The Doings reported.
The home features treasures brought in from all over the world, including stairs made of Brazilian cherrywood, $2 million worth of gold limestone from Israel and an Italian tile floor installed at $180 per square foot.
"I expect at least half the house will have to be gutted and replaced," Pollock said. "It's sad. It's really sad."
Calls for comment to real estate agents at Federal Auctions and Brokerage, which represents the home's owner, were not immediately returned Tuesday morning.
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