Man-Made Object

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crashing_buttresses Month/Day/Year (Day) Hour:Minute:Second #8digitnumber



When I talk about architectural oddities most people will jump to the infamous Winchester Mystery House. A Late-Victorian maze of a residence comprised of 161 rooms and many more left undiscovered. Halls and stairs wind away to nothing — all to trap evil spirits supposedly living in the mansion.

But there are and were other homes similar to it, much like the home of James Boldwin. Boldwin's home was a quaint little cookie cutter one bath two bedroom on an inconspicuous Iowa suburb. He lived alone and worked at a bank 10 minutes away. On the night of 6/14/2012 however, his neighbors woke up to the sounds of construction and the sight of Boldwin's home missing a substantial section of roofing.

In contrast to the Winchester House, Boldwin had little room to expand his home due to the size of his lot. So instead of going out, he simply went up. Boldwin stood atop his roof hoisting many boards, bricks, and assorted power tools through the hole in the roof. Throughout the night he worked and even through the yells of his disgruntled neighbors, never even mustered a peep. His concentration was striking, with one neighboring soul named Darlene Clarks describing him that night as such:

"Thought he was sleepwalking at first — didn't speak or eat or nothing. Just worked. Didn't take him for much of a carpenter either. My sister Charlotte has sleepwalked before and it looked like nothing that man did. He moved around like a fighter plane— no wait, that's a weird way to say it. Ever seen one of those Japanese chefs that cook on your table? Was like them with tools and wood and all that jazz."

By the morning, a floor had appeared on his house. It didn't match the rest of the home and certainly didn't match anything in the neighborhood. It wasn't too big of a floor, two or three rooms and a couple windows lining it. The roof hadn't been finished either. By the end of the next day I heard about this oddity. I knew his neighbor Darlene before and she knew I was interested in the strange things — she thought I could solve this. It was an added treat that this fills my niche interest of strange architecture.

I was able to catch Boldwin while he was getting home from the store. Didn't get that much out of him.

crashing_buttresses Month/Day/Year (Day) Hour:Minute:Second #8digitnumber

What's with the add-on there?

BOLDWIN: Just a project. Don't worry about it.

Why work on it during the night? You wake up a lot of people with your construction.

BOLDWIN: Just when inspiration strikes.

What will this add-on look like when it's all done?

BOLDWIN: Dunno. My frozens are melting — I gotta go.

He grabbed all 10 of his bags at once and went inside. Didn't come back out after that.

crashing_buttresses Month/Day/Year (Day) Hour:Minute:Second #8digitnumber

I stayed at Darlene's that night as I wanted to watch and see if this pattern would happen again. I dazed off before he did anything though — doesn't help that I'm a heavy sleeper.

Next day there were two new stories to that house.

He'd gone to work before I woke up so I went to do some investigation. The 2 massive floors hung over the smaller floor below like a birds nest on a rock, precariously balanced atop. However, none of it should have been architecturally possible from my view — the floors were made out of brick (in contrast to the previous addition and original home if I may add) and nothing substantial appeared to hold them in place.



There are many cases of miraculous and nearly physics breaking architecture such as The Loretto Chapel's spiral staircase, but none of it compared to this seemingly gravity defying structure.

The police were there when he came back. Noise complaints from midnight construction really rack up a ton of disgruntled 911 calls. He got home and was immediately approached by three officers — a quaint exchange from the looks of it. Lots of pointing at the additions, the neighbors homes, and back at the Boldwin's home. Soon after they went in the latter.

They stayed and stayed and stayed in there. Maybe it was just the boredom of waiting that made it seem like that. Soon the cops came out but only them. They didn't look too happy — but they really didn't look mad either. They just jogged to their cars and drove away and I truly wondered if that would be the end of it.

Two more stories appeared the next day.

Equally as impossible — with a hint more abnormal scattered throughout. One section looked to be made of blanco ibiza marble. Marble's normal use for counter-tops along with it easily being chipped and fractured made seeing an entire exterior constructed out of it was quite the sight to see. Other parts looked Victorian, similar to the Winchester House mentioned before. A small tower protruded out horizontally from one wall. No police came that day — none would come later as well.

I waited for him to come home once again. When he did, I pressed him further until I reached something unexpected.

crashing_buttresses Month/Day/Year (Day) Hour:Minute:Second #8digitnumber

How does your home stay upright like that?

BOLDWIN: I don't understand what you mean.

It should collapse, all that can't be supported with such a small base and a lack of support beams or other supporting structures.

BOLDWIN: Man, do you just want to come in?

crashing_buttresses Month/Day/Year (Day) Hour:Minute:Second #8digitnumber

I obviously obliged. He walked from his car fumbling through a row of alike keys, finding one marked with "HOME". I stood behind and let him open the door.

His home looked fine from the ground floor — besides a ornate wooden staircase in the center of the kitchen. Boldwin didn't bother to show me around.

BOLDWIN: Follow me.

Walking through his mudroom, we came to a door. I feel the need to note that nothing was abnormal about this door besides Boldwin's peculiar presentation of it. When he opened it, he didn't look happy nor scared — merely conflicted. The door led to a descending staircase, light faded to void along the fourth step.

A feeling of sickness came over me. I could see it in Boldwin too but he appeared to be used to it. I felt like I heard something, though nothing but a consuming silence emitted from the basement. I could taste something tart, though my mouth was empty and dry. I could see nothing, though something was most definitely waiting down there.

BOLDWIN: I was entrusted to keep that trapped — to keep it inside.

I managed to purse a dry response.

Trap what?

BOLDWIN: I don't want to know.

He closed the door slowly and quitely — as if not to wake a sleeping child.

BOLDWIN: Are you satisfied?

My mind made a response that wasn't my own.


So I left. He showed me out, he looked me in the eyes and I still couldn't comprehend what he felt. I left there soon after, gave Darlene some cash for her troubles. I simply didn't want to be there anymore — even to me it felt uncharacteristic.

crashing_buttresses Month/Day/Year (Day) Hour:Minute:Second #8digitnumber

Now you may be wondering why this place isn't well known. I have described it as an architectural marvel. A massive tower sat atop of a suburban home, expanding into near to the clouds. Suitably comparable to a brick balancing on a pebble. Many of you will maybe try to find where this place is, don't bother.

It was torn down after they found part of his body.