Welcome to Zillow’s House of the Week. Our site is filled with information on homes for sale and apartments for rent, plus we have data on more than 100 million homes in the U.S., so lots of homes catch our eye.
This week’s home: “Mushroom House”
For sale: $1,100,000
This whimsical construction in upstate New York was custom-built in 1971 and was designed to look like a stem of Queen Anne’s Lace, but due to its pod-like structure, it is most often referred to as the “Mushroom House.”
Location: Perinton, NY (approximately 10 miles southeast of Rochester)
Architecture style: “Pod” design
Year built: 1971
Details: 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 4,168 square feet
When Robert and Marguerite Antell purchased a 1.2-acre lot in the Rochester suburb of Perinton, they wanted a custom-built home that had a “natural, honest feeling” and was “informal, open and comfortable.”
Upon hearing this description of their dream home, architect James H. Johnson reportedly handed the Antells a glass Coke bottle with three stems of Queen Anne’s Lace inside, telling her “this is your home.”
The final result was a home made up of five interconnected pods, situated on a hill at the tree line, which was designed to blend art and nature.
Building five pods to sit on concrete and steel “stems” was no easy feat. According to documents from Periton’s landmark association, the builders made several failed attempts before constructing pods into two parts — a bottom to sit on the stems and a top. Both sections were made of concrete and polyurethane.
The pods are 30 feet in diameter and weigh 80 tons. Two pods are sleeping areas, the center pod contains the kitchen and sitting room and a fourth pod is a living and dining area with a fireplace. The fifth smaller pod serves as the deck. All together, the home has 4,168 square feet of living space.
While the home is unusual, what makes it more like a piece of art are contributions by several artists, including 9,000 ceramic tiles that cover the inside of the home, which were all hand-fired by previous owner Marguerite Antell.
“It’s like you’re living in art,” explains listing agent Rich Testa. “In both daylight and evening it [the home] takes on different feelings. It really is a unique house.”
Since the Mushroom House’s construction, there have only been three owners. The current owners, Christine and Steve Whitman, purchased it for $297,000 in 1999, which is 247 percent less than the home’s current listing price ($1,100,000) on the Perinton real estate market. Steve Whitman is a nephew of first owner Marguerite Antell.
The Whitmans redid much of the home in keeping in the original style, even hiring the initial architect James H. Johnson to design the great room addition.
The new great room is built into the side of the hill and is accessible from the main pod by a underground walkway lit by fiber-optic lights. It overlooks a creek, waterfall and outdoor hot tub.
Not only is the Mushroom House a local landmark, but it has been the site of several charity events. According to Testa, the current owners are planning on donating up $100,000 to Habitat for Humanity from the sale of the home and Testa will donate $1,000 from his own commission.
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