Famous Unique Homes
Whether they're wild, wacky, or just plain weird, we've all seen those houses that made us slam on the brakes and do a double-take. For your amusement — and ours — we've compiled a list of some homes that truly stand out from the rest. Also, be sure to check out these Famous TV Homes, Famous Former Lovers' Homes, and Famous Scary Homes. And .
This house rocks! Word has it that this home in Fayetteville, Georgia, was created by a country music fan in the 1970s, receiving accolades for its unique design. From the street, it seems like any old ranch-style house. But when you view it from above, it really does look like a guitar, complete with electrical wires strung along the roof to mimic strings. Now, if only there was a giant guitar pick!
There was an old woman who lived in a shoe... Well, okay, in this case it was actually a man who owned this boot-shaped Pennsylvania house. Shoe store tycoon Mahlon Haines built this landmark home in 1948 as an advertising gimmick. The house features a front door with a stained-glass portrait of the owner himself, an observation platform, and even a shoe-shaped doghouse. Fittingly, Mahlon once used the home as a guest house, offering weekend stays to elderly couples.
According to local legend in Alameda, California, a man sold a small parcel of land adjacent to his house, thinking it was too small to build on. Unfortunately for him, the buyer turned out to be a carpenter who indeed began building on the site. Perhaps spurred on by the protests of the homeowner, the carpenter finished what would come to be known as the Spite House in 1890. Eventually, the Spite House was bought by the owner of the larger house and a connecting passageway was built between the two homes.
Double take! Georgia's DeKalb County boasts its own White House, which was inspired when an Atlanta home builder, who was born in Iran and became a naturalized U.S. citizen, wanted a home that paid tribute to America. His wife wanted columns — lots of columns. Built in 2001, this White House replica has 16,500 square feet, 36 rooms, and even an Oval Office. (Psst: Click photo or link to see the message in the front lawn's landscaping.)
Back in 1997, neighbors of this Las Vegas suburb tract home probably had a fit when vibrant, outlandish cartoon colors coated every inch of it. D'oh! Through a marketing promotion for The Simpsons animated TV series, builders created a real-life replica in Henderson, Nevada, of the home that Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie occupy, even installing a mystery door where no one goes in and no one goes out. Hey, man! Don't have a cow!
Cutting edge, meet green cutting edge: The "Rotating Home" just outside of San Diego generates 80% of its own power using solar panels and has a floodable roof (for fire protection and insulation) that feeds into a gray water system for garden irrigation. Not only can the house rotate in either direction while always being connected to all utilities, but it even has two turntables in the garage so the cars never have to back out.
"It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... a house?" The retired Boeing 727-200 sitting on a wooded lot in rural Hillsboro, Oregon, won't be flying the friendly skies anytime soon, but it provides all the comforts of home to the electrical engineer who purchased it several years ago for $100,000 and has been remodeling it ever since. The aircraft provides 1,066 square feet of living space and near-total resistance to the elements.
Call it the Flintstones House, the marshmallow house, or the dome house — the Hillsborough, California, neighbors call it an eyesore and have even installed an architectural review board to prevent future "experiments" from happening in this affluent San Francisco Bay Area town. Curvaceous walls inside and out were achieved by spraying concrete over rebar and wire mesh, similar to a papier-mache arts project. Yabba, dabba, doo!
At just over 10 feet wide, this house in Boston's North End really does live up to its name. In fact, it's so narrow that the front door had to be positioned in the side alley. The home, built in 1890, is said to have a similar background to the Spite House. According to Boston folklore, it was allegedly built to obscure a neighboring house's view — the result of a neighborhood spat. Note to the owner: Be sure to bring a tape measure when you go furniture shopping!
Ojo del Sol (Eye of the Sun)
Known to Bay Area residents as "Fish House" (although its design was actually based on the hardy tardigrade), this 2,000-square-foot home in West Berkeley gets its official name from the massive eye-like window on its south side. Finished in 1995 for only $250,000, this house is built to last: Its walls are made of recycled Styrofoam and cement, which — coupled with its design — make it all but impervious to water, fire, termites, and even earthquakes.