World's Wildest Houses IX
This Old House brings you a new crop of amazing abodes so crazy, you'll have to see them to believe it
It's time for another healthy dose of the wildest houses in the world! Take a tour of a castle made entirely of trash, a replica of the house from the classic television show The Munsters, and a couple of architectural wonders that take us below the earth's surface. If you'd like to experience some of these strange structures yourself, a few of them are available for sale or rental. So if cottages and Capes bore you, you may find the house of your wildest dreams here.
Saranac, New York
To the naked eye, this is just a house with killer Adirondack views. But hidden below the surface is a 176-foot-deep missile silo, measuring 52 feet in diameter. In other words: a massive bomb shelter built to withstand a 200-pound-per-square-inch blast.
Certainly not an ordinary mountain getaway, the silo was constructed by the United States Air Force in 1958 and was an active Intercontinental Ballistic Missile launch facility from 1961 until 1965, when it was decomissioned.
See the inside of the silo on the next slide.
Here's what a Launch Control Center turned residential studio looks like. When the current owners bought the space 20 years ago, it was filled with water. They drained it and went on a remodeling blitz that resulted in the airy, modern space shown here. This glorified basement is connected to the silo by a 40-foot-tunnel (as shown in the previous slide).
The property (19.2 acres) is currently on the market. But it's part of a larger 210-acre airpark that's divided into lots for a subdivision, complete with an FAA-approved runway so homeowners can taxi right up to their front doors. There's also an aircraft hanger building and a log cabin on the site—altogether listed for sale for about $1.8 million. But if all you need is a really, really safe place to rest your head, you can pick up just the silo home lot (listed separately) for $750,000.
We have the great minds over at the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology to thank for this small-housing prototype. The soup-can-shaped home was born out of an interdepartmental collaboration at the school to create a design that maximizes functionality in a minimum amount of space. The cylinder's outer shell—used as advertising space for the prototype's sponsors—has four sturdy support rings so it can roll along without damage.
Read on to see inside the Roll-It house.
Tiny as it may seem, there are loads of small-space solutions in this rolling residence. There's a compact dining area, kitchen, exercising area, and sleeping quarters—all in a clean and modern space.
This is what the entrance to a subterranean palace looks like. What it lacks in curb appeal, it makes up for in awesomeness as you step inside and travel about 509 feet underground to the world's deepest hotel room.
Click through to check out one of the Silvermine rooms.
For about $590, two guests can share this silver-accented suit. The temperature in the hotel's mine rooms is just above 35 degrees Fahrenheit naturally, but each comes with climate control and extra blankets.
Included in the hotel's nightly rate is a guided tour, a bottle of sparkling wine, a basket of chocolate and fruit, and breakfast. For more information, or to start planning your next vacation, check out Salasilvergruva.se/en.
Fans of the 1960s TV show The Munsters will recognize this as a replica of the series' main location at 1313 Mockingbird Lane. This private residence was built by fans of the show, Sandra and Charles McKee. Because there was no blueprint available to help them with their passion project, they studied every episode to get the details just right.
Check out the interior on the next slide.
This staircase in the front hall features a suit of armor presiding at the top, just like the TV house did. But if you're dying to pay the McKees a visit, keep in mind that this is a private home. You can go to MunsterMansion.com to see more photos and get information about scheduled events or tours.
Brunswick County, North Carolina
We just love a good house made of bottles. This one is part of a larger village created by folk artist Mary Paulsen, who says she started building because of a divine directive to spread awareness about the plight of child hunger.
See more of Mary's house, next.
Mary's building materials consist of junk brought over by neighbors—and that includes a lot of bottles. In fact, if you visit Mary (her village is open to the public 365 days a year from 9 am to 9 pm), feel free to bring along a few glass bottles, buttons, tiles, or whatever you'd like, and she'll add it to the village.
Read on to see the inside of the bottle house.
Shown: A close-up of the glass bottles and mortar from one of the walls in Mary's glass house.
After the buildings were constructed, Mary also started painting glass windowpanes. You can view a short documentary about Mary, her projects, and her cause at marysgonewild.com.
Outside of Pullman, Washington
High school teacher Victor Moore constructed this impressive structure as his 1970 Master of Fine Arts thesis assemblage sculpture. It was constructed entirely of salvaged materials from a local junkyard and the defunct rock quarry where the property is located. Moore spent a total of $500 on the entire project.
Click through to see what the junk house looks like inside.
These photographs, taken by one of Moore's former students, highlight some of the fun items that were used to create the house. On this wall you'll find a red toolbox, a muffin tin, and the door of a 1952 Oldsmobile functioning as a window. Other walls sport washing machine and dryer doors, bedsteads, and other salvaged materials. See more images at david-patterson.blogspot.com.