Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Poseidon's Fortress

Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time, a young medical student knelt in his dorm room before a makeshift altar dedicated to the Greek god Poseidon. "Great lord of the sea," he implored, "I ask that you aid me in completing my course of study and becoming a successful doctor. In return, once I achieve that success I pledge to build for you a palatial home that will celebrate your magnificence in all its glory!"

The great god Poseidon was moved by the young student's request, and agreed to render assistance on those terms. The student went on to graduate from medical school with top marks and obtain a prominent position at a hospital in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. Ever mindful of his pledge, the doctor purchased a prime lot on the banks of the Mississippi River, whose waters eventually flow into the Gulf of Mexico, and went to work building the promised home.

The trouble was, skills in medicine don't exactly translate to competence in architecture or interior design, and the time was the 1970's. The result was Poseidon's Fortress, a luxury home that's so over-the-top it's hard to believe that it even exists outside of the movies. The ocean motif is everywhere inside and out, and on top of that the living room has its own smoke machine and bank of lasers (!).

I have no idea if that's the real story. In fact, it almost certainly isn't. What I do know is that the home was built by a doctor in Saint Cloud who is now selling it. I also have no idea whether his obsession with Poseidon stems from any sort of deal with the deity, but in terms of explaining this house it's as good a theory as any. Suffice it to say I find many of the design choices pretty inexplicable without some paranormal reasoning.

So let's say you're a devotee of Poseidon and wish to bask in his glory every waking and sleeping moment. Could this be the house for you? Keep in mind that Greek statues only look plain and elegant because over time the tacky, bright colors in which they were painted have washed or worn away. If their original appearance is any indication, Poseidon himself would probably love this place a million times over.

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