The Ruins of Cape Romano
Growing up in Southwest Florida, the homes of Cape Romano have always had a stigma surrounding their actual origin and evolution. The structures have literally become one of the most iconic SWFL marine destinations not just for tourists and casual boaters, but also the fishing charters and avid anglers. Rumors throughout the years ranged from a cult settling to abandoned alien structures. I've photographed this extra terrestrial concrete family for years (including the below image shot in August of 2020) but it wasn't until a recent super moon sunrise trip to photograph them, that it became clear, I have no clue where they came from.
With construction beginning in 1980, the original builder Bob Lee (a retired oil producer) saw the homes as a self sustaining vacation home for family and friends. The white concrete igloos were truly a unique design unlike any architectural structure this area has ever seen. It's also said that Bob was as unique and exciting to be around as the homes themselves. The distinct shape was designed to be aerodynamic in hopes to prevent wind damage from hurricanes and also to predictably deflect water into troughs that would be used for functional running water within the homes - genius right?!? As you can see in the below images, these living quarters were right on par with what a 1980's proper decor might look like. You have to give it to Bob, taking a concept like this and bringing it to life on a remote island in paradise is beyond what most would think is possible. So how did this compound go from the below pictures to the one photographed above?