Walt Disney had a dream and as he dreamed his dream grew, his dream became a vision of a magical park with rivers, mountains, flying elephants and waterfalls, and of course his Mickey Mouse and families with smiling children, and Walt Disney named his dream “The Magic Kingdom”. Rivers, mountains, castles and flying elephants are expensive, and as investors do not accept dreams in collateral, Walt Disney created the television series “Disneyland” to raise funds by offering a glimpse of his ever-expanding dream. And what happened: Little by little Disneyland took shape in the minds of investors, for, as we know, there is collateral in what can be seen. And, as we shall find, a thing must first be envisioned before it can be engineered.
Much has changed since Walt Disney and his team drew pictures of the first Disneyland in 1953. Some changes have occurred in government regulation of land use and land development, some changes for the better, some changes for the worse, especially for the worse of those who have visions anterior to the matrix of typical land use. Then too, Disney Corporation has changed from a company formed to realize the dreams of Walt Disney to a company that acquires and manages the dreams of others, and here each dream is engineered to turn in sync with the gears of the Disney Woke machine.
The dream of AEGEA’s founders has grown from the Aegean, from the cradle of our Classive Civilization to become a dream of a great world city, of new concepts of entertainment in living, of delight in amusements and in the experience of the world: The best of the world’s architecture, history and commerce in one place, in central Florida at AEGEA. In 2012, AEGEA’s founders gathered around a table over several days to sketch the idea of AEGEA. AEGEA’s founders sketched — without the well-practiced sketching talents of Walt Disney’s design team — from what they knew, and a dream grew to inspire others who have expanded and enriched the original vision. Again, in 2014, the dream of AEGEA’s founders expanded by the practiced talents of the world’s great architects and artists, and it is from this comprehensive vision that AEGEA is engineered.
AEGEA’s founders, alike Walt Disney, have a dream; unlike Walt Disney, the AEGEA dream is not a fantasy in the passing experience of a day; AEGEA is a dream made real, a permanent work of civic art intended to fulfill the life of the individual, the community, the nation, and civilization. Yes, this is a big dream, a dream larger than any single man. To accomplish this dream, Civilization’s visionaries, her Classive architects and artists gather for a single intention, the extension of our familial genesis in the Aegean, through history, past modernism, into the better future. We know this; we see the failure of modernism all around; we understand that Classive civilization holds our world together; we agree that classical liberty has allowed invention, encouraged commerce, granted freedom; and we have a reasonable fear that progressive licentiousness will destroy the essential goodness that civilization has developed over 4,000 years.
AEGEA was inspired by the beauty of Greek Ionia. Ancient, Minoan Crete is the design seed from which modern Aegea will grow. Aegea’s architecture and art will set a stage for the play of cultural delights, amusements and entertainments. Alike an Axial Age, AEGEA will cluster around an inland sea the formative cultures of civilization, each culture to be contained within a town whose physical structure holds its essential elements of architecture, art and commerce. Each cultured town will follow like a story, chapter to chapter alike the pages of a book the path of Hellenism which, in walking, will tell the history of human accomplishment in magnificent sweeps and in delightful episodes.
Why AEGEA? As the town’s fathers have realized, the Aegean is the well-source, the touch-stone, the genesis of, well, us, all of us, all we speak, see, say and know. In our language are the seeds of a classive culture that continues to grow ideas, ideas of governance, of commerce, and of liberty; of art, science, literature; of education…but how best to say? We Americans are not Progressives, we are Classives, we are the continuation of the Minoans, the Ionians, the Athenians, the Hellenes, the Romans, the Asians, the Africans, the Europeans, the Renaissance, The Enlightenment, and we are in constitution the sons and daughters of Liberty, the ascendants of Athenian Democracy. We make our destinies by liberty. We in Aegea will learn from Hellenism how to create the conditions most suitable to world-encompassing human flourishing.
The founders of Aegea are recovering humanity’s Classive heritage: Troy, Crete, Athens, Rome, Europe, traditional America, and the best of the wider world both ancient and enlightened. In the vast land of retired groves within Florida’s Okeechobee Basin, Brahmin bulls graze free of fences as did the sacred bulls in Crete before Knossos, as did horses roam the Troad before Troy, as did cattle graze in Attica before Athens, as did the long-wool sheep take refreshment upon the swampy edges of Potomack before the District of Columbia. Here, in Okeechobee, where wide canals flow into the Atlantic, the city of Aegea will recover the precious civilization recently lost to the chaos of progressive devastations. Here, Aegea will remember the architecture, the art, the commercial texture of the world’s great cities. In sympathetic creations the great cultures of the world will find themselves closely connected by friendly roads, commerce and festival.
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Greek architectural heritage was revived in Greece following expulsion of the Ottoman Turks in 1832. This revival of classical form was helped along by numerous Pan-European, Classive architects, especially the Danes and Germans (Hansen, Klenze, Schinkel, et alia.) Within the brief space of a few years, Greek architects trained in classical discipline at Athens’ new School of Art, (funded by King Ludwig I of Bavaria), built newly liberated Greece in what the Greeks termed “Greekness”: an iconic classicism picturesque and authentic, the “Neo-Grec”.
American Neo-Grec looks to 19th-Century Greek Classicism rather than to the American 19th-Century Greek Revival for emulation and inspiration. You will find the Neo-Grec in many New Urbanist towns and developments, and as outpost in modernistic neighborhoods where the clean, fine lines and well-drawn forms of the Neo-Grec soothe the visual distractions of violently tilting boxes, disconcerting angles, and inarticulate walls.
“Greek” Greek Revival differs from “American” Greek Revival in many a particular:
“American” Greek Revival “Greek” Greek Revival
White to emphasize purity of form. Multi pastels to delineate parts.
Steep-pitched roofs. Shallow-pitched roofs.
Bilaterally symmetrical blocks. Tripartite symmetrical divisions.
When not stone, wood. When not stone, stucco.
Shuttered windows. Windows alike temple facades.
This low-slung house might be mistaken for a prairie ranch if not for the fine details, the well-ordered symmetries, and the pleasant pastel color. Also, the formal “H” plan offers a richer experience, a broader expanse than does the rambling mod ranch. The house looks through itself, at itself, into itself, and away from itself to its neighbors—whereas the ranch has its long view and its far view and its little corners. The several private bedrooms open to courtyards; the great room greets both the front and rear courts, is open to the kitchen, is a shield to the private rooms; there is opportunity for dining at kitchen counter, the contiguous dining room, the adjacent dining loggia, or the rear court; there is a mud room with cubbies, a laundry, a powder room, a one car garage, and many occasions for outdoor living.
Designed for the in-land sea of Florida’s Aegea development, this home remembers the great Mediterranean and Aegean villas of the antique and the classical age.
Villa Aegea satisfies the requirements of grand living: a two-story ballroom, a dining hall, a commercial kitchen, necessary service rooms, guest quarters, retreat and entertainment spaces, an outlying master suite, an observatory, a library, a multi-room office, maid and butler quarters, cinema room, gymnasium, indoor boat garage, et cetera. The white-stucco exterior is punctuated by finely fenestrated doors and windows, Tower of the Winds columns, several pediments, and a golden roof top.
Greek temples, the American 19th Century Greek Revival, archeological excavations, and Greek 19th & 20th Century architecture are some of the many 21st Century Greek Revival precedents. This current revival seems to be less iconic and rather more fundamental than earlier revivals, and more inventive than expected. You might see the Ionic Capital from the Temple of Apollo at Bassae instead of the typical Parthenon Doric, or you might see a capital true in its proportions but a new thing upon the earth. The forms tend to be well-drawn, clean and crisp, more formal than playful. But play is here too, the play of light and shadow, the play of geometry, and the play of color—the pure-white of the early Greek Revival has given way to archaeological facsimilitude, or just plain fun. It seems that the rebirth of classical Greece has again enriched America’s architectural heritage.
Low-pitched roofs, clean forms, restrained detail, and fidelity to order identify the style, whether the precedent is a Greek temple, stoa, or residence either ancient or modern.
Even fewer classical details than were present in earlier revivals, except for the high-style buildings from which many ancient Greeks could have taken a lesson.
Rather more Palladian than were ancient Greek homes, more townhouse or villa than farmhouse or temple.
Both variations of this home are tripartite in section, plan, and elevation. In plan, two bedrooms and a bath are on one side, the master suite on the other, and the public rooms are comfortably snuggled between. The central temple-front variation divides the dining room from the living room by a two-sided fireplace, and it pushes out the columns in antis portico into a columned porch with pediment and simple entablature. If the ceiling of the temple front variation is vaulted, this small home will seem grand. Grand or not, there is plenty of privacy in the bedrooms when the family retires from study, dining, and entertainment. Too, the triple gable of the rear elevation increases the opportunity for solar panels.
This house, in the style of the 19th Century Greek island, Chios, remembers the Chiosts who rebuilt their ancestral home after the massacre of some 20,000 Greek islanders by the Islamic-Ottoman overlords.
The Greek architectural heritage was revived in mainland Greece following expulsion of the Ottoman Turks in 1832. This revival of the classical form was helped along by numerous Pan-European, Classical architects, especially the Danes and the Germans (Hansen, Klenze, Schinkel, et alia.) Within the brief space of a few years’ time, Greek architects trained in the classical discipline at Athens’ new School of Art, funded by King Ludwig I of Bavaria, built modern Greece in what the Greeks termed “Greekness”: A picturesque authenticity of iconic classicism.
Much of American Neo-Grec looks to 19th Century Greek Neo-Classicism rather than to the American 19th Century Greek Revival for emulation and inspiration. You will find the Neo-Grec in many New Urbanist towns and developments, and increasingly holding outpost in modernistic neighborhoods where the clean, fine lines and well-drawn forms of the Neo-Grec soothe the visual distractions of violently tilting boxes, aggressive angles, and incoherent walls.
This home is rich, rare, almost exquisite, expensive to build. Even so, if built for a family, as designed, it might survive a millennia, a cost savings over time. You will notice the logic of its plan, the convenience of movement, the privacy, the ship-like efficiency, the centeredness, the temple quality, the geometry, the transitions, interior to exterior, private to public, intimacy to grandeur.
* These four houses (above) will be detailed in the “Aegea” edition of The Beautiful Home, summer 2022.
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This final note concerning one of several entertainment properties developed for AEGEA’s entertainment industry: The Aegea Triology.
The Aegea Trilogy creates wholesome, abiding characters from which A E G E A ’s entertainment industry might grow. To form A E G E A ’s founding allegory; to bring early publicity to A E G E A ’s entertainment villages, theme parks, and to the 48 miles of greater A E G E A, a series of family supportive films. Episode I, Sama the Prince, tells of a native girl who wins a prince, travels to a foreign land, becomes a princess, leads her people to found a new city after her husband’s ancestral city is destroyed by a jealous god. Her land, the shores of Lake Superior; her husband’s land, Atlantis; the story’s seed, recent DNA evidence of the Cherokee’s Mediterranean ancestry; Aegean Sea shipwreck of possible Michigan copper, and other details in evidence and probability.
Sama, “Samalon”, son of Apollon, son of Atalon for whom Atlantis is named. Seven hundred years after the volcano that destroyed the kingdom of Atalon (Atlantis) the island was refounded by Theras, son of Austesion, descendant of the hero Cadmus; it is from Theras that the island receives its name, “Thera”. Our story occurs before the age of heroes during the age of demigods, Apollon being the human manifestation of the divine Apollo. Archeological evidence suggests trade between the Aegean Sea’s Doric-Ionian cultures and the North Americas; D.N.A. gives evidence that several American Indian societies have a Mediterranean ancestry. It is likely that the towns of Akrotiri and Knossos share a common culture. The jealous eruption of Kaptara scatters the Atlanteans and civilizes the Western world. Our story tells the history of Prince Samalon and the remarkable Aiyana, daughter of Kubaba.
*Atlantis is know to us from Platonic allegories in the Timaeus and the Critias, from Solon’s Atlantica (from an account given him by Egyptian scholar-priests), from Hellanicus’ Atlantis (existing in fragments), and from other later accounts, mostly dubious.
A E G E A is a palindrome; A E G E A is an acronym, A E G E A is a neologism for the namesake of the Aegean Sea, Aegeus, the Athenian king, father to the hero, Theseus; and, A E G E A is the extension of the proto-Ionian culture that formed Western Civilization. A E G E A will contain within the core ten miles of its greater 48 miles, eleven village colonies representative of civilization: Grecia, Italia, Dacia, Germania, Arabia, Asia, et alibi. AEGEA: Attractions and Entertainment in a Global Exhibition of Architecture; Aegea.
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