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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Stone castle Built for love

Yesterday I visited the Coral Castle in Homestead, FL. with my eldest ( and sometimes lovelorn), son. We heard a story of romantic heartbreak and walked through the flourishing creative masterpiece that resulted. For 20 years- between 1920 to 1940-Ed Leedskalnin carved and moved tons of rock to build a castle in memory of Agnes, his "sweet sixteen" bride to be. Ed was a private man, an immigrant from Latvia, who lived alone after his bride-to-be rejected him the night before the wedding. He may never have understood why, but even as a small man of 5 feet and 100 pounds, Ed understood the physics of leverage and weight. Coral weighs approximately 125 pounds per cubic foot. The walls around the castle are built in sections 8 feet tall, four feet wide, and 3 feet thick, (approximately 13,000 pounds a section). Ed studied the skies. His reading chairs are carved and placed so that, living without electricity, Ed could shift chairs and read with light perfectly aligned to the morning, afternoon, and evening sun. My favorite part of the castle is the crescent moon, which weighs over 23 tons and is 20 feet tall!
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