Monday, September 22, 2008

FOR SALE: Swamp Castle with Alligator

Howard Solomon's 12,000-square-foot castle and its surrounding 70 acres of reclaimed swampland near Ona, Florida are for sale.The turreted structure has been featured on HGTV's "Most Extreme Homes in America" as well as on Roadside America. The Center for Land Use Interpretation has highlighted the self-built castle as an architectural and cultural landmark. Annually countless visitors tour the grounds and eat lunch on Solomon's 60-foot galleon in the complex's moat, which is populated by a resident female alligator.

The structure is 60 feet tall and largely constructed of recycled trash, including beer cans and oil drums. Sheathed in 34" offset aluminum newspaper printing plates, Solomon's Castle at times disappears in vibrant reflections of the intense sun. Over eighty stained glass windows populate the castle's many walls.

Although it is not as spectacular as the Forevertron, the Dr. Who-Influenced/Badger Army Ammunition Plant-Salvaged-Cold-War-Bits Concoction of Tom Every in Baraboo, Wisconsin, it is worth seeing.

What is the asking price? $2.5 million and listed on Castles for Sale.

Listen to This American Life's episode on "Simulated Worlds" and Read Umberto Eco's Travels in HyperReality: Essays (1986):

"We are dreaming the Middle Ages, some say. But in fact both Americans and Europeans are inheritors of the Western legacy, and all the problems of the Western World emerged in the Middle Ages: Modern languages, merchant cities, capitalistic economy (along with banks, checks and prime rates) are inventions of medieval society. In the Middle Ages we witness the rise of modern armies, of the modern concept of the nation state, as well as the idea of a supernatural federation; the struggle between the poor and the rich, the concept of heresy or ideological deviation, even our contemporary notion of love as a devastating unhappy happiness. I could add the conflict between church and state, trade unions, the technological transformation of labor."
Eco, p. 64 (Weaver translation)

To read more of the text: Check it out from Tulane: HTML PQ4865.C6T7 or googlebooks.

[Lomograph. Solomon's Castle, near Ona, Florida. Spring 2006 by K. Rylance.]

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