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JL Sargent

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Nice shots @sunburnwilly surprised there was any color left up there, guess they haven't had much cold either yet. Nippy here today saw 23 on the thermometer an hour ago. You hear of the collaboration with the next WRX in the works? Phone feed talked about Toyota getting in on it. Been fascinated with Subarus since I saw an 80s sedan that every bolt, screw and pin bumper to bumper was vertical, not a single break your wrist angle to get at! That is an incredible feat!

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10 hours ago, JohnJ said:

Nice shots @sunburnwilly surprised there was any color left up there, guess they haven't had much cold either yet.

There was a lot of green I'll bet peak color is this week . Great sight lines on the Dragon right now and not crowded .


10 hours ago, JohnJ said:

You hear of the collaboration with the next WRX in the works? Phone feed talked about Toyota getting in on it.

Yeah they did a good job with the BRZ and GT86/FRS so it could be something to look forward to as long as they keep the rawness in the STi . Don't care what they do to the WRX 😜

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On 11/9/2019 at 1:40 PM, Shiva said:

... including this Dragon head.



While up in Peoria, Illinois this past summer I stopped along Grandview Drive and took these guarding the driveway entrance to one of the houses.



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Some nice photos!  Scenics were great!  Fall colors down there just explode!  Drive entrances are for the most part unique in their own way.  I couldn't afford to build the base let alone decorate it.  Maybe a pumpkin target for the kids driving around smashing mailboxes w/baseball bats.   :)

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4 hours ago, JL Sargent said:

Wonder what that is made out of? Looks like cast bronze maybe? Expensive I bet too.


Pretty sure they are bronze. They are easily 8 feet tall, not counting the bases. One on each side of one of the driveways. Thee house is pretty huge, currently owned my a doctor. There was a moat at one time, but it cost them too much to keep all the plumbing a pumps maintained. It was built in 1928.






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6 minutes ago, oldtimer said:

It is what is known in the trade as a "folly."


True... the current owner holds all manner of functions and parties there. Supposedly does a great Halloween party.  There are a lot of other beautiful houses on this Drive, but this is the one that gets all the pictures.

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I hadn't realized before, but the dragons are new (relatively speaking). From an article about them (they can breathe fire... 😲)



The property at 4717 Grandview Drive is one of the area’s most iconic landmarks. Built in 1929, the castle is an enchanting sight to passers-by.  Over the years, it has provided a scenic backdrop to many pictures, as well as a favorite place for kids to visit on Halloween night.    

When Dr. Carl Soderstrom became the owner of the castle five years ago, it didn’t take long for him to realize that it was also a place full of mystery.

“There’s sounds, there’s footsteps,” Soderstrom said. “Sometimes, when you come by here, there’s smoke coming from the chimney...and there’s no one here.”


Dr. Soderstrom said he never could find the source of the phenomenon, so about three years ago he started thinking seriously about doing something to protect his home and all who enter.

He called up his good friend, world-renowned sculptor Lonnie Stewart, and the brainstorming process commenced.

Soderstrom wanted statues built to sit at the entrance of the castle. He originally thought lions would be the perfect guardians, but Stewart had his heart set on dragons.  Soderstrom agreed.

“Carl and I talked and discussed this, and he said “go ahead with the dragons”, he liked the idea,” said Stewart.  Though, Soderstrom’s vision was a bit more elaborate. “His input was ‘let’s have fire and smoke, and all the bells and whistles’,” continued Stewart. 

That idea took Stewart to Las Vegas, where he tracked down pyro technician Ed Pratt. Stewart said Pratt was the perfect man for the job. Pratt, whose career in pyrotechnics has landed him jobs working with celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Vegas magicians Siegfried and Roy, agreed to bring his talents to the Soderstrom castle.

After two years of planning and building, the dragons were ready to be revealed to the public.

To celebrate the unveiling, Soderstrom planned a medieval-themed party complete with music by Barry Cloyd, who wrote a song especially for the occasion.


Last Saturday, more than 100 people gathered outside the gates of the Soderstrom Castle to witness the dream of Soderstrom and Stewart come to life in a very big way. Soderstrom’s grandson Dillon Soderstrom had the honor of introducing the life-size dragons Allula Amora and Mosta Maximus. Both made of galvanized bronze, the female dragon Allula, on the left, protects her nest of three eggs.  Stewart said this is common in dragon folklore, and it represents the prosperity and longevity of the Soderstrom name.

The male, Mosta, holds the Soderstrom crest. Onlookers were amazed when the dragons showed off their fire-breathing skills. Soon after the dragons were introduced, the castle and its new protectors were blessed by Soderstrom’s priest.

The otherwise frigid day was no match for the warm hospitality provided by the Soderstrom family. Afterwards, the crowd was invited to stay for a medieval meal featuring turkey drumsticks fit for a king.

There was even a few laughs along the way. “Carl was really upset when they (the dragons) arrived because the scales looked a little dry, so we sent them to the Soderstrom Skin Institute. Now they have a nice luster,” Stewart joked. 

The next time you find yourself on Grandview Drive, make sure to slow down and take in the beauty of these majestic guardians at the gate.

“In your fantasy world, a protector is always nearby,” said Dillon Soderstrom in his introduction. “For this castle, Allula and Mosta are the guardians of its charm and mystique.”




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