How a broken heart created Miami’s Coral Castle
There have been castles made of sand. There are even castles in the air. Have you ever heard of a castle made of coral, though? Well, it exists down in Miami. Its creation is one of the wildest stories ever told.
Growing up Leedskalnin
Born in Latvia, Edward Leedskalnin didn’t have a great childhood. His family was one of the poorest in the area, which meant he was stuck with a lower level of education. Something that piqued his interest, however, was stonemasonry. Being able to construct buildings seemed like a proper way to make a living.
Along with his newfound career path, Leedskalnin was enamored with a lass named Agnes Skuvst. The two got engaged, and he was headed to joyful marital bliss. Unfortunately, things took a turn when Skuvst, who Leedskalnin called his “Sweet Sixteen,” ended their engagement. Instead of transferring his sadness into pop-punk songs, Leedskalnin did what any person would do in that situation. He packed his bands and flew to America.
I’m working on a building
After living in New York City and Oregon, Leedskalnin purchased land in Florida City. After settling in, he used his stonemasonry knowledge to construct a castle. Named Ed’s Place, the castle was built in 1923. It stayed in Florida City until Leedskalnin decided to head down to Miami. As expected, dragging a castle to another area was a complete nightmare. With the help of only one truck driver, he slowly made the switch.
After things were settled, Leedskalnin continued making improvements on the castle. He placed a swinging gate near the back of the structure. He also changed its name to Rock Gate to reflect the thousands of limestone used it its creation. When it comes to how he was able to construct this, Leedskalnin stated that he knew the secrets of the pyramids.
Opening it to the public
As expected, people wanted to see this bad boy in person. Leedskalnin knew how much cash he’d make, so he charged 25 cents for a tour. Fortunately, those who were in a financial crisis received a free tour through the castle.
In November 1951, Leedskalnin started to become very sick. While people were still coming to the castle, he had no one to look after it for him. Before heading to the hospital, Leedskalnin placed a sign that read “Going to the Hospital.” 28 days later, he was pronounced dead at 64 from a kidney infection.
Following Leedskalnin’s death, his cousin Larry became the owner of Rock Gate. Unfortunately, Larry was also in poor health, which resulted in Julius Levin buying the property. Levin changed the name of the structure to Coral Castle before selling it in 1981. Due to its importance, Coral Castle was listed in the National Register of Historic Places a few years later.
King of the castle
Today, Coral Castle remains one of Miami’s most visited establishments. The area was used as the background of the films Jimmy, the Boy Wonder and The Wild Women of Wongo. Billy Idol even had a Top 40 hit about Leedskalnin called “Sweet Sixteen.”
According to politician Rodriguez Aguilera, however, Coral Castle is secretly an Egyptian pyramid. She made the strange discovery during a rendezvous with aliens back in 2009. “For years people, including Presidents like Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter and astronauts have publicly claimed to have seen unidentified flying objects and scientists like Stephen Hawking and institutions like the Vatican have stated that there are billions of galaxies in the universe and we are probably not alone,” she told the Miami Herald. Whether it’s the supposed aliens or the glorious atmosphere, Coral Castle is a sight to see.