Moving from New York to Florida over 40 years ago, Howard Solomon took the saying, ‘a man’s home is his castle’, and made it into a 12,000 square foot reality made out of scrapped metal and used car parts.
To continue in this vain of eccentricity, he built his three-storey castle by hand in the middle of a Florida swamp.
His original plan was simple enough – to build a nice family home on a piece of land he had bought in Hardee County.
However, after realising he had been duped and the land was actually a swamp, he decided to construct something that would be high enough to resist potential floods.
And there the seeds for his castle were sown.
Solomon had always been fascinated with medieval castles, and here was the opportunity to build his own 16th century medieval inspired version, complete with bell tower, moat and drawbridge.
Howard began work on his architectural masterpiece in 1972, and he has still not completely finished. Like many artists, he continues to play with his creation adding bits and modifying as he sees fit.
The 12,000 square-foot castle has been entirely hand-built by Solomon. Materials include scrap metal he obtained for free, discarded car parts and rebuilt machinery he bought for 10 cents on the dollar.
The building has several towers, gothic arches, double wooden gates, drawbridge and its very own dungeon.
He has also covered the walls with printing plates discarded by a nearby newspaper, and created homemade stained-glass windows. Other additions include a Spanish galleon in the castle moat, and a 250-seat dining room.
76-year-old Howard Solomon and his wife Peggy live in this recycled castle, but after being showcased on CNN, “Extreme Homes,” and in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, the building has become a tourist attraction.
Ever the adaptable entrepreneur, Solomon has now opened his doors to visitors. Guests can enjoy a meal in the large dining room, spend a night in the east tower for $100, or pay a small entrance fee to have a guided tour of the place.
Should you be interested, Solomon’s Castle can be booked for weddings, car shows and corporate events. Head to the website to find out more.