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Behold, the Grand Castle Apartment Homes, Granville, Michigan. “Live like a King!! the brochure says. Well, fer sure, because America is going medieval after the New Great Depression is through with us. Actually, there are federal penitentiaries that have better-designed neo-medieval details than this humdinger, with its acres of raw concrete.  But it’s ambitious for sure — 522 rental apartment units!

Atlanta Federal Penitentiary

Here’s a closeup of the grand entry portal — lances up, everybody!

Here’s the dog park — sweet, huh? With scenic parking deck behind it.

Don’t forget the grand courtyard, perfect for tilting pageants! Note surrounding parking deck, Tons of parking! Parking = No problemo!

Map of the area shows the super-convenient site just off the Gerald Ford Freeway (196), and close to many business amenities, including: Grand Rapid Gravel,  Midwest Vibro, Jirah Metal Products, Give ‘Em a Brake Safety Products, and Deppe Mold and Tooling, and lots more. Thanks to Dan Widdis for the nomination!


About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

24 Responses to “June 2020”

  1. tucsonspur June 5, 2020 at 8:37 pm #

    It’s a pity that the builders of this creepy castle didn’t borrow heaps from the much more fanciful and playful Excalibur in Las Vegas. While the Excalibur has the Fun Dungeon Arcade, this structure most likely contains one much more serious and austere, for those unfortunate enough to be late on their rent payment.

    Hopefully the interior units have less medieval drudgery about them, with perhaps some thoughts of comfort and pleasantness imbued throughout, to keep the residents from overwriting the sign to ‘Now Fleecing’.

    I’d much prefer the Tower of London with its Kentish rag and Caen stones to this caserne of concrete. But who am I to be so impudent and challenge this latest entrée into today’s exanimated edifices?

    Oh yes, some jousting knights would be wonderful, and there’s plenty of room for hay and horses in those parking areas. That fountain in front (back?) is nicely done, and will most likely have more than three coins thrown into it.

    The portcullis and its adjoining towers are likeable features, having the appropriate scale and symmetry, but the facing helicopter landing pad does battle with any romantic notions of medieval times.
    But it is less alarming than Traitor’s Gate, and if necessary in the future, prisoners could be brought in by air rather than water.

    All in all, for those who like castle-penitentiary living, this may not be a bad choice. Put up some giant, bronze, lance wielding mounted knights at the four corner towers, and residents just might believe that they’re King Arthur or Guinevere.

  2. dowd June 6, 2020 at 9:09 am #

    Affordable Pretense has its appeal.

    From Grand Castle Apartment website.

    “Designed to make everyday living extraordinary.

    Live like Royalty.

    Featuring authentic architecture, high-end finishes, and unparalleled community amenities, The Grand Castle is a destination apartment community and future hub of the Grandville community. The property showcases genuine castle construction with a 15 story tower, pool, lakefront access, full fitness center, walking/biking trails, and more.”


  3. sleek111 June 6, 2020 at 9:39 am #

    AMERICA 2020


    Too bad goy.

    Too bad.

    For YOU.

  4. shabbaranks June 6, 2020 at 10:43 am #

    It’s reminiscent of the design of the Old Montana State prison. The crenelation along the turrets, keep walls and gate house give it that feel of “authenticity” that the people of our era crave.

    Although it lacks a moat on all four sides, the two nearby lakes are available for mock naval battles.

    Link to Old Montana State Prison photo:


    • AKlein June 12, 2020 at 8:49 am #

      Very well crafted post, shabba! Your choice of words is superb. May I offer a word you might consider for inclusion? You refer to “mock naval battles”. The Romans actually had a word for such; “Naumachia”. In fact, the Coliseum (AKA Flavian Amphitheater) was able to hold them before its cellars were converted into quarters for the wild animals. I know the period is entirely wrong, but could not a bit of poetic license be invoked? Envision posters proclaiming “Naumachia at 4:00PM! 50 Ships. Behold tenants fight to the death!”

  5. Ishabaka June 8, 2020 at 4:11 pm #

    As soon as I saw the picture I thought “prison”. Man, that looks bleak. Does each apartment come with a complimentary bottle of Prozac?

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  6. bymitch June 8, 2020 at 10:31 pm #

    glad to read that this is based on authentic castle architecture and is of genuine castle construction.
    too many buildings today are just cheap cardboard cutouts of the real thing and are designed to seduce and give false hope to grandeur.
    while the site may let the side down a bit, it is no longer a strategic requirement to be elevated above the surrounding countryside.
    these days we have surveillance by digital means and gentrification of less than desirable neighbourhoods is deemed a noble cause.
    a distinctive reduction in arrow loops is also prevalent due to the more efficient firepower of modern equipment over the humble bow and arrow.
    another important feature under this form follows function doctrine is the super size murder hole in the centre of the drawbridge to drop vehicles on unsuspecting attackers approaching under cover of the dry moat.
    plenty of space for stored ammo on the upper deck, presumably lowered down to entry level by elevator, where handbrakes are released prior to opening the portcullis.
    an extremely high wall to window ratio in general offers the usual high castle security from projectiles and also suits modern living where one can retreat to their safe place without the pressure of seeing what is actually going on around you.
    high ceilings allow the height to operate a noose if things get really out of hand.
    Looks like these guys have taken you literally James, with all that talk of going medieval

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  8. spikedpsycho June 13, 2020 at 11:36 pm #

    Even prisons are adopting modern architecture standards. The truth is prisons have always utilized architectural models for the purpose of psychological and human experimentation.

    Today in the era of coddling and reform, buildings that mimic Scandanavian wood and concrete are all the infantile rage.

    On the plus side, hopefully it’s defensible if BLM, Antifa show their ugly head to trash yet again another city as homage to their deceased drug addict. Understand this:

    Whatever you tax, you get less of. Whatever you subsidize, you get more of. You can’t “end racism” by giving people money. That’s called “subsidizing racism.”

  9. spikedpsycho June 14, 2020 at 3:19 am #

    In the modern “Woke” society, anything regarding historical or cultural contributions to architecture is painstakingly wiped; PARTICULARLY that of the Western World; as we are apparently the true barbarians and primitive societies were peaceful and superior? Western architectural firms are increasingly desperate, their firms are too big, their pool of employees oversized, the rate of university crankout of architects with zero drafting or engineering ability but ease of computer aided design allows them to cheaply flaunt designs that cost little to think up but engineers have to scratch their heads at to make possible. The World Trade Center rebuild required several overhauls and re-designs…..because the former visions were not compatible with the laws of physics.

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  14. HowardBeale June 19, 2020 at 9:26 am #

    The place has been chosen as the primary site for the filming of ‘Bladerunner II.”

  15. Majella June 24, 2020 at 8:29 pm #

    Here’s a genuine modern day castle. The realisation of a dream born 35 years ago, this place is something else. Built by Dot Smith & her husband (successful and quite wealthy dairy farmers), you can visit quite easily and for free.


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  16. GoLightRail August 7, 2020 at 3:57 pm #

    The architect obviously got his inspiration from his childhood Lego model. But the end result was a medieval prison revival, complete with guard towers, chain link fences and lifeless courtyards.

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  20. Ricky_Frederick February 13, 2021 at 1:29 pm #

    Cool house! A very bold idea, to build an apartment building in the form of a castle, the architects are great. I would like to live in such a place, though the playground looks kind of gray surrounded by concrete walls, it looks like a kind of prison … By the way, the photos of this house that you shared look incredibly high quality! I think you should post them on your Instagram account. I quite often find there similar photos with architecture and many times noticed that such photos are mostly laid out by accounts that have at least 18 thousand subscribers! I am sure this is because the owners of these accounts have repeatedly used the services of https://soclikes.com/ in order to wind up followers for Instagram.

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