Neverland Among The Tumbleweeds, Now That Peter Pan Is Gone Forever

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On March 19, 2008, FacilityBlog posted the article below which touched upon the decaying state of Michael Jackson’s Neverland estate (which was sold last year). Abandoned and tied up in legalities for many years, the piece of property symbolized some of the financial turmoil and legal woes that swirled around the late Michael Jackson.

A comeback tour due to start in just a few weeks was supposed to help pull the King of Pop out of his economic meltdown. Despite being a billion dollar business, the singer was in about $400 million in debt when he died yesterday.

There have been reports from some companies that people would be dressing up in Michael Jackson attire today. What has been the reaction to this news, if any, in your facilities? Is it just another distraction during a slow Summer Friday? 

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What fun this must have been: The Neverland Ranch railway station. The floral clock in front of the building is overgrown. The clock has stopped, and numbers are missing. (Photo: The Daily Mail.)

What fun this must have been: The Neverland Ranch railway station. The floral clock in front of the building is overgrown. The clock has stopped, and numbers are missing. (Photo: The Daily Mail.)

It just doesn’t get much weirder.

Michael Jackson, a man who moonwalked his way to fame and then fell in an equally dazzling fashion, has seen his beloved retreat, Neverland Ranch, decay to a sad and depressing shell of its former self. Reflecting the state of the pop icon’s career, the scene of happier times may be up for auction any day, despite protests from Jackson family members.

According to gossip Web site, TMZ.com, Jermaine Jackson claims brother Michael’s Neverland ranch will be sold “over my dead body,” even though the younger Jackson would need to come up with $24.5 million to save the 2,800 estate in Santa Barbara, California.

While the glitzy enclave once served as a happy retreat for many children (and some adults with overly developed Peter Pan complexes), the scene took on a sinister tone after Jackson’s 2005 child molestation trial. The property has been left relatively unattended ever since, as Jackson became more reclusive and found it increasing difficult to maintain the property and pay its operations staff.

According to Eric Munn of the Daily Mail, “The annual upkeep for the property was estimated to be a staggering $4 million, and during its heyday, 54 full-time paid staff manned the estate.”

From thriller to dangerous: On what was the bumper car rink, the canopy is clearly ripped and discolored by the harsh Californian sun. Grass verges around the rink look bare and don't appear to have been watered for months. (Photo: The Daily Mail.)

From thriller to dangerous: On what was the bumper car rink, the canopy is clearly ripped and discolored by the harsh Californian sun. Grass verges around the rink look bare and don't appear to have been watered for months. (Photo: The Daily Mail.)

All of the professional staff members have long since gone, and the park was ordered closed by authorities after insurance payments were not made. Now the site is far too much to handle for the six loyal friends and family members left with the task. Jackson himself spends most of his time as far away from Neverland as possible.

Jackson has agreed to refinance the property through a deal with Fortress Investment Group LLC. As for the physical upkeep of the facility and its future, those issues are still unresolved. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

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11 Responses

  1. Cherubim says:

    I’ve been to Neverland twice.
    Each time I went it was with a group of very happy, grateful underprivileged children. I’m glad you provided me with this public forum to say:
    “I thank you, Mr. Michael Jackson,
    for sharing with me your lovely home. I will be for ever grateful. God bless you and your family.”

  2. Cherubim says:

    View this video to get an idea of
    the Neverland I remember:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3htnP4tMEL8

  3. HeidiTFM says:

    Cherubim, thanks for sharing your personal comments and this video.

  4. Poor Richard says:

    I want to congratulate and thank Michael Jackson for making Neverland more “green”.

    Since he’s no longer using toxic cleaning chemicals, herbicides and pesticides — the ranch is MUCH more in communion with nature. Allowing the roof to disintegrate will also reduce the “heat island effect” that concerns us all. I bet they’ve even turned off the water and power.

    Seriously, could one celebrity make a more wonderful and inspiring conservational statement? He doesn’t even travel in gas guzzling private jets and limo SUVs to all the self-congratulatory Hollywood events any more.

    By the way TFM folks – those aren’t “weeds”! According to US Green Building Council, what you see in the photos would be “native or adapted vegetation”! Look it up!

    I would like to see more environmentally sensitive celebrities go into hiding – YES Al Gore, you’re barely a C list celebrity but you should give the recluse route a chance!

    Let’s nominate Michael Jackson for “Facility Executive of the Year” for his willingness to let Neverland be more green. Maybe that would be the springboard he needs for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Would the inconvenient truth of those child molestation charges make him ineligible for either?

    Poor Richard

  5. Sheree says:

    Any idiot can see the picture of the Neverland train station is clearly photoshopped to look “bad”
    See how the hedge in the top left suddenly turns from lush green to photoshop brown?
    And the vegetation in the top right is almost blue colored where they’ve been messing with the colors. Blue bushes, yeah right! Bad editing.
    They also seem to forget its been winter in the Valley and everyones gardens look like this at the moment.

  6. Sheree says:

    To prove what Im talking about I just went and made the rest of the hedge brown with photoshop, took me about 2 seconds. Compare the two pics.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v72/thruster/photoshop.jpg

    Now if you had not seen the original to compare it to would you even have realised I colored it brown myself? Simple to do.

    Dont trust what the media feeds you.

  7. Poor Richard says:

    Sheree is absolutely right about not trusting the media!

    Did you know that Roseanne Barr/Arnold was only about 98 pounds but the cameras made her look much bigger because the producers thought she would be funnier as a “gravitationally challenged” woman.

    Look at these “before” and “after” shots of Russell Crowe from the set of “Gladiator”. It’s amazing what photoshop can do for a man’s face & teeth!

    Before:

    http://www.belch.com/img/troll-lotr.jpg

    After:

    http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/images/russell-crowe-gladiator.jpg

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sheree, you want to talk about Photoshop or reality check? See this post from Snopes:
    http://www.snopes.com/photos/people/jackson.asp

    Brace yourself, though. It’s not pretty. Actually, it makes these photos of Neverland Ranch look like Shangri-La.

    Some people can’t face reality. Others prefer to create their own.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Do us all a favor and photoshop that undoctored MJ portrait from Snopes, Sheree. That nearly made me puke!

  10. RICHARD VENTURA CA says:

    THEY JUST SHOULD KNOCK IT DOWN LIKE THE DID OJ HOME AND MOVE ON…….

  11. RICHARD VENTURA CA says:

    I THINK TO MANY PEOPLE ARE IN TO THIS AND SOME ARE NOT…… LOOK IF HIS OWN FAMILY FDONT CARE HECK THEY HAVE THE MONEY……. AND IF YOU DONT SEE THEM MOVING TO DO ANYTHING TO HELP …….. THEN I SAY THEY GET A BUNCH OF BIG TRUCK’S AND MOVE IN THERE AND START KNOCKING IT DOWN. ITS NOT BEING USED ITS IN THE WAY….. HE IS GONE SO I THINK HE SHOULD BE ABLE TO REST IN PEACE…. AND LETS GET THIS NEVER LAND HOME KNOCKED DOWN AND OVER IT………. IT JUNK KNOW

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