You probably relize that the world’s most iconic and impressive structures took years upon years to complete, not to mention some serious cash and man power. There are limits to what one person can do, although we often refuse to admit it; yet, the following incredible buildings were each the result of one very enterprising person.
They may not be as impressive as the Pyramids or the Great Wall of China, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve appreciation. Here’s proof that one person can make a difference!
10. The Garden of Eden
The Garden of Eden was constructed by one elderly man, Samuel Perry Dinsmoor. He began to build the Garden in 1907 and halted in 1929 when he went blind. Located in Kansas, the Garden of Eden is a collection of sculptures that convey a wide assortment of messages. For instance, politics and religion both are found within the walls of the Garden.
9. Salvation Mountain
Salvation Mountain has been called many things. Bizarre and eccentric are common descriptions for the art site. Located in California, it is certainly an impressive site. Leonard Knight began construction on the Mountain with the Bible in mind. True to its title, Salvation Mountain has the message of “God is Love.”
8. 3-D Printed Castle
This one-man construction is impressive both for its engineering and technological bearing. It was built using a 3-D printer and is the first of its kind. Andrey Rudenko has a background in engineering and construction work; he was also intrigued by the fairly new technology of 3-D design and printing.
7. Le Palais Idéal
Le Palais Idéal, or, the Ideal Palace, is the lifework of Ferdinand Cheval, a French Postman. The incredible structure was built by Cheval over the course of 35 years, from the time he was 43 years old. It began as a kind of accident. Cheval was making a postal round when he discovered a stone that spoke to him – no comment.
6. Coral Castle
Edward Leedskalin, a Latvian American, reportedly created a sculpture garden in Florida single-handedly. Coral Castle, as it is named, was built over 28 years and contains stones that weigh several tons on their own. Myths surround the construction, mainly around how it was built by just one man.
5. The Watts Tower
The Watts Towers are one of the largest one-man construction in the world. There are seventeen constructions in total, and were built by one man: Simon Rodia. An Italian immigrant, Rodia bought the lot for the towers in 1921 and almost immediately began their construction. The towers took him 34 years to complete.
4. Filippo Bentivegna’s Heads
Filippo Bentivegna had an interesting life. A Sicilian native, he immigrated to the US in 1912, but later returned to Sicily disillusioned. When he returned, he was accused of escaping military duties, but was deemed mentally unfit to serve. Following these experiences, Bentivegna bought a plot of land outside his home town and began to carve the rocks on his property.
3. Bishop Castle
Bishop Castle was built by Jim Bishop when he was 25 years old. Prior to this, the land for the construction was built by Bishop when he was only 15 years old. It was bought using saved up money, and his parents signed the land deal for him. After he was married, he decided to build a cabin on the plot of land, using stones in the area. What resulted was something far more impressive.
2. Ra Paulette’s Caves
Ra Paulette has a passion for sculptural work, and decided to use this passion to construct caves. For 25 years Ra Paulette has been working on the caves, digging into New Mexico’s sandstone using only hand tools. Paulette only had a vision and passion for the construction of the caves. The caves are centers of art that have drawn attention around the globe both for their artistic value, and their unique method of construction.
1. Don Justo’s Cathedral
Justo Gallego Martínez, a former monk from Spain, has been building this cathedral since 1961. It is not an official cathedral; it has no authority as such, yet it resembles one in many ways. Over the course of 50 years, the cathedral has been erected in Madrid, all single-handedly. Don Justo, as he is also called, has been using salvaged items to create the massive building for much of his life.