Castleberry House

Maitland FL

Year Built:1962
Size:1676 s.f.
Bedrooms:4
Bathrooms:2





Designed in 1961 at the height of the cold war, this house includes it's very own bomb shelter. Previously misidentified as a Nils M. Schweizer design, it was designed by Manfred Lopatka for Dr. & Mrs. Jesse Castleberry.

A courtyard entrance, exposed block, floor to ceiling glass along the entire back of the house, and terrazzo floors are just some of the features that give the house it's mid-century character.

A majority of the original terrazzo floors have been recovered in dark slate tile because of damange to areas that were ground down to remove an oil stain many years ago. That process left the floor uneven and repairs would have been too costly. The dark slate is a nice grounding element for the white painted exposed block walls.

With no windows on either side wall and a courtyard providing privacy in front, the home's design causes your attention to focus on the view into the back yard. Floor to ceiling glass doors open onto a large deck that extends into the yard and overlooks a creek running between two nearby lakes.

The current owners are in the process of remodeling. Addtional (and better) photos will be available after the remodel.

[Added February 2008 by Brett Castleberry]

I am the son of Jesse and Rosalie Castleberry. I lived in this house from the age of 8 until I graduated from Winter Park High School in 1971, when my family moved to a house on Lake Butler in Windermere.

The stain on the terrazzo floor was not oil. A boy playing on the building site kicked over a can of wood stain.

When we moved in, we discovered that the neighbors had speculated that the bomb shelter, which was located in the middle of the house and accessed by way of a flight of stairs from ground level, was going to be an indoor swimming pool.

I always wondered what we would do if there was a nuclear war and they wanted to come into the shelter. My father had garbage cans packed with supplies and radiation detection gadgets. In later years the space became a sort of "den".

It was my mother who imagined this house. A native of Chicago and a journalist by vocation, she loved the modern style. The kitchen was equipped with a roll-out top-loading dishwasher, a luxury in those days.

The house's biggest practical flaw was its flat roof, which collected pools of rainwater and leaked. Repeated attempts to repair it failed.

A nice feature: all four bedrooms had walk-in closets