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Every little girl dreams of being a beautiful princess who lives in a castle, happily ever after. Well, my castle is a semi-detached house built in 1959, and I am no princess. But I can still pretend, right?

Last week, I spent an afternoon with my folks and Little Guy, wandering around a 6 story castle built on the 5 acre Heart Island. The castle was meant to be a monument of love from a husband to his wife, but when she died suddenly, the project was abandoned. In 1977, nearly 73 years later, restoration commenced and is ongoing.

It was stunning and elaborately detailed, making it difficult to choose one feature for this challenge!  This stained glass dome is suspended over 80 feet above the center of the Great Hall’s Grand Staircase, illuminating the grand staircase.



It is completely invisible from outside because it is enclosed – only the top is covered with glass to allow natural light to shine through. We had to climb to the 5th floor to see the top of it!

Glass Dome 4

The dome is over 7 feet high and measures 24 feet long by 18 feet wide and consists of well over 6,000 pieces of hand-cut art glass leaded into 48 individual sections. It took nearly a year to complete, including over 3 months for artwork and design.  Installation took little more than two weeks. The dome cost $214,000 and was finished in June of 2001. Designers included an intricate heart design to reflect details that were completed in the castle before it was abandoned, a symbol of the owner’s love and adoration for his sweetheart.

There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.-  George Sand

To see more Structures, click here.