The Woody Allen 1973 film Sleeper was on the tube the other day. The movie is quite funny and interesting in terms of its science fiction angle. The futuristic cars were sensational. But what really attracted my attention was the strange curved house. Something to behold.
When architect Charles Deaton designed the “Sculptured House” on Genesee Mountain just outside Denver in Colorado, he had definite ideas about its unique design.
“People aren’t angular. So why should they live in rectangles?” he said.
There’s no way anyone could confuse this house with the rectangular homes of the 1960s. The 7,500-square-foot home is three levels and curves unpredictably. It was designed as a sculpture first; the floor plan for the home was drawn up later (thus it was given the name, “Sculptured House”).
The Deaton-designed house was built in 1963. Delzell Inc. was the original builder of the house on an experimental permit, Clifford M Delzell was owner operator of Delzell Inc.
The interior of the Sculptured House went largely unfinished and was vacant for almost three decades until entrepreneur and one-time Denver, Colorado economic-development chief John Huggins purchased the house in 1999. He built a large addition designed by Deaton with Nick Antonopolous before Deaton’s death in 1996, and commissioned Deaton’s daughter, Charlee Deaton, to design the interior, completed in 2003.
In 2006, fellow Denver entrepreneur Michael Dunahay purchased the house from Huggins. By late 2010, Dunahay had become delinquent on the nearly $2.8 million outstanding balance of his $3.1 million mortgage on the house, and the Public Trustee in Jefferson County, Colorado scheduled a foreclosure auction for November 10, 2010. The house was sold again in November 2010.
Woody Allen released Sleeper 37 years ago, and it’s still one of his top-ten grossing films. It generated about $18 million in sales at the time, but when that figure is adjusted for inflation, it grossed about $52.5 million, making it Woody Allen’s fifth most financially successful film. Sleeper famously ended with the line: “Sex and death: two things that come once in a lifetime. But at least after death you’re not nauseous.”