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The Vanishing Dome Homes at Cape Romano

The Marco Island area offers something for every interest, from fresh seafood to gorgeous white sand beaches to the most unique shopping opportunities around. However, one attraction that everyone in your group will be interested in is the vanishing Dome Homes at Cape Romano. This slice of history is just one part of what makes the Marco Island area special, and you simply can’t miss it while you’re in the area. Best of all, it’s easy to get to from any of our Marco Island vacation rentals.

vanishing dome houses

Who Built the Dome Homes (and Why)?

The Cape Romano Dome Homes were built by Bob Lee, a now-retired oil producer. During the late 1970s, Lee purchased land on Morgan Island hoping to construct a vacation home, eventually buying four adjacent plots of land. Construction on the home began in 1980 and consisted of six interconnected dome structures making up the rooms of the house. Altogether, the home was 2,400 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. The structure was based on a full-scale model that Lee constructed in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which still stands today. The home was completed in 1982 with a valuation of $1.5 million.

above image of dome houses

Who Owns Them Now?

In 1984, two years after the home’s completion, the Lees sold the home to a different family. They repossessed the home in 1987 and stayed until Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Once the hurricane hit, the home was no longer habitable, and by 2004, water levels started to meet the concrete pillars holding up the home. The next year, Lee sold the house to Naples resident John Tosto. Tosto intended to renovate the property, but Hurricane Wilma struck a few months later, and reconstruction efforts never resumed.

By 2013, the home was officially abandoned and was sitting in water six feet deep. The home was a tourist attraction by this point and has continued to sink deeper and deeper underwater due to Hurricane Irma in September 2017. In 2018, ownership of the home officially transferred to the state of Florida. Currently, four of the domes are still standing.

dome houses

What Will Happen in the Future?

The future of the Cape Romano Dome Homes is still questionable. They remain a popular tourist attraction, and since they are in such a flood-prone location, it is unlikely that restoration will ever be started again. While no one can say for sure, it’s likely that the Cape Romano Dome Homes will remain standing until future hurricanes cause them to collapse or be hidden below the water. Now that you know the history of the Dome Homes in southwestern Florida, you’d better come to see them while you can before they are hidden under the water for good! After you check out the Dome Homes, you can head to any of the nearby Marco Island beaches for more fun in the sun. The Dome Homes in Cape Romano are a fascinating addition to any Marco Island vacation, and everyone in your group is sure to find them interesting and unique.

Plan Your Visit

They are just moments from our Marco Island beachfront rentals, so you can easily stop by at any point during your vacation!