Last Chance to See the Cape Romano Dome Homes Before the Sea Swallows Them Whole

by , 07/26/14
filed under: Architecture, Gallery

Cape Romano Dome Home, Kristian Maples, Mila Bridger, Janet Maples, Bob Lee, alien home, space-age house, futuristic home, rising sea levels, abandoned houses

Before building the seaworthy version, Bob constructed a prototype of the house on family land in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It’s also managed to survive the test of time, but suffers from a moisture problem, according to Bob’s daughter, Janet Maples. Apart from solar power, the house in Florida had other futuristic features, such as under-floor heating and an invention that would bring logs in and drop them on the fireplace via a wall in the kid’s den.

Related: CA Modern Home Tour: The Hidden Details of John Lautner’s Incredible Elrod House

Janet told Coastal Breeze about the different stories she has heard from locals over the years. “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.”

Bob has since passed away, but Janet remembers him fondly: “Kids loved him. He was just fun to be around; a really adventurous guy way before his time.” The house has changed hands over the years, and eventually succumbed to hurricane damage, but it was the Department of Environmental Protection and the Collier County Code Enforcement Board that signed the house’s death warrant in 2007. Luckily, the previous owner never did remove them, which means you still have a chance see them if you’re ever in Florida.

+ Cape Romano Facebook Page

Via MessyNessyChic

Images by Kristian Maples, Mila Bridger, ABNF

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  1. Jared Haas March 11, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    I used to come here a lot with my family on our boats and even did jetski tours here with a company I had worked for in college. We were told that the owners had stripped away the natural vegetation around the building which caused the foundation to erode back into the sea. This is the first time I have ever seen the pictures of it and looks as if the landscape was well preserved. Interesting.

  2. Flex Kayakfari December 28, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    A different take on this unique place:

    Long live George and the Australopithecine dream! (click pic to enter) George was king! Enjoy!


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