Monday, January 13, 2014

Pizza and Catholicism: Good Mix Only in Florida's Ave Maria. By Geniusofdespair

Thomas Monaghan founder of Domino's Pizza (and former owner of the Detroit Tigers) must have had a vision. He founded the Catholic town in Florida called Ave Maria. Having a hankering for some Catholicism from my past with bully nuns, I decided to visit the town that is flush with funding. Here is my photo essay of the greatest town this side of Immokalee (they are quite close in distance). For EOM background, click here.
Could Ave Maria be the definition of sprawl? Probably the worst I have seen. It might flood-under one day.

Didn't pass one car.

In case you didn't know where you were there was a second sign down the road.

First group of stores

Interior of first group of stores

Creatively Catholic named streets. 

The Center of downtown, Church with flying buttresses.


Stuff for your front lawn.

Empty coffee shop on Sunday morning.

Don't know what this means. Not Catholic enough.

Just in case one devoted rich guy benefactor wasn't enough, this town has two. Money Market guru Jack Donahue and his wife.

I guess for  the school? Have your Catholic creds ready.

Everything is named after Maria.

....Even the utility Company.

Although this entitity is named after a saint.

All those cars and empty streets....here are the people.

Here is where things get sinister.
I picked up this flyer. Note they are telling you HOW TO VOTE. What happened to separation of church and State that gets them their tax deductions.

Okay there is a school and an industrial center and a University, even a Publix. Great little town in the middle of nowhere.  Someone already told me to "get a life" ( they were deleted of course). What could be better in life that visiting a Catholic town that excludes others by design. I should have tried to buy a house while there.

You can get this 2/2, 1,200 sq. ft. Condo overlooking Annunciation Circle and the rear of the church for $195,000.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Big Jeb Bush supporters in wetlands. Go Panthers!

Anonymous said...

The town looks mostly deserted from the photos. Where is any nearby work for the people who live in Ave Maria? This appears that if the funding runs out, so will the town.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your captions to the pictures.

Anonymous said...

Awesome! God bless them!

Anonymous said...

The four non-negotiable issues are in the Catholic Voting Guide. Catholics are reminded that they cannot vote for political leaders who approve those issues.

Anonymous said...

Looks pretty - I think I'll take a road trip.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Goldfarb: I'm in.

Anonymous said...

Where's the Walmart?

Anonymous said...

Property values will drop 50 percent. Even God can't save these sheeple.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a nice restful place to live and from which to write. But there are so many condos all crowded together.

Anonymous said...

So many condos crowded together? It looks like a sustainable, walkable community to me. Break out the golf carts!

G-D bless them if they want to go create their own paradise and not try to change mine.

Good luck to Ave Maria. I just recommend that they all refrain from ordering the Solient Green if it pops up on the early bird menus.

Anonymous said...

You do know there is this place called Vatican City in Rome right? Pretty popular too.

I say as long as they aren't some tax dodge, let them have at it.

It's way more transparent than Reedy Creek and look how that turned out! Swamp Catholics may be the next hit on the discovery channel..

Anonymous said...

I have been there before as well...I believe that one of Tom's goal is to make AMU, in some years, the Notre Dame of the South.
I heard also that it is the only U that has collegiate football on that side of the state...who knows the way MDC is going we might all move there one day.

Anonymous said...

More towns should be built this way where one can walk or bike to shops, parks, schools, etc., no need to drive.

Anonymous said...

Nobody is excluded. No one is asked their religious affiliation.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of growing up in Key Biscayne in the 60's. Very pleasant community. Thanks for bringing it to out attention. We're driving over to take a look at it this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Beautiful place.

Anonymous said...

Is the place pet friendly? Where is the dog park?

Prem Lee Barbosa said...

apparently murder, rape, and war are negotiable to catholics.

Anonymous said...

You know if you and your friends can pull the money together for the land and the infrastructure, you can build your own little community away from the chaos some where in nowhere land. Perhaps that is what we should be doing instead of constantly fighting with these people. I am tired of fighting, I want to do something else. . .

Anonymous said...

Just another example of urban sprawl in the wrong place.
What is so great about a self segregated community that is only "walkable" to its own shops and stores?
It was so much nicer before when the land was populated by panthers,deer,bears and all manner of native wildlife.
BTW there was a great article in the New Times (collier county version ?) several years ago that showed what life is really like there.It ain't so happy...

Anonymous said...

How is the rest of SWFL doing? The whole area was hit pretty hard during the recession. I was in Lehigh Acres for part of 2008-2009. Parts were like ghost towns. There's a documentary on it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcrKdWcxS8c

Anonymous said...

I wonder if it was called Allāhu Akbarville and their mosque had a "all women in the back rule"......?

Anonymous said...

A total waste of viable wetlands!

Anonymous said...

It really doesnot have to be in FL. It can be in another state. FL is scheduled to go underwater anyway.

Anonymous said...

Another waste of a viable wetlands? OMG - your home sits on what was one pristine South Florida pineland so why don't you restore your home to its once native state and GTFO.

It was so much nicer before when the land was populated by panthers,deer,bears and all manner of native wildlife. See above. How many bees hives are you hosting? Is your home self sustaining, growing your own food without pesticides? You are add to the problem once you get into your car and head to the local grocery story.

Just another example of urban sprawl in the wrong place? Where is the right place you NIMBY?

What is so great about a self segregated community that is only "walkable" to its own shops and stores? Last time I checked, South Miami residents were not walking to Coral Gables.

Now I see the point of Ave Maria. It is to get a way from the hypocrites.

miaexile said...

see ghettos CAN be all shiny and new too! places like that are exactly what this country is NOT supposed to be about.

Anonymous said...

I too have visited Ave Maria. It is a wonderful community - very sustainable. The fact that residents walk instead of driving is commendable. All landscaping is natives, no exotic planting.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone visited Delray Beach or Winter Park lately? Those are nice clean towns with very successful shopping districts. Lots of condos and lots of beautiful homes. This Ave Maria place is a tad creepy.

Anonymous said...

The State of Maryland was founded on a similar premise: In 1629, George Calvert applied to Charles I for a royal charter for what was to become the Province of Maryland. Calvert's interest in creating a colony derived from his Catholicism and his desire for the creation of a haven in the New World for Catholics.

By the way, Maryland has the highest median household income, making it the wealthiest state in the nation

Anonymous said...

Wow this place sounds like heaven!!
Where do I sign up to get a house there? Who are the real estate companies? I wish to check out real estate there . I am very interested in living there!

Anonymous said...

Ave Maria is a perfect example of sustainable, environmentally-responsive, pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use and compact urban growth.

Geniusofdespair said...

Gimme a break. Did you see all the cars? The houses are too far away to walk. They have gated type communities off in the distance.

Geniusofdespair said...

Gimme a break. Did you see all the cars? The houses are too far away to walk. They have gated type communities off in the distance.

Anonymous said...

FYI - Classes began this week, therefore when you visited there was not many students.
Delwebb (Spel?) communities close by would give those anti new urbanism an option as well. Golf courses are beautiful as well. Remember Doral in the 70's? It was a ghost town. Now we all wished we would have invested in there.

The student head count is about 900 undergrads, not bad for a 5 year school, on its way to become the Notre Dame of the South.

Anonymous said...

Well it is one thing to complain about other people's development. It is another to design and build your own. I believe one of the oil-producing countries is building a city of the future where there are no cars in the city. People are moved around the city by mobile units and tracks designed specifically for the new city. We need some new alternative models for communities in the 21st century. Bitch and complain is not getting us there.

Anonymous said...

"By the way, Maryland has the highest median household income, making it the wealthiest state in the nation"

Maryland has a high percentage of government contract industry too. It isn't the govt workers that are making the money, it's the govt contractors. Have you looked at home prices and taxes there? It's a high-dollar place to live.

Anonymous said...

Last anon, exactly. They tax rain there. Stupid state.

Pretty church. Can you imagine what will happen when they want to make a Muslim city. This is going to get run. We also have the Republican city in North Florida. Trending??

Anonymous said...

A great example of new urbanism.... The opposite of sprawl.

Geniusofdespair said...

Hey goofy person this not New Urbanism, smart growth or anything except a big giant unwalkable community in the middle of nowhere. It is in the middle of panther territory!!! Go read up on these concepts.

Gerta said...

This is sprawl! The definition of sprawl.

Anonymous said...

"new ubarnism": stoppit, Eddie!!!

Anonymous said...

When this monster was built I was horrified. They broke every growth management rule governing sprawl and intrusion into farmland. I don't know who they paid but this should never have been allowed. I am still incensed, not because it is Catholic (I don't care), but because of the favored treatment they got and the waste of good land.