Sunday, February 01, 2015

ANOTHER House of the Future???

Today's post is an odd one! So here's the deal: each night I spend about 5 minutes on FaceBook. I'm not into it very much, but I do like to see what's what on the vintage Disneyland pages, as well as a few others.

Many months ago (maybe a year, by now), somebody mentioned that a second "House of the Future" had been built, years ago. WHAT? Could this be true? Why didn't I get the memo?? How can I use this information for fame and profit?

Here's what the one at Disneyland looked like, for those of you who don't remember.

At some point, one of the FB folks said that the other house was located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and could be found somewhere along East 81st Street. So I decided to look for it. I put on my pith helmet and jungle gear, and went on Google Maps to use their satellite view. Here is the westernmost end of East 81st (that's Oral Roberts University in the middle of that black square-ish parking lot). 

Moving east... nothing.

Just a little bit further... HEY! Look at that cross-shaped structure right in the middle of the screen grab!

Heavens to Murgatroyd! Can it be true?

Nope. That's no Monsanto Plastic House of the Future. Close, but no cigar. Rats! 

Who can I sue?

I searched and searched on Google, but could find no information about this cruciform home at the corner of East 81st Street and South Louisville Avenue (Google Maps link HERE). Knowing the GDB readers, one of you will find out more than I ever could.

Meanwhile, I tried to get a ground-level peek using "Street View". Unfortunately for nosy people like me, foliage blocks any clear vista.

I tried another angle… a little better I guess.

And, as is sometimes the case with Street View, if you move to a slightly different spot, you'll see things from a completely different photo shoot. This one must be a few years earlier, and during autumn or winter. 

The thought that there might be an existing example of Monsanto's Home of the Future made me very happy. But now I must weep.



There was indeed a second House of the was the test version of what was refined and built at Disneyland. The first one was constructed at MIT...however the technicians wanted to show the resilience of plastic to the elements and was not painted like the Disneyland version. It was a orangish brown....almost like the color of urethane foam.

I doubt any of it survives.....or???

Nancy said...

I think that Disney should take some of the cash they make and build a resort called Tomorrowland featuring Houses of the Future as the room suits, like they have with the Treehouse Villages!

Some of us would still buy one of these if they had kept on in this direction (I know I would want to live in one...)

TokyoMagic! said...

I just wish that electric toothbrushes, microwave ovens, and flat screen televisions had become a reality.

Chuck said...

The real estate website Trulia says it's "a Single-Family Home located at 8020 South Louisville Avenue, Tulsa OK. 8020 S Louisville Ave has 4 ½ baths and approximately 4,239 square feet. The property was built in 1995....The average list price for ZIP code 74136 is $244,660."(

I have contacted a couple of friends in Tulsa (one of whom has been an architect in the city for more than 20 years) to see if they know or can dig up anything else. It's Sunday, so I don't anticipate a quick response. Hopefully someone else amongst the GDB faithful can find an answer more quickly.

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, have you ever seen photos of the MIT version of the HotF? It seems hard to believe that there aren't any pictures out there.

Nancy, I like your idea, but they want to cram as many people into as little space as possible (within reason, of course).

TokyoMagic!, at least I have my ultrasonic dishwasher.

Chuck, looks can be deceiving I guess; 4,239 square feet! That's a pretty big house. 4 1/2 baths, nice. Sometimes I only want to take half a bath. Average list prices in that area are under $250,000, wow. Maybe I need to move to Tulsa! Thanks for all of the research.

Nanook said...


Geez, when you mentioned a "second" House of the Future", I was certain you must have been referring to Xanadu-! Although I only visited the location in Kissimmee, evidently there were locations in Gatlinburg, TN & Wisconsin Dells, WI.

A tacky, multi, blob-like structure constructed of wet polyurethane foam, sprayed over gigantic balloons to form the shape(s). (And it's doubtful anyone reading Kubla Khan would have envisioned this version as their Xanadu-!) It's as awful-looking as it sounds.

The "technology" used to operate Xanadu was barely cutting-edge at the time and was prone to intermittent failures. Certainly worth the price of admission simply to view it as a novelty, but visitors needed to look elsewhere for any serious implementation of what was attempted there.

The Florida location - the second to open - did so in 1983 (almost) in time to coincide with the opening of EPCOT. Waning popularity forced the other two locations to close in the early 90's, with the Kissimmee location to shutter its doors in 1996, with the structure finally torn-down in October, 2005.

There are a number of links and even a short home video on YouTube, where you can get an idea of all its 'wonder'...

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Although I can appreciate the interest these homes create they give me the willies!

I'm a real estate appraiser and the thought of getting one of these for an assignment is the stuff nightmares are made of.

Happy Superbowl Sunday GDBr's

Pete said...

I'm still fascinated by this pedestal house on Prospect Road in Berea, Ohio. Can't tell much from the air, unfortunately.,-81.860561,3a,75y,75.09h,79.61t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1szU6JAUXArIXaDTyVy14VeA!2e0!6m1!1e1

Pete said...

I actually found a better shot on Zillow!

atl2arctic said...

Please enjoy reviewing the property tax assessor's record of the property: