Leon Weisener is a retired art professor and set painter who, by his own admission, has always used whimsy in his work.
The Carabelle Bottle House, from its conception to anyone’s experience of visiting, could barely be more fitting of that description.
Following his retirement to the small Florida town, Weisener had no idea why he wanted to build a house from bottles. He simply woke up one morning in 2012 and knew what he wanted to do.
Some 6,000 glass bottles later, the house stands 12ft long and 8ft high with a roof reaching 14ft.
Oddities include: wooden balls, mannequin hands and ostrich eggs as an exterior decoration. Interior of the house is extraordinary as well. It features a handmade stained glass and lenses from fire trucks and school buses. Also, there are several pieces of furniture made predominantly from wine corks.
While entering the house, visitors find not just the bottle house but an ongoing labor of love. The owner works on a 15ft-tall lighthouse that has a working revolving light on top. Also, there is a large static geodesic sphere. It is made of tethered together spheres and represents the artist’s life phases. Weisener has explained that all the items are inspired by memories of living in a geodesic dome in the East Tennessee mountains, during his 20s and 30s.
From dusk the bottle house and lighthouse lit up for several hours, adding a further layer of charm to an already alluring attraction.
Visitors are welcome any time and there’s no charge. Guests are greeted by Leon and his two pet poodles. The quaint town of Carabelle is all the richer for having this small corner of eccentricity showcasing the work, persistence and undeniable whimsy of its creator.
604 SE Ave F