The Grandview Castle: More Photos and Bits of History

The Castle. It’s probably the best known landmark on Grandview Drive (which is itself a landmark), well regarded for its majestic architecture, history and Halloween traditions:

Sitting high along the river bluffs of Grandview Drive, the historic home boasts an eagle-eye view of the river and decades of fond memories from area residents. Some recall its wonder years of hosting trick-or-treaters, when previous owners would play eerie music, hire costume-clad “scarers” and offer lavish treats and engraved pencils stating: “Happy Halloween from the Castle.” The story goes it was commissioned by the father of a bride, eager to please his daughter on her return from a honeymoon spent sketching castles in Europe.

Now owned by Dr. Carl Soderstrom, today this magnificent structure is best known as a unique setting for philanthropic events. Learn more about the Soderstrom Castle and its caretaker in the latest issue of Art & Society!

Local artist and photographer Natalie Jackson O’Neal has graciously shared a number of additional photos taken at the Castle, many of which could not fit in the print edition. Check them out in our online gallery, “Behind the Scenes at the Soderstrom Castle.”

Haley Armitage, Miss Morton 2014;  Peyton Hillan, Miss Illinois High School 2013; Stephanie Pillar, Mrs. Illinois 2013; Marisa Buchheit, Miss Illinois 2104; Megan Ervin, Miss Illinois 2012; Audra Ferguson, Miss Heart of Illinois Teen 2014; Rebecca Palmer, Miss Peoria-Metro 2014
Carnegie Hall performer, Harmony Zhu, with Dr. Soderstrom and Maestro George Stelluto, plays on the castle Steinway before VIP patrons of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra.
Preparing to host 4,000 children on Halloween
Shalom Sherman, Hollywood comedian and entertainer, performing for a special group.
In the Spring of 2017, over 75 Mayo Clinic alumni, guests and friends of Mayo heard a lecture by Dr. Atta Behfar on cardiovascular regeneration and enjoyed camaraderie.  Dr. Soderstrom has supported Mayo, where he trained philanthropically, for decades. Left to right: Jim Isaak, Dr. Atta Behfar and Dr. Soderstrom.

In the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s, the Castle was known as the Lusk Castle, named for owner George Lusk, a prominent businessman, civic leader and founder of the National Aluminum Manufacturing Company. From the Peoria Morning Star, July 27, 1930:

George Lusk passed away in 1954, and his wife Helen passed away in 1960. They both now rest at Springdale Cemetery.


Another pic of the Lusk castle, circa November 1963:

Historic photos and news clippings are shared courtesy of the Peoria Public Library Local History Collection. Like them on Facebook for historic photos and rich samplings of local history...

...and look for the P.S. logo in future print editions for extra content on Peoria Magazines' brand-new P.S. Blog!

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