Mike and I just loved this place. It is possibly the oldest building in America.
William R. Hearst bought a 1133 cloister from Sacramenia (Province of Segovia Spain). Because of the social revolution of the area in mid 1830's the building had fallen to disrepair. At the turn of the century Americans were richer than ever and having a hard time spending all their money. Hearst bought the cloisters in 1925 and it was dismantled stone by stone and packed in hay for shipment to the US. Unfortunately, it arrived to the US just as an epidemic of hoof and mouth disease broke out in Segovia. The USDA fearing possible contagion, quarantined the shipment, opened and burned all the hay, and re-packed the previously meticulously labeled boxes in a random, willy-nilly, way. The stones were warehoused in Brooklyn for 26 years. Hearst's empire fell on hard times and one year after Hearst's death- in 1952- it was purchased by two Floridians, with plans for a tourist attraction.