Coral Castle


It’s time for
another one
of our ‘Vintage Florida
Attractions’ posts —

I dunno if
that’s even what
I was calling it the
last time I did one
of these, but that’sgeroge
what I’m calling it
this time…..

— consistency has never been
my strong suit, ya know.

One of the more weirder
(and thus, more fun)
kinds of tourist traps
are the kind that were
built by some obsessed
person for some reasons
only really clear to him.

The ” Palace of Depression
in Vineland, New Jersey,
for instance.postcard

This guy from Alaska went broke
during the Great Depression,
moved to New Jersey,
and built a real freak of a
castle out of nothing but
garbage, junk and seashells.

It was open for toursz7
from 1932 to the mid 1960’s,
when the guy died and
the place burned down,
leaving only the admission
booth standing.
( 25 cents, please.)

Yet, as I am vaguely aware
that not only is the place
no longer extant, but also
was in New Jersey, and NOT
in Florida…..

We will move right along
to the main subject
of this here post.

It was alternately called
” Ed’s Place “,
” Rock Gate ”
and “Rock Gate Park”,
it’s known today as “Coral Castle”.

Built by one Edward Leedskalnin,
an immigrant from Latvia,
it originally stood in Florida City,
but in 1936, he moved the whole
kit and kaboodle 10 miles north
to a location on the Old Dixie Highway,
south of Miami in Leisure City.z1

Legend has it that Leedskalnin
was inspired to build the place
because his girlfriend in Latvia
backed out on their wedding
at the last minute.

Well, whatever got the guy goin’ –
it got him going for the next 28 years
while he worked on the place
day and night–z4
— in complete solitude and secrecy.

An interesting aspect of the place
that I remember from my last visit
was the main gate…

—  which, like almost all
of the stuff there, was
carved out of a single
huge piece of limestone —z2

The gate (8 tons) swung so easily
that a kid (like me at 9) could
easily open it.

Yet, Leedskalnin had no cranes,
no hydraulic lifts, no assistants, even.

Over the years,
I’ve heard a lot of cock and bullz5
mumbo-jumbo about how he
single-handedly cut , moved,
and placed it all….

But I think even Old Ed had
ascribed it more to leverage
than UFO’s or magnetism —

It’s like the old saying
by Archimedes —

” Give me a lever long enoughDigital image
and a fulcrum on which to
place it, and I shall move the world. ” 

— and, Leedskalnin certainly gave
it his all to do just that.

Hey– best of all —
you can still see this
vintage architectural
monstrosity for yourself…..

At 28655 South Dixie Highway,z9a
in Homestead.

The place even has a website:

Tell em ED sent you.

And be sure to drop the dime in the slot.

!!!!!! HOY !!!!!!




8 thoughts on “Coral Castle

  1. Very interesting, I want to go there! 🙂

  2. Wow! This is amazing! Would love to see it in person!
    Man, Ed put his time, blood, sweat, and tears into this!
    HUGS!!! 🙂

  3. julespaige says:

    Thanks for the tours. I’d read about the Florida guy, but not the one in NJ. Quick catch the quarters…you know 50 cent tour and all… I think that’s the closest I’ll get to either site.

    I did stop at some of the state parks in FL that had ancient coral quarries. Some of the red in the old coral was sand from the Sahara!

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