See on Google Maps • See on Bing Maps. By 1991 Wendell was no longer satisfying his financial obligations to the property. A holiday home built in 1980 by a retired independent oil producer, Bob Lee, trying to fill his time with ambitious DIY projects, the houses was ahead of its time, self-sustaining, and solar-powered. In truth it was a cutting edge home, designed and built by an enigmatic visionary with an eye for the eco-friendly and a goal of minimizing his carbon footprint. These blog’s posts never disappoint. Bob once installed a water pipe system under his floors and routed them through his fireplace, using the heat from the fireplace to keep his floors warm as well. Here is a little history on the Dome Home (according to Wikipedia and other online articles). Keep writing!!! View MLS photos, sales history, and use our real estate filters to find the perfect home with VIP Realty. The erosion over time by natural weather and hurricanes has left this interesting piece of history now out in the water with all the land eroded away. Between 1978 and 1979 Lee purchased lots from four different owners on Cape Romano, at the southern end of Caxambas Island on the west coast of Florida. a story of a Chesapeake Bay home which succumbed to erosion, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), View SometimesInteresting’s profile on Facebook, View SomeInteresting’s profile on Twitter, View SometimesInteresting’s profile on YouTube, the family sold the residence to George Wendell, Moving the domes was estimated to take 60 to 80 days, some board members cited his failure to make progress, the Code Enforcement Board of Collier County levied fines, I’m not trying to be a rebel here, I’m willing to share, Abandoned Nuclear Project: Marble Hill, Indiana, http://kayakfari.wordpress.com/kayakfari-art/art-of-cape-romano-the-curious-inhabitants-of-australopithecine-island/, The Wild Men of Borneo – Hiram and Barney Davis, New Zealand Village Buried Under Massive Mud Volcano, Howard Johnson’s, Host of the Bygone Ways, Story of Chang and Eng Bunker – Conjoined Twins, Concrete Arrows and the U.S. Airmail Beacon System, Largest Abandoned Factory in the World: The Packard Factory, Detroit, City United Methodist Church of Gary, Indiana. The Calusa Tribe was the predominant early power in the area. It caused $29.1 billion in damage and was part of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season which included the disastrous Hurricane Katrina. Many know about it’s whereabouts but it’s origins were up to debate; from alien to secret cults. Cape Romano Dome House. For Marco Island, Florida current local news and the latest headlines from Marco Island, Naples and Southwest Florida read Coastal Breeze News. Now, everyone comes from all over just to see them. Wonderful, as always! Due to its location, the dome home has fallen victim to several types of erosion, including sea erosion and soil erosion. Here is a related story from us: Cape Romano Dome House – An abandoned luxury home with a tangled history is being swallowed up by the sea. Lighted walkways provided access to the water, one to the lagoon behind the Dome Home and the other to the ocean in front. On a positive note, Bob Lee’s dome home has fostered an ecosystem offshore as an artificial reef. One spherical form was larger than the other, acting as a sandwich between which Lee would then pour the concrete. It was as if all the fish and rays living along that part of the Collier County coast decided to hangout in one location. Six 400 square foot domes combined to create 2,400 square feet of open living space.. Copyright © 2020 Waterman Broadcasting of Florida, LLC, Learn the history behind the world-famous Cape Romano Dome House. The "dome homes" on Cape Romano near Marco Island were a complex of circular concrete structures designed by a Tennessee man named Bob Lee who fell in … Mr. Lee acquired a barge to haul his building equipment to the island. The iconic Cape Romano dome home near Marco Island has enticed tourists for decades. Florida Weekly Correspondent Cynthia Mott went on a snorkel trip to the Dome Home and she spoke of its beauty: 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. Ultimately some board members cited his failure to make progress in years prior as swaying their decision. However the first actual mention of "Romano" in the oldest surviving historical documents of the region came in 1878 after the founding of the famous cheese factory "Romano Cheese Corporation". The structure had survived the storm, but the windows and walkways had been lost to the category five hurricane (see below). The Cape Romano Dome House is not technically on Marco Island, Florida. Located on the southwest tip of the island of Cape Romano—one of the nearly 10, 000 islands—the dome house is accessible by boat from Marco Island about 50 miles south of Naples. As always, delightful and entertaining! The structure had 6 parts or domes connected to each other measuring 2400 square feet. I’m sorry, I forgot to update it. “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. House Architecture. Five miles south of Marco Island near Naples, Florida, six igloo-shaped buildings appear to slowly march into the sea. Despite its odd construction and shape, the dome home was a fully-functioning yet self-sustaining home. by NBC2 ... see the world-famous Cape Romano Domes built by a man in 1979. By 2013, the house was sitting in six-feet-deep water and by 2016, the home was almost completely submerged, sitting 180 feet off the coast of Cape Romano. ... Aerial Video of the Abandoned Cape Romano Dome House. He thought the dome ceiling gave the feeling of openness. “Bob Lee, a now-deceased retired oil producer, spent much of the years 1978 and 1979 surveying and purchasing land on Cape Romano in hopes of constructing a vacation home. Although the domes were originally built on Morgan Island, the erosion now means that the structure is closer to Cape Romano, hence its more common name of “Cape Romano Dome House.” At one point, a non-profit organization from Naples called Oceans for Youth started a fundraiser to sink the domes fully and make an artificial reef out of them. It is on the next Island down called Ten Thousand Island, which is only accessible via water. The new owner had intentions to renovate the home and return it to full functionality. World's Largest Old Car Junkyard: Old Car City U.S.A. Looks like it was quite a nice home to begin with. Thanks for the comment. The Dome Homes are one of the main attractions for visitors to the area. Agreed, definitely caught my attention. Some kind of “Not from this world”. I wish that I could act on every idea that pops into my head… then again~ maybe not Really, SI you have done it again. Thanks! Your investigation behind the story of a place always amazes me.. Every single time! All rights reserved. Well, it used to be a house — made of six interconnecting domes, built by former oil producer Bob Lee. They are very well written and always interesting! The water is amazing. Here’s an alternative “history” of the Cape Romano village: http://kayakfari.wordpress.com/kayakfari-art/art-of-cape-romano-the-curious-inhabitants-of-australopithecine-island/ , Thanks, and I enjoyed that “alternative” history, it was an entertaining account. Can’t believe I lived in Florida so many years and never heard of this. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Watch exclusive 4k Dome Home Aerial footage courtesy S-I reader Robb Stan: visit the Cape Romano Community Facebook Page, Special thanks to Janet Maples, Mike Morgan, Kristian Maples, Brian Slager, Melissa Blazier, Marci Seamples, and Natalie Strom of the Coastal Breeze News. I watched the video clip and it’s beautiful! Unbelievable and actually talked to the original family? Cape Romano Dome House History. Abandoned in the early 1990s, Cape Romano’s Dome Home has endured several hurricanes and tropical storms – but it has been unable to win the war against erosion. In 2009 the Tosto family trust had $500k invested; at the time it was estimated another $900k would be required to finish the renovation. Slager lived in the dome home while he built a new dock, upgraded the electrical system, and groomed the grounds with heavy machinery. It was a 3 bedroom 3 bathroom house, 2400 square foot that was completely off the grid, which was actually a quarter-mile inland when it was completed. It was tropical storm Isaac in August 2012 that finally put the entire site underwater. The Cape Romano Dome House was built in the early 80s but was lost to erosion over time. I’ve been waiting for an update on your blog, haven’t seen much lately. Home » NBC-2 | WBBH » Learn the history behind the world-famous Cape Romano Dome House, MARCO ISLAND, Fla. – Just six miles south of Marco Island, you’ll see the world-famous Cape Romano Domes built by a man in 1979. As always, the highlight of my working week. “It’s just something I wanted from the first time I saw it. “I’m not trying to be a rebel here, I’m willing to share.” He said. I thought I’d leave a comment to let you know how much I enjoy your articles. Code Enforcement Director Dianne Flagg told John Tosto the fines could be retroactively waived with compliance of the original 2007 order. Such an amazing story, once again. Coastal Breeze News. For seven years Bob and his family enjoyed their time in the dome home at Cape Romano, but by 1989 the family sold the residence to George Wendell.Wendell had plans to acquire adjacent properties on the island for a business venture, but first he wanted to make improvements to the dome home property.For the next two years a caretaker by the name of Brian Slager was hired to make improvements on the property. My friends and I wanted to do something different so planned a boat trip to Cape Romano to see the dome house that is now close to disappearing into the sea. Among the equipment: Concrete mixers and giant metal forms used to shape the domes. The group of six white concrete structures built in 1980 by Bob Lee were abandoned by the family in 1992 after Hurricane Andrew destroyed the interior. A number of legends have sprung up surrounding the origins of the crumbling cluster of domes at the tip of Cape Romano. The next twelve years for the dome home were spent abandoned, vacant and deteriorating from exposure to the elements. He eventually purchased four adjacent plots of land for his project. Southwest Florida coronavirus case totals for Thursday, July 23, Woman stabs two in Punta Gorda, tries to hold family captive inside their home, Man arrested after threatening shopper at Walmart with gun over mask argument, One dead in rollover crash on I-75 at Alico Road, University of Florida Men’s Basketball player collapses during game, Teen killed in Lehigh Acres hit and run crash, driver arrested, Local Republicans support Florida becoming its own country, Oh… my… gator… Florida blue heron eats baby alligator, Crews find man’s body after falling overboard on Fort Myers dinner cruise, Amateur codebreakers solve the Zodiac Killer’s cipher after 51 years. Shortly after he purchased the dome home, Hurricane Wilma pummeled Cape Romano and altered the fragile islet’s coastline with 150-mph winds. Did the video get moved? Though originally constructed on and intended to sit on land, shoreline erosion means that as … By 2007 the Collier County Code Enforcement Board issued an order the structure was unsafe and must be demolished or removed within two years. One by one, area coastline homes on the island were abandoned (including the pyramid house – also built by Bob Lee) as they were felled by natural disasters such as Hurricanes Andrew (1992), Wilma (2005), and Tropical Storm Fay (2008). It was constructed in 1980 by retired businessman Bob Lee, abandoned in … Distance from Downtown Naples: 25 miles Address: Dome Homes, 1527 Buccaneer Ct, Marco Island, FL 34145 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. Will you be posting again soon? Undeterred, Tosto boarded up the home and pressed forward with his project. Aware of the sun’s potential for energy, he strategically placed skylights in rooms to maximize heat and light. This incredible structure was originally built as six dome modules atop of stilts on the beach of Cape Romano. • The dome home was valued at $1.5M in 1980, but by 2007 had a value of just $300k. Bob Lee, a retired oil producer, purchased a beautiful piece of Florida paradise in Southwest Florida's Marco Islands/Naples area to build a revolutionary luxury beach home. As far as threats, the vandal’s spray paint pales in comparison to the natural removal of soil. We dive into the fascinating history behind Cape Romano's peculiar, igloo-like structures, which have been a treasured fixture to Southwest Floridians since the early 1980s. Its dome shape played a crucial role in its design. Construction on the Cape Romano dome home, about 5 miles south of Marco Island, started in 1980 and was completed in 1982. Lee maintained a keen interest in renewable energy, experimenting with ways to lower his carbon footprint before building what would become his magnum opus. Lee lived in the property until 1992, which is when Hurricane Andrew came across the coast, blew out all the windows, caused massive water damage, and Lee ended up abandoning the property about two years later. It was once the site of a beautiful domed house built in 1980, by retired oil producer Bob Lee. After two years of construction, the Lee family was able to move into the home by 1982. The walls were foam-filled for insulation and pilings underneath the domes allowed for the free-flow of water during storms. Bob’s daughter Janet Maples recalled “My dad thought the corners of rooms were wasted space as were the corners of the ceiling. For seven years Bob and his family enjoyed their time in the dome home at Cape Romano, but by 1989 the family sold the residence to George Wendell. Thank you!!! Daughter of Bob Lee (original owner/builder of Dome Home), gives a tour of the inside of the beautiful domes in Florida. Ocean waves first began their daily dance with the pillars of the dome home in 2004. “A lot of people use that property down there. By 2011 the home’s foundation was completely submerged. Lee’s intent was to build a vacation home for his family. In the mid-1970s Mr. Lee built a prototype of his self-sustaining dome home. Lee and his wife decided to remodel the home and occupied it once again, this time for two years until Hurricane Andrew in the summer of 1992. It was gorgeous. , Cheers Gerardo, thanks for being a regular reader! Learn about the history … He was right. Hi Robb, thanks for sharing the video! Materials would be delivered by barge, and timed as to not interfere with sea turtle and shorebird nesting seasons. A retired businessman, Bob Lee, in 1980 built the Dome House on Cape Romano, south of Marco Island and part of the 10,000 islands of Florida. 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