For cartoon-lovers who have always longed to own a “Flintstone House”, such a property is now on the market, at the price of $4.2 million.
The 45 Berryessa Way house is relatively small, given its hefty price. It includes 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a spiral staircase, and its surface is of 2,730 square feet.
However, for those believing this total sum is over the top, according to real estate agent Judy Meuschke, the asking amount is actually a “pretty good price for a landmark”.
The previous time the building was listed on the market, which was in 1996, the selling price was $800,000, as public records show. The current owner, who wanted to keep her identity private, has simply decided to “move on” after spending 19 years living there. The way she decorated and furnished her place with artwork suggests however that she felt great attachment to her surroundings.
The prehistoric-looking house is the most recognizable building from Hillsborough, California, and it’s located on a hilltop, approximately halfway between San Francisco’s skyscrapers and the Silicon Valley.
Initially, its outer walls were painted white, but now they’re mostly orange, making the place clearly visible for motorists crossing the Interstate Highway 280. The structure has been colloquially known by people in the neighborhood as the “Flintstone House”, because its appearance resembles that of the Stone Age cave where cartoon characters Fred and Wilma Flintstone used to live.
It was designed by architect William Nicholson and built in 1976, by spraying gunite over a wire mesh shaped by balloons. The most striking feature of this construction is the fact that it replaces right angles with curves and amorphous domes, and its exterior walls are actually rounded. At the time, such design was highly innovative, although it may have become old-fashioned recently.
The property received a series of updates throughout the years, such as a skylight ceiling for the kitchen, a medusa chandelier in the conversation pit and steel cut-out doors designed by Burning Man artist Dan Das Mann.
In the 1980’s, the building’s moniker was the “Barbapapa House”, after a popular series of children’s books whose main characters were blob-shaped and capable to change their form at will. Although the cartoons were originally written in French, they were translated in more than 30 languages and gained a reading public even in the Bay Area.
Other nicknames for the unusually-shaped building have been the Dome House, the Bubble House and the Gumby House.
According to realtors, the prehistoric house can only be viewed after scheduling an appointment in advance and at the moment there aren’t any open house events planned for the immediate future.
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