Tag Archives: house

Photo by Bullet, 2011

Clemenzi Homestead


This 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom home was built in 1928 and sits quietly on the side of two major highways. It was once owned by World War II and Vietnam veteran, Edmond J. Clemenzi and later to be claimed by the county Solid Waste Management division.

Clemenzi, a veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam, came to Fort Pierce in 1925, at the age of 3 with his family. He graduated from Fort Pierce High School in 1934, and went to work with his father. He joined the army in September 1941 after he learned he was about to be drafted.

He trained as an aviation mechanic at Chanute Field in Texas, but after being told to take the flight cadet examination by his sergeant, he ranked 13th out of 165 applicants and was later sent to MacDill Field in Tampa for bombardier school, where he would fly a B-26 Marauder.

His squadron went to England in May 1942 and began bombing runs over Europe and one of his 71 missions, his plane sustained 311 hits from anti-aircraft fire. On D-Day, he was also lead bombardier in the attack on German guns in Normandy.

In 1945, Clemenzi came home to Fort Pierce to operate a cement block company. He and his wife, Novella, had five children. As an Air Force Reservist, he was recalled for the Korean War where he was assigned to B-52 bombers during the Cold War.

Arthritis grounded him and he was sent to Vietnam to serve as deputy director of the 315th Special Operations Wing.

After his retirement, he spends most of his time fishing, boating and traveling in his camper.

Photographer: Bullet
Year Taken: 2011
Website: Abandoned Florida

Photo from Coastal Breeze News

Cape Romano Dome House

Photo from Coastal Breeze News
Photo(Coastal Breeze News): The house was planned to be fully self sufficient and eco-friendly.

Built in 1981 on the southern tip of Marco Island, the Dome House is an igloo-like concrete complex made up of white dome chambers, now decaying and slipping slowly into the ocean. Many know about it’s whereabouts but it’s origins were up to debate; from alien to secret cults. In truth, it was built by a retired oil producer and inventor.

Bob Lee began work on the house in 1980 with the idea that it would be completely self-sufficient and eco-friendly. Purchasing a barge, he began by moving the necessary supplies to the island, including the metal dome forms, two concrete mixers and fresh water to mix the cement.

Florida’s turbulent weather was taken into account and the sturdy, rounded domes were able to sustain hurricane winds, having taken little damage from Hurricane Andrew years later. Having a second use, rain water would hit the domes and would wash down into a gutter system which surrounded them, which lead into a cistern under the main dome. After running the water through filters, the water was then able to be used for things such as showers or dishwashing. Solar panels were installed providing free electricity to the house.

After it’s completion in 1982, Lee and his family sold just two years later in 1984. When the owner got into financial troubles, they repossessed the home in 1987 and lived in it until 1993. By that time, the island was already changing and had washed away other homes in the area.

Photo: 2005 aerial photograph of the Dome House.

It was purchased in 2005 by the John Tosto family with the hopes of renovating the home and making it functional again. Tosto planned on relocating the domes off state-owned lands and bring them into compliance with county building codes. The domes will be moved by crane and set atop new concrete or steel pilings more than 50 feet from the high tide line and at least 25 feet away from wetlands behind the site.Construction materials will be delivered by barge, and work will be timed to avoid sea turtle and shorebird nesting seasons, the permit application says.

Deemed unsafe, the Collier County Code Enforcement Board issued an order in 2007 to demolish the structures. Having already invested $500,000 into the parcel, he refused and was fined for $187,000 in 2009. Tosto spoke of having a vision, and said destiny, not luck, would allow him to prevail, still believing he could save the home.

The structures remain there to this day but are so far from the shore due to changing shoreline, that any attempt at saving them has probably long been lost.

Photo by Marci Seamples, 2013
Photo(Marci Seamples, 2013): The only thing keeping the house above the water are the pylons the concrete pylons they sit on.

Photographer: Marci Seamples
Year Taken: 2013
Website: Flickr

Archive Photos

Coastal Breeze News

Photo by Bullet, 2014

‘Honky Ranch’ Treehouse

Photo by Drew Perlmutter, 2012
Photo(Drew Perlmutter, 2012): The treehouse was built with bedrooms, bathrooms and a kitchen.

James Talmage “Tokey” Walker developed a strong work ethic at an early age. He delivered newspapers and sorted dirty diapers at the Swan Laundry to save enough money to attend the University of Alabama, where he hoped to earn a law degree. The collapse of the banks during the Great Depression saw his savings and his educational aspirations lost and the direction of his life changed.

Inspired by his father’s cousins, pioneers of southern aviation, he took up flying. During World War II, he served as a civilian flight instructor for the United States Navy at the University of Georgia. He and his wife later moved to Marietta, Ga., where Mr. Walker was a production test pilot for the B-29 bomber.

Photo by Nomeus, 2008
Photo(Nomeus – Flurbex.com, 2008): The buildings on the propery have been vandalized throughout the years.

In October 1945, the Walkers moved to Clearwater at the invitation of the late Robert J. Word, who had been a flight instructor in Georgia. They went into business together, renting and selling airplanes and giving flying lessons. When the government discontinued underwriting the cost of teaching war veterans how to fly, the company was converted and they began constructing window frames out of aluminum.

The business was renamed Metal Industries, now known as J. T. Walker Industries.

In the 60s, James Walker purchased a plot of land in Brooksville and began raising Charolais cattle, which he later converted into a commercial nursery years later. In the early-70s, he constructed a massive 3-story tree house on the property for his grandchildren, and included bedrooms, bathrooms and even a kitchen.

Photo by Nomeus, 2008
Photo(Nomeus – Flurbex.com, 2008): Everything inside have since been destroyed or stolen.

Mr. Walker was involved with the Clearwater YMCA and the Lions Club and was a founding member of the Springtime City Kiwanis Club. He was chairman of the Morton Plant Hospital Charity Ball in 1989 and was awarded the Golden Flame Philanthropy Award in 2000 in recognition of the donation he made in memory of his late wife, Sarah, who passed away in 1996.

James Walker passed away in 2003.

After his death, his property in Brooksville was abandoned, though it is still owned by J. T. Walker Industries. The buildings on the property have been vandalized throughout the years, for example, police arrived for training drills to find two men stealing copper wiring in 2007. A few years later, marijuana was found growing inside one of the greenhouses on the property.

Locals are concerned as a number of people have been caught there and the vandalism worsens.

Photo by Nomeus, 2008
Photo(Nomeus – Flurbex.com, 2008): Dubbed ‘Honky Ranch’ after Flurbex member, Incredible Honky, discovered the abandonment in 2008.

Photographer: Bullet
Year Taken: 2014
Website: Abandoned Florida

Photographer: Drew Perlmutter
Year Taken: 2012
Website: Flickr

Photographer: Nomeus
Year Taken: 2008
Website: FLURBEX