YABBA-DABBA-DO YOU THINK THIS IS THE UGLIEST HOUSE IN AMERICA?

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Well, this Flintstones-style house just sold for $2.8 million, proving that in real estate as in romance, there’s someone out there for everyone.  Located in wealthy Hillsborough, California, this unique home is locally known as “the marshallow house,” “the dome house,” “the Flintstones house,” or by various four letter words strung together.  (The house was so hated by locals that one man started an “architectural review board” to prevent another house like this from ever being built.)

Built in the mid-Seventies (of course), and designed by architect William Nicholson, the domes of the house are were initially made by laying wire mesh over huge architectural balloons and then spraying concrete all over them.  This turned out to be as bad of an idea as it sounds;  the concrete-covered balloons collapsed.  Eventually, the builders made a new, stronger frame from steel rebar, sprayed on the concrete, and voila – arguably the ugliest house in the continental United States!

But barely ten years later, the house, which is situated on a steep hillside, began to sink from the constant runoff, and the concrete domes had formed huge cracks that soon filled with mold.  Restoration experts came in, built a drainage system, and sandblasted and sealed the cracks.  (Some neighbors were reportedly furious that the house was saved instead of bulldozed.)  In 1987, the house was sold to a couple who painted the formerly off-white house bright orange, because why live in a merely ugly house when you could live in a truly hideous one?  (To underline this point, someone later painted one of the domes purple.)   Oh, and rumor has it that OJ Simpson bid on the house after his infamous trial.  Yabba-dadda-doo-doo.

But enough history, let’s look at some photos.

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If I went to the doctor and he invited me to look at my biopsy sample under his microscope, and it looked like that purple dome, I would immediately go coffin shopping.

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Hmm, even though the outside looks super wacky, this open, bright living room makes me think that maybe you can’t judge a book by its co-

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WHY IN GOD’S NAME WOULD YOU BUILD A KITCHEN LIKE THIS?!!?  It’s like, why put in  sleek, upmarket cabinetry when you could just have a bunch of circular concrete cubbyholes that will scrape the back of your hand raw every time you reach for the sea salt?  I’m all for flair, but this borders on masochism.  Look at that window!  “Hmm, this kitchen has a fantastic view, should we put in a regular glass window, or totally obscure the view with a bunch of scrap metal stolen from the old abandoned clock factory?”

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I’d also like to point out that “The Flintstones House,” as a name, is very clearly the product of an older demographic, because from this photo, you can see that in a just universe, it would be called “The Mystery Science Theater 3000 House.”

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The house does have a nice outdoor patio, I’ll admit that.  When the wind’s just right, you can sit out there and just barely hear the sound of your neighbors plotting arson.

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I spent several minutes staring at this photo, trying to figure out if those windows were normal-sized, and the dinosaur statues were huge, or if the windows are tiny and the dinosaur statues are normal-sized.  Also, what is this?????  Also, why???

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I can predict with 100% accuracy how many Tim Burton movies you own on DVD just by your reaction to the above photo.

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Is that wet bar next to the bathtub, or do you have to step down into a knee-deep depression every time you want to make yourself a drink?

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You have to admit, the house does have some charming spaces.  I like this vaulted master bedroom, with its oversized circular skylight, so much, that I’m not even going to comment on that art.

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This is the “conversation pit” in the living room.  While I’m not sure how I feel about furniture that’s permanently bonded to the house, it does look like a pretty cozy space, with its high ceiling, round stained-glass window, and asymmetrical fireplace.  I should also mention that part of the recent renovations were done by a Burning Man artist, which probably comes as a surprise to absolutely no one who’s looked at these photos.  He must’ve been vetoed when it came to the nude unicycle juggling amphitheater.  (Or – conspiracy theory alert – maybe you’re looking at it!)

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“If you lived here, you’d already be home! depressed.”

 

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