Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Genesee Mountain House! Honoring Eames Era Architecture!

If you ever visit Denver, the Front Range, or the surrounding areas in Colorado, there is a funky house just west of Denver perched high on a mountain side that overlooks Interstate 70. Next time you are in the Genesee Mountain area, look up and behold one of the state's most famous landmarks.

Whether you call it the “Sleeper House,” “George Jetson House,” “Flying Saucer House,” or the “Clamshell House,” the white concrete home with its sleek, Eames era architecture, captures the imagination. The ellipitcal design was created in1963 by architect Charles Deaton. The house was later featured in the 1973 Woody Allen film "Sleeper."

For many years, the interior of the house was unfinished. I was told by local friends that the inside was trashed. Windows were broken and birds had added to the mess. In 2003, entrepreneur John Huggins bought the home, renovated the interior, completed the unfinished areas, and added a large addition that had been designed by Charles Deaton before his 1996 passing. Moreover, Charles', Charlee, was commissioned to design the interior.

When I was in Denver about two years ago, I was watching the local ABC News affiliate and they did a story about the Genesee house. The local story also included a tour of the home and let me tell you, it was pure Eames-era heaven! A few years after John Higgins bought and repaired the home, he sold it to a local Colorado business man. He is the current owner and he was featured in the news story. He lives there with his cat, Puff. The new owner has maintained the early 60s interior design look and feel. I would love to have a tour of this house!


  1. I want to live there!!! What a stunning house. I LOVE period architecture and this is just amazing. Thanks for sharing (and lucky Puff the cat!)

  2. The house was recently threatened with fotclosure. :( It was ultimately withdrawn, but very sad none the less, as it is such a neat landmark.


  3. It is a very unique house. I haven't seen it in person yet as it is in the mountains and I'm not an 'outdoorsy' girl. I really want to go back to Central City though and the house is on the way so that may be my excuse. The last time I was there was at night so I couldnt see anything.

  4. @Tempermental Broad:It depends how you go to Central City, but most likely you won't see it. It's not really in the "mountain" mountains though, only about 15 minutes outside of Golden. I would totally recommend heading up that way if you get the chance.

  5. Oh no, Nicole! What a shame! I hope the current owner can get enough funds to satisfy his mortgage! Thanks for the local CBS link covering the latest on the house!

    Like I said in my repro kitchen appliances post, all I need is to win the lottery (lol) and I'll buy the house and the oven! Again, I hope the house can be kept or if it does go into foreclosure, I hope someone gets it and is able to maintain its beauty.