The home's architect, William Nicholson, was interested in creating dome-like structures by spraying shotcrete, concrete projected at high velocity primarily on to a vertical or overhead surfaces, onto steel rebar and wire mesh frames over inflated aeronautical balloons. The technique had been developed just a year before in 1975 and was still considered experimental at the time. Nicholson apparently created a series of these 'dome homes', but this is the only one you might have heard of as of late.
The original house was a drab beige and sort of fit in well enough along a hillside made up of ever-green trees and dry brush. Sometime in the the mid-2000s, the house was painted a burnt sienna color. -really easy to spot from the freeway (although it always had been). A few years ago, the home was listed on AirBnB. The AirBnB ad showed a structure that had morphed bit from monochrome to this:
A woman called Mrs. Fang bought the property two years ago and decided to go whole hog with the Flintstone theme. The property grounds are now host to an interesting assortment of statues and other structures. The view from 280 shows a menagerie of dinosaurs. At the entrance to her home stand life-size Flintstone cartoon characters including Betty, Barney and Fred.
This is what the property looks like now:
|View from Interstate 280|
Her neighbors have registered a complaint with the city and it's been determined Mrs. Fang is in code violation. I think the wealthy citizens of Hillsborough are mostly up-in-arms because they think her house looks garish. What's vaguely ironic is that given how large the lots are in this area and how the greenery rather obscures one's view, the neighbors who are upset can't actually see much of what Fang has done to the property lest they are driving by on the highway.
Fang has retained the services of attorney Angela Alioto, a woman from a prominent San Francisco family who recently unsuccessfully ran for mayor. Mrs. Fang, also not unknown in SF's 'high society', if you will, is the former publisher of the San Francisco Examiner newspaper.
Alioto alleges that racism is behind the opposition to Fang's *ahem* improvements.
According to court documents, the dinosaurs standing in her yard count as 'unenclosed structures that require prior approval and a building permit'. Neither of which Fang has obtained.
I'm interested to know how this saga will pan out. Will Mrs. Fang have to dismantle her pre-historic zoo or will her neighbors have to suck it up in the name of a bit of a cartoon fun?
|An unadulterated Nicholson design in Palm Springs|