One Hillsborough resident reportedly founded an architectural review board specifically to keep out experimental architecture.
The Flintstone House is a place right out of (pre)history, and for the first time in 19 years, this iconic property located in Hillsborough, California, one of America’s wealthiest communities, is on the market. List price: $4.2 million.
For that kind of money, you’d think you’d get all the amenities featured on the classic Hanna-Barbera animated series that ran from 1960-1966: the snaggle-toothed mini-dino can opener, the lobster lawn mower, or the mini-elephant vacuum cleaner. But no, the property at 45 Berryessa Way is in its own right a quirky tourist attraction nestled into the hillside overlooking Crystal Springs Reservoir, and renowned for its unique exterior comprised of “multiple stone domes in an organic flow,” as described by Judy Meuschke of Alain Pinel Realtors, who is listing the property.
Hillsborough is located 17 miles from San Francisco. Forbes calculated the median home price at $4,127,250. Notable residents, past and present, include Bing Crosby; William Randolph Hearst; the king of Tonga, George Tupou V; Jenny Craig; and former Major League Baseball legends Ricky Henderson, and Greg Maddux.
Designed in 1976 by Bay Area architect William Nicholson, the single family, three bedroom, two bathroom domicile has garnered its own celebrity. The unique appearance of the home is the result of Nicholson’s use of experimental architecture and non-traditional building materials. The bubble-like domes were constructed by spraying shotcrete onto steel rebar and mesh frames over inflated aeronautical balloons. Originally painted off-white, the one-of-a-kind building was painted orange in 2007 and now includes a purple accent dome.
Not that the building has always been a welcome sight. It initially met with resistance in the community, according to the real estate listing. One Hillsborough resident reportedly founded an architectural review board specifically to keep out experimental architecture.
The current owner, in the spirit of the home’s style, made a number of enhancements to match her esthetic. Renowned Burning Man artist, Dan Das Mann, fabricated a beautiful steel door with rectangular coils protruding from the surface. The living room with its domed ceiling has a sunk-in conversation pit with circular seating, a fireplace, and an amoeba-shaped window cut specifically to hide the freeway while showcasing Crystal Springs Reservoir. The owner enhanced the intimate setting with specially made orange colored plaster for the seating area and tangerine accents.
“This Bay Area treasure is truly a world-class work of art,” Meuschke said in a statement. “This is an amazing opportunity for any buyer who can appreciate the artistry of the architecture and design.”
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.