On a recent trip to Fort Myers Florida I looked up the Giant Beethoven head. The mighty Ludwig guards the entrance to Pyramid Village, a community of futuristic tent-like condos built by a bunch of Austrians as a vacation resort. Apparently nothing says “vacation” like a giant, scowling head of Beethoven.
The resort is tucked into an inconspicuous plot of land between a housing development and busy US 41. The pyramids, which are designed to be hurricane- and burglar-proof, were invented by engineer Walter Freller. The village opened for business in 2002, and a tiny Sphinx was placed in front of the giant head in 2003. It is all very strange.
Former pyramid resident Janice Lassonde provides these insights: “The pyramids were built by Austrian people as a Florida resort property. The Beethoven head was a joke amongst the Austrian originators of the Pyramids. They said that now that they had ‘Austrian’ pyramids, they now needed an ‘Austrian’ Sphinx to go with them — thus the Beethoven ‘Sphinx’ was erected.
“The pyramids are two bedroom units. There is a sandy beach and a beautiful pond/pool to swim in inside the circle of the pyramids. They are mostly marketed to Europeans for vacations.
On a recent visit to Cape Corral Florida I visited the Iwo Jima Memorial. The memorial was commissioned by Gulf American Corporation in 1964, Felix W. deWeldon, sculptor of the original memorial in Washington, D.C., created this replica for the Rose Garden in Cape Coral. Restored by the sculptor in 1981, this one-third scale recreation of the original Marine Corps War Memorial is one of three in existence. Through the efforts of the Marine Corps League, the sculpture was refurbished and rededicated February 22, 1998, at the present location in Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve.