Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Florida's Architectural Follies

I'm amused and bemused by architectural folles, those outlandish or unusual constructions that step outside the square design box. Different people define architectural follies in different ways -- do these constructions have to be impractical or foolish? Do they have to be expensive or lose money for their builders?

Gwyn Headley, in Architectural Follies in America (John Wiley & Sons, 1996) considers follies as "...structures that are not ordinary buildings but are edifices that transcend the banal, the commonplace, the simply utilitarian. ... Architectural follies transcend barriers of style, time, taste, and nationality. They spring from those most human of emotions: vanity, pride, passion, and obsession." Sounds like something we just might see in Florida.

And, indeed, Headley mentions several follies in this state. In Florida, with exotic images and people seeking to escape from the ordinary, the line between unusual and folly is slim. But here are some of the structures Headley lists, with links to more information or images:

Castle Otttis
Coral Castle
Dragon Point
Solomon's Castle
Venetian Pool

I can think of several others, but do you have any favorite Florida follies?

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