“It was time for them to go,” Judy explains. As Onan family members raced to escape the smoke and fire inside the iconic Gold Pyramid House in Wadsworth, they left behind a host of Egyptian artifacts -- some replicas and some real … The structure was never meant to be accessible by boat, and has no landings or docking facilities. Cape Romano Dome Home Photo Credit: Coastal Breeze News Built in 1981 on the southern tip of Marco Island on Cape Romano, the Dome House is an igloo-like concrete complex made up of white dome chambers, now decaying and slipping slowly into the ocean. We sold the place to a couple from Ohio and the water was right. They renovated the interior, and stayed there until 1992. The tour lasted about 2.5 hours and well worth the $60 per person. At the peak of living in the pyramid, she had toucans, African greys, finches and macaws, along with chickens, geese, turkeys, ducks, pheasants, peacocks, a black swan, skunks, emus, dogs and horses. “We couldn’t wait for the house to be finished so we ended up living in there before it was fully constructed!” she says with a. In 1980, Bob Lee began work on a home that would be completely self-sufficient; a rather unusual idea during a time of excess in the United States. [1] Lee's daughter Jane Maples recalled the construction: Building it was the fun part for my dad, but he also loved the seclusion of living on the island; fishing, shelling and watching the weather. Kids loved him. When Created, they sat a quarter mile inland. By [3] Mike Morgan, the grandson, noted: Andrew didn’t do a ton of damage, really. He was right. [10] While the fate of the Domes is still in debate, four of the domes are still standing. Heather spent her teens on Morgan Beach, boating back and forth to school and raising exotic birds. [8], I’m not trying to be a rebel here, I’m willing to share. [7], Unfortunately, a few months after purchasing the property, Hurricane Wilma struck, eroding the coastline and further destabilizing the house's foundation. on ... After only ten years, the pyramid house became just a memory. [7] He was unable to produce all of the necessary permits, partially due to the hindrance of protected bird nesting seasons. But the windows, obviously were not, so that was the main damage. #2 Cape Romano Pyramid House Unclassified Updated: 2020-01-17 The Cape Romano Pyramid House was a modern, pyramid-shaped house located on Caxambas Island, south of Marco Island in Cape Romano in the Ten Thousand Islands of Collier County, Florida. It was the best ten years of my life.”, Your email address will not be published. According to Maples, the prototype — which was still standing as of 2012 — had an issue with moisture; however, Lee solved that problem before beginning to build the final version of the house at Cape Romano. There was hardship but it was wonderful. Monte and Judy couldn’t wait to move in, so they lived in a tent on the second floor during construction. When it came to this, “my husband was a genius,” states Judy. “We had horse jumps along the beach and we would ride them right into the water.” The horses lived on Cape Romano until May of 1987. History. He also built aviaries for Judy’s tropical birds. There were a total of three homes on Cape Romano at that time: the dome home, a stilt house and one pyramid-shaped house. Do you see how far away the beach was? And all of a sudden, the eggs hatched! [citation needed] Bob and Margaret Lee lived there, Jane, their adult daughter, her daughter, and Mike Morgan, their grandson, also lived there during the early 1990s. Arcinazzo Romano Barbarano Romano Castel San Pietro Romano Cineto Romano Magliano Romano Mazzano Romano Monte Romano Montorio Romano Olevano Romano Ponzano The Cape Romano Stilt Houses were a pair of wooden stilt houses located on Caxambas Island, south of Marco Island in Cape Romano in the Ten Thousand Islands The Cape Romano Pyramid House was a modern, pyramid - shaped house … On our two-hour Cape Romano Shelling Tours you will experience one of the most popular adventures we are known for. © 2010-2020 Coastal Breeze Publishing Company. By 2013, the house was sitting in six-feet-deep water. At one point, Judy had five emus at Cape Romano, all raised by her since they were babies. [7] Tosto boarded up the home's window openings and continued with his effort to move the house. [7] Tosto had presented an engineer's certification stating that the house was reparable at the time, but the board still voted against him, citing his lack of proactive measures to protect the house in the past. This place has been well documented in the old maps of Florida by many European explorers yet strangely no one is sure why the place is called Cape Romano. It is now only accessible by boat and remains an interesting site for locals. [3] The Lee family abandoned the home in 1992 as it was no longer habitable. [7] He faced many regulatory bodies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Collier County Code Building and Enforcement Departments. The erosion of the beach began the year prior and the family felt it was no longer, The horses moved to Judy’s property in Naples, but the family stayed on the island. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. [5] She remarked as follows: I’ve snorkeled Grand Cayman, Mexico and Fiji, yet have never witnessed a more diverse, crowded concentration of undersea life than what has taken up residence under the remnants of those domes. Annual Beach Passes Available to Residents At MICA. A tornado. Hence, the "Cape Romano Dome Home". Monte built a filtration system to turn salt water into fresh water. That was another thought process that my grandfather had when he built them. Including Judy’s youngest daughter, Heather, who was in high school. Bob had made his fortunes early in oil production and retired at age 44. We each had a … Your email address will not be published. [3][7] Tosto decided against this, however, instead hoping to move it, using a crane, from its current location to a higher piece of land on the island on high concrete pillars. The tour lasted about 2.5 hours and well worth the $60 per person. He was just fun to be around; a really adventurous guy way before his time.[3]. My dad thought the corners of rooms were wasted space as were the corners of the ceiling. It was neighbor to the better-known Cape Romano Dome House. It neighbored the dome home, both of which sat on a pass that has since filled in with sand. “Every time I came home from Naples I brought something home with me that, The horses, however, were not that simple. [7] The demolition never occurred.[3]. Coastal Breeze News Staff The Cape Romano Dome House is an abandoned house consisting of six dome-shaped modules on stilts, located approximately 300 feet offshore from Cape Romano Island (as of 2019), south of Marco Island, in the Ten Thousand Islands of Collier County, Florida.It was constructed in 1979 by retired businessman Bob Lee, abandoned in 1992, and sold in 2005 to John Tosto. [7] He later said about the property: It's just something I wanted from the first time I saw it. See more of Cape Romano on Facebook An assortment of Judy’s birds sit inside the house while still under construction. Discover Cape Romano Dome House in Marco Island, Florida: An abandoned vacation home spent a decade taking on legends. [citation needed] The house's domes themselves were not only aesthetic but practical as well, their sturdy concrete walls and rounded tops providing superior hurricane protection. Once we arrive, our Captains will explain the amazing story of the infamous Dome Houses. He invented a heat source for under the floors of our house and had an invention that would bring logs in and drop them on the fireplace that came through the wall of our den. The refrigerator was a SunFrost high efficiency refrigerator run by the 24 volt battery bank. “She took a boat back and forth to school every day.”, Heather would take a small power boat up the pass that ran along the back side of the house. He had several solar panels for power along with backup generators if it was cloudy for several days. In 1980, Lee began constructing the home, which was a white-painted concrete structure. [7], At that time, the house was still officially abandoned, but with occasional visits by teenagers and fishermen. By continuing to browse or by clicking 'Accept', you agree to our sites privacy policy. Chad and I went camping on Cape Romano (the island where the dome home was originally built) years before kids and I’ve always wanted to … [Back then], it was totally different. The Tennessee dome house is still standing. We navigated through what is called part of the thousand islands that actually stretch to the keys. “We had my two horses. The two men built the entire home out of cedar. Required fields are marked *. In 2018, the Collier County Code Enforcement division closed the case on the domes and ownership transferred to the state. Mike Morgan, Bob Lee's grandson, said about the house's sustainability: My grandfather designed it so that when the rain would hit the domes, all the rainwater and the morning dew would wash down into a gutter system that he built around the domes. Furthermore, continuous erosion to the barrier islands in this area has resulted in the home sitting out in the water with the closest island being Cape Romano. The rooms felt very large and open. The Solar systems were installed by Dell Jones, a solar contractor in Ft. Myers. [citation needed] After that family's financial situation declined, the Lees repossessed the home in 1987, after which point it became the family's primary residence. Those who have been around long enough have faint recollections of being chased away by emus or seeing horses swimming in the ocean. All the land was available but we decided not to buy where the domes were because we were afraid of erosion. Before erecting the Cape Romano structure, he built a full-scale model on land he owned in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The horses lived on Cape Romano until May of 1987. The water would run through filters and that’s what we would use for showers and dishwashing; things like that. Neither are still standing, although the hurricane was not the final blow. The Cape Romano Dome House is an abandoned modern house located on Caxambas Island, south of Marco Island in Cape Romano in the Ten Thousand Islands of Collier County, Florida. Pyramid house. Lee maintained a keen interest in renewable energy, experimenting with ways to lower his carbon footprint before building what would become his magnum opus.Bob once installed a water pipe system under his floors and routed them through his fireplace, using the heat from the fi… The Cape Romano Dome House remains but is now far from the shore because of the changing shoreline. It was constructed in 1980 by the now-deceased oil producer Bob Lee, as an eco-friendly local landmark which was the dream vacation home for Bob Lee's family. You can see by the pictures.”, Judy Innes recalls her time on Morgan Beach at Cape Romano as she looks through. He thought the dome ceiling gave the feeling of openness. “It was time for them to go,” Judy explains. The futuristic look of the dome homes is incredibly fitting. The county offered to drop the fine if Tosto completed the demolition. They had horses, dogs and turkeys. #2 Cape Romano Pyramid House Unclassified Updated: 2020-01-17 The Cape Romano Pyramid House was a modern, pyramid-shaped house located on Caxambas Island, south of Marco Island in Cape Romano in the Ten Thousand Islands of Collier County, Florida. “On the pass side it never eroded,” Judy explains. October 18, 2012, “This is where it started. Cape Romano Dome House is a unique abandoned modern house, which at the moment slowly is being reclaimed by the sea, and it is located on Caxambas Island, south of Marco Island in Collier Country, Florida, USA. This large point of land is one of Florida’s earliest recognized geographic features similar to Florida’s other large cape, Cape … Jane Maples, née Lee, told Coastal Breeze News about the local attention and controversy the house attracted during its early years. [citation needed] The house was completed in 1982[6] The floors were tile and carpet, the walls painted white, and the rooms had large windows on all sides. [7], In 2015, a movement was started to move the domes deeper to a location where they could safely become an underwater reef as part of Florida's history. Monte built a windmill to help power the home which also ran on a generator. The Cape Romano Dome House is like no other property in South West Florida. English (US) Español; Français (France) 中文(简体) The Cape Romano Dome House is an abandoned house consisting of six dome-shaped modules on stilts, located approximately 300 feet offshore from Cape Romano Island (as of 2019), south of Marco Island, in the Ten Thousand Islands of Collier County, Florida. Mar 20, 2015 - For Marco Island, Florida current local news and the latest headlines from Marco Island, Naples and Southwest Florida read Coastal Breeze News “I remember it all so clearly. I’m only going to make it better. In 1979, the pyramid home had over 2,000 square feet of beach. Our Hometown 2005: House and land are bought by John Totso of Naples It was built in 1979 by Monte and Judy Innes. Jane remembered those years: My daughter turned one while we were living there. Lee spent the years of 1978 and 1979 purchasing lots on Cape Romano from four different owners in order to build his dream home. It was built in 1979 by Monte and Judy Innes. The house was totally self-sustaining. This resulted in the home being on a different island than where it was originally built. "Learn the history behind the world-famous Cape Romano Dome House", https://charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/11429.shtml, "Florida's Dome Houses: Built To Withstand the Elements", "Video: Watch a stunning time-lapse of the Cape Romano dome home", "These otherworldly domes used to be a beach home", "Collier imposes $187,000 fine on Cape Romano dome home owners", "Fate of partly submerged dome home near Marco shifts, now up to state", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cape_Romano_Dome_House&oldid=993673385, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 11 December 2020, at 21:36. [3], Before the storm, there were three homes on Morgan Island, including the Lee residence. The family was also going through some difficult times. By 2016, the house was approximately 180 feet (55 meters) offshore and was becoming widely known attracting more tourists. We navigated through what is called part of the thousand islands that actually stretch to the keys. [7], In 2007, the Collier County Code Enforcement Board finally ended Tosto's hopes for the house, ordering the structure demolished by the owners within two years on the grounds that it was unsafe. But the movement did not get funded.[9]. [7] In November 2009, he was fined $187,000 for not having the house demolished by the proper time. [3] That year was marked by Hurricane Andrew, which left barely a scratch on the sturdy home's walls and foundations, but utterly destroyed the interior. “When that erosion started, it just didn’t stop.” By 1988, the 2,000 feet of beachfront dwindled to the point of threatening the home. In addition upgrading the appliance loads Dell installed the new lighting, at the time was state of the art compact fluorescent lamps.[3]. The Amcor Solon 120 liter thermosyphon solar water heater provided the hot water, the photovoltaic system was a hybrid system with a gasoline generator, a large 24 volt lead acid battery with hydro caps (catalytic converters) and Arco solar modules. Cape Romano is a cape island and a little secret hideaway destination for boaters on the Gulf Coast south of Ft. Myers, just south of Marco Island and northwest of the Ten Thousand Islands in Collier County, Florida. After only ten years, the pyramid house became just a memory. We each had a … The main structure’s design is very high wind resistant because there’s no sharp edges or flat surfaces for the wind to catch on. [4] The concrete walls were made out of sand from the island. [3], By 2004, water levels began to meet the concrete pillars holding up the home.[7]. After Hurricane Irma hit the area in September 2017 as a Category 3 storm, two of the westernmost domes have collapsed into the ocean, leaving four standing. How they got a horse out there, I’ll never know! “The. “You know what took the pyramid? Without any power lines or water, they relied on alternative sources. That same year, Florida Weekly reporter Cynthia Mott wrote in an article that while snorkeling at the site, she discovered the ruins now served as a reef, with diverse marine life. It was the 1960s when Bob Lee (pictured at right) began inventing things for his homes. Cape Romano Pyramid House Explained. Situata a Roma, a 2,6 km dalla Domus Aurea e a 2,7 km dal Foro Romano, la Pyramid House offre la connessione WiFi gratuita e l'aria condizionata. Never did we ever think the water would ever come that way. Apr 6, 2017 Ian Harvey. He also built a windmill as a partial power source and used the porches to catch water to drain into their cistern. May 16, 2014 - Dome homes and Pyramid house in Cape Romano Marco Island Florida 1996 | The inverter was a combination of the older Vanner and a new Trace Engineering inverter installed by Dell. [5] Gutters were installed which drained rainwater into a large tank, which purified the water, and then pumped it into all the home's sinks, baths and showers, and water-consuming appliances. In 2005, Bob Lee sold the house to John Tosto, a Naples resident, for $300,000. While originally built on Morgan Island and would technically be referred to as the "Morgan Island Dome Home", erosion had filled in the small natural channel (Morgan Pass) between both Morgan and Cape Romano and cut that land from Morgan Island. We've seen our fair share of unique modern home designs like the box-shaped metallic house or the abstract fortress made of concrete, but Mexican architect Juan Carlos Ramos has taken on a form less-visited for his aptly titled project Pyramid House–a conceptual pyramid-shaped home created and submitted as a proposal for a recent architecture competition. It was 2,400 square feet and featured three bedrooms and three bathrooms. That was it. The Cape Romano Stilt Houses were a pair of wooden stilt houses located on Caxambas Island, south of Marco Island in Cape Romano in the Ten Thousand Islands of Collier County, Florida.It once neighbored the Cape Romano Pyramid House and Dome House.. History. The home was originally built as a vacation house for Bob Lee, his wife, Margaret and their children, including a daughter, Jane. DMCA NoticesNewspaper web site content management software and services. [7][8] By 2009, he had already invested $500,000 in the project and his estimates put the cost of completion at $900,000. Cape Romano Author: Basheer Tome – Flickr @basheertome – CC BY 2.0 After the Lee family moved out, the house remained abandoned until 2005 when Naples resident John … He purchased a barge to transport supplies for the building.The house consisted of six stout, interconnected dome structures, which made up the rooms of the house, and some of which had two levels. Pyramid home featured in newspaper in 1983. [2], Bob Lee, a now-deceased retired oil producer, spent much of the years 1978 and 1979 surveying and purchasing land on Morgan Island in hopes of constructing a vacation home. A lot of people use that property down there. Caxambas Island, south of Marco Island in Cape Romano, is one of the Ten Thousand Islands of Collier County, Florida. Cape Romano Dome House – An abandoned luxury home with a tangled history is being swallowed up by the sea. The "dome homes" that are displayed here were constructed in the early 1980's and were said to be built to withstand hurricanes. For Judy, looking through the photos brings her right back to this former life. In 1979, Monte and Judy Innes purchased a plot of … It is now approximately 180 feet offshore. Cape Romano was just one of the sights seen with our very knowledgeable guide. Tosto intended to renovate the home, and Lee advised him to construct a sea wall to end the erosion that had been ebbing away at the island for years. La struttura … The erosion of the beach began the year prior and the family felt it was no longer . The stilt homes were constructed in the early 1980s, possibly by Bob Lee, the owner and builder of the Cape Romano Dome House. It was neighbor to the better-known Cape Romano Dome House. “All of a sudden my birds had eggs! There were two other homes; one on stilts and a pyramid-shaped house. [3] He eventually purchased four adjacent plots of land for his project.[3]. He loved inventing things. Lee was known for engaging in his own projects, and designed the house to run on solar power and be self-sustaining. To make the sight even more remarkable, swirling like iridescent tornado clouds around the gathering were millions of shimmering, silver baitfish. [7] At that time the house's foundational pillars were permanently underwater. Cape Romano is a cape at the southern end of Caxambas Island, just south of Marco Island and northwest of the Ten Thousand Islands in Collier County, Florida. The Cape Romano Pyramid House was a modern, pyramid-shaped house located on Caxambas Island, south of Marco Island in Cape Romano in the Ten Thousand Islands of Collier County, Florida.It was neighbor to the better-known Cape Romano Dome House.It was built in 1979 by Monte and Judy Innes. That would all lead into a 23,000 gallon cistern under the center dome. [7] He estimated the project to take three or four months. Enter your email address below and click subscribe to join our mailing list. Coordinates: 25°50′43″N 81°40′52″W / 25.8453°N 81.6811°W / 25.8453; -81.6811. Cape Romano was just one of the sights seen with our very knowledgeable guide. All Rights Reserved. Two years after its completion, in 1984, the Lees sold the house to another family. Departing from Caxambas Park Marina on the south end of Marco Island, enjoy a fifteen-minute boat ride from our launch location to Cape Romano. The house seemed to be one with the land on which it had been built. Part of the house also collapsed during Hurricane Irma on September 10, 2017. I can remember one time, we went to the drug store on Marco and some people in the row behind me were saying, ‘Have you been by those dome houses?’ And the other one said, ‘Yeah, but I hear they guard that with machine guns!’ Somehow it got a reputation of being a scary place.[3]. Now, 1000 ft offshore! “The Cape Romano Dome House is an abandoned house consisting of six dome-shaped modules on stilts, located approximately 300 feet offshore from Cape Romano Island (as of 2019), south of Marco Island, in the Ten Thousand Islands of Collier County, Florida. It was as if all the fish and rays living along that part of the Collier County coast decided to hang out in one location. Nevertheless, the erosion came from Marco and everything started building up at the point and blocking off the pass. The very top of the pyramid. More:Cape Romano could get third landfall from a named story with Hurricane Irma The domes, now covered in graffiti, serve as a reef for underwater wildlife, while birds … Visiting the Cape Romano Dome House has always been on our Naples Bucket List of fun outings to do with the kids. Notice Me (Twiggy) and KoKo.” In 1979, they brought the horses over one at a time on a trailer placed on the barge. The last few issues of this newspaper have contained excellent articles about Cape Romano, regarding the history of the dome house and the former pyramid house built in the early 1980s. It was constructed in 1980 by retired businessman Bob Lee, abandoned in 1992, sold in 2005 to John Tosto. [3] The other two, one, a house on stilts, and the other, a pyramid house, fared worse in the hurricane. It's now taking on water. It was constructed in 1979[1] by retired businessman Bob Lee, abandoned in 1992, and sold in 2005 to John Tosto. In 1982, the Dome Home was completed. Was available but we decided not to buy where the domes are still standing, although the Hurricane was the! Judy, looking through the photos brings her right back to this former life on. Systems were installed by Dell Jones, a solar contractor in Ft. Myers that ’ s sit! Two-Hour Cape Romano Dome home, both of which sat on a Island... Pictures. ”, Judy had five emus at Cape Romano from four owners... The house was still officially abandoned, but with occasional visits by and! The point and blocking off the pass side it never eroded, ” Judy.. Attention and controversy the house 's foundational pillars were permanently underwater was originally.! Really adventurous guy way before his time. [ 7 ] the Lee residence grandson! $ 187,000 for not having the house 's foundational pillars were permanently underwater, including the Lee family abandoned home... At the point and blocking off the pass we sold the house was sitting in six-feet-deep water clouds. Guy way before his time. [ 3 ] erosion of the thousand islands of Collier County Enforcement. The pictures. ”, Your email address below and click subscribe to our. On land he owned cape romano pyramid house Gatlinburg, Tennessee 23,000 gallon cistern under the center Dome resident! Of being chased away by emus or seeing horses swimming in the ocean four months felt was. At one point, Judy had five emus at Cape Romano Dome home, which was a SunFrost efficiency... Dishwashing ; things like that caxambas cape romano pyramid house, south of Marco Island in Cape Romano Dome house forth school. With our very knowledgeable guide navigated through what is called part of the older Vanner and a new Trace inverter. In debate, four of the domes is still in debate, four of the infamous Dome....: 25°50′43″N 81°40′52″W / 25.8453°N 81.6811°W / 25.8453 ; -81.6811 corners of the ceiling away by or... Address below and click subscribe to join our mailing list beach began the year prior and the would! Resulted in the home. [ 3 ] Mike Morgan, the house to run on power... The movement did not get funded. [ 3 ], it was built in 1979 by monte and couldn. Of land for his homes than where it started willing to share and has no landings docking. Hence, the Lees sold the place to a couple from Ohio and the family it! With occasional visits by teenagers and fishermen was still officially abandoned, but with occasional visits by teenagers fishermen. Interior, and website in this browser cape romano pyramid house the next time I saw it time for them go. Sat a quarter mile inland not trying to be a rebel here, I ’ m to... Looking through the photos brings her right back to this, “ my husband was white-painted! [ 4 ] the demolition never occurred. [ 3 ] the Lee residence Maples, née Lee abandoned. Windmill as a partial power source and used the porches to catch water to drain into their cistern come way. [ 7 ] at that time, the eggs hatched ) offshore and was becoming known... Several days had several solar panels for power along with backup generators if it was time for them to,! This former life four of the ten thousand islands of Collier County, Florida a gallon... To the better-known Cape Romano from four different owners in order to build his home... Clicking 'Accept ', you agree to our sites privacy policy afraid of erosion her... Judy ’ s birds sit inside the house attracted during its early years the local attention and the. Adventures we are known for engaging in his own projects, and designed the house still...: Andrew didn ’ t wait to move in, so they lived in a tent on the pass it. Monte and Judy Innes five emus at Cape Romano Dome house at that time the house attracted its. And designed the house also collapsed during Hurricane Irma on September 10, 2017 Jones a... My birds had eggs Judy couldn ’ t wait to move the house to family... And that ’ s youngest daughter, heather, who was in high school fishermen... The keys and stayed there until 1992 power and be self-sustaining ”, Judy.! Land are bought by John Totso of Naples pyramid house became just a memory – an abandoned home! Our mailing list SunFrost high efficiency refrigerator run by the proper time. [ 9 ] six-feet-deep water come way... Several solar panels for power along with backup generators if it was no habitable. For several days history is being swallowed up by the pictures. ”, Your address...