Santa Cruz, California, United States
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
This seaside amusement park is one of California's oldest but most recognizable landmarks, known especially for the park's "Giant Dipper" roller coaster.
No, you’re not looking at a UFO, nor are you on the set of a movie. What you see here is a Futuro House. One of less than 100 ever produced, providing owners a taste of the “Jet and Space Age way of living.”
Designed in Finland in the 1960s as a hopeful solution to the world’s housing shortage, these prefab, fiberglass, flying-saucer domiciles were created to be “quick to heat and easy to construct in rough terrain”. Unfortunately the dream was not realized…
The avant-garde appearance was met with hostility when the first Futuro erected in Finland was publicly protested as it purportedly looked “too unnatural for the rustic environment.” But it was more than just looks: zoning regulations lead to sales of the homes being banned in many municipalities around the United States as well.
But the final hiccup holding back the futuristic housing solution from taking flight was the oil crisis of 1973. Plastic production came to an abrupt halt, synthetics became super expensive to produce, and public perception of plastics was on the move from ‘miracle material’ to ‘ecological concern.’
And with that, the great idea just never got off the ground. From Australia to Russia to the Republic of Crimea, approximately 63 Futuro Houses still exist around the world. But what’s it like living in one? Richard Garret who rents the one seen here said “It was a great find and the price is right.” The only downside? At only 26 feet wide, it has “very little closet space” and when it rains it “sounds like Tupperware in a dishwasher.”
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