All is Flux

The Nautilus Foundation: Medieval Castle in the Woods



(page 1 of 4)

Dave Barfield

 

 

Fiona Hollier was inclined to pitch the large masonry stones she found in her closet — What was she to do with them? Make stone soup? — but they were so weighted with history, she could not.

In 1925, newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst hired contractors to dismantle the Cloisters and outbuildings of a 12th century monastery in Sacramenia, Spain, for transport to his home in California. But Hearst ran short of cash and the stones made it only as far as a Brooklyn warehouse. Decades later, a year after Hearst’s death, two Florida promoters bought the stones at auction and, at great cost, turned them into a Miami tourist attraction, the “Ancient Spanish Monastery.”  

Stones left over from that project — 

it is now owned by the Episcopal Church — were given to an art history professor at Florida State University, François Bucher.  Some were placed on exhibit at FSU’s Museum of Fine Arts.

Until 2014, the rest were hidden away in a large closet inside Bucher’s residence in the woods outside Lloyd, Florida. A scholar of medieval art and architecture originally from Switzerland, Bucher spoke six modern languages (plus Latin) and taught at several universities, including Yale, Brown, and Princeton, before coming to FSU in 1978.  

In addition to his home, Bucher built a center for creative research and teaching in Lloyd. His Nautilus Foundation brought exhibits by R. Buckminster Fuller and William S. Burroughs to a campus set on 400 acres of forest. The campus hosted lectures and symposiums by John James, Justus Dahinden, Morris Lapidus, and other major artists and architects of the 20th century. Its Trivium building housed Bucher’s 11,000-volume library, including rare books and illuminated medieval manuscripts, plus an extensive collection of paintings, sculpture and other decorative arts amassed during a lifetime of scholarship and travel. 

In the two decades since Bucher’s death in 1999, the land that comprised the Nautilus Foundation was divided and sold off piece-by-piece and most of his collection sold. What remains are 58 acres and a handful of buildings now owned by a couple from New Zealand, Fiona and Guy Hollier.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
 
Send me information about...
  •  Tallahassee Magazine
  •  Emerald Coast Magazine
  •  850 Business Magazine
  •  Northwest Florida Weddings

 

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Featured Articles

Celebrate Local Cuisine at Goodwood Museum and Gardens

Celebrate Local Cuisine at Goodwood Museum and Gardens

Tallahassee’s finest chefs prepare a lunch featuring fresh, locally sourced ingredients
Club Seminole Masters Swimmers Pursue Goals One Lap at a Time

Club Seminole Masters Swimmers Pursue Goals One Lap at a Time

Come on in, the water is just fine
Anne and Colin Phipps Have Lived Exotic Lives

Anne and Colin Phipps Have Lived Exotic Lives

Explored the world separately, then blended their lives to become a Tallahassee dynasty
Celebrating 80 Years of Tallahassee Nurseries

Celebrating 80 Years of Tallahassee Nurseries

The history and many evolutions in the nursery trade
Edit ModuleShow Tags