If you’ve traveled westbound of I-70 some time since 1966, then it’s likely that you’ve came across the famous spaceship house. The house, which was designed in 1963, and built in 1966, is curved shape, with a wrap-around deck – almost resembling the house from the “Jetsons” cartoon.
Architect Charles Deaton constructed the house on Genesee Mountain.
“I could stand and feel the great reaches of the Earth (on Genesee Mountain). I wanted the shape of it to sing an unencumbered song,” said Deaton about the house.
While Deaton was finishing up the interior of the house, the project ran out of money. That caused a lawsuit over his design by the Truman Sports Complex, located in Kansas City, Missouri. The house went unfinished, leaving it vacant for decades, but it garnered fame in 1973 in the movie “Sleeper.”
It was named one of Forbes’ “America’s Ugliest Mansions,” and it was featured on MTV, HGTV, and Discovery. Due to its popularity, the spaceship house was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Inside are five bedrooms, five bathrooms, and it was sold by Deaton in 1991 for $800,000. In 1999, the home’s value reached $1.3 million, then $10 million in 2002 until it was sold for $1.5 million in 2010.
Larry Winkler, and his wife, Toni, purchased the house, and they are making renovations to it. The two were the only people to bid on the property. When they first purchased the house, they quickly found that it needed work. Winter arrived, and with that came heating system failures. Other issues included rodents, broken pipes and a door that would sometimes let snowdrifts build up inside the house.
Winkler said he had the idea to bring the house to a higher tech level. He soon found that there was no insulation inside the house. He estimates that he and his wife installed over 9,000 pounds of insulation inside.
The couple recently added a utility room, because Winkler said they needed to get utilities from one part of the house to the other. He said it’s his favorite piece of art.
Although the couple has added efficiencies and technologies to modernize the house, something that brought its own challenges, Winkler wants to maintain the house’s character – regardless of its historic place designation.
The two live in the house full-time, and because of its historic place designation, people often try to come by and visit. Although he wants his privacy, Winkler said that he wants people to enjoy it from a distance. He said he sometimes gets overwhelmed with requests to visit the place, but he’s focused on keeping the historic place designation in good shape.