By Cory Doctorow at 1:35 pm Fri, Apr 3, 2009
1776 Mesa AV
There is raw poetry in this picture of the house. Art in life, inescapable for the perceptive. Come see… Sanjeev Saikia Art (In continuation of my experiment)
Does it come with a cat who walks through walls?
That is not Heinlein’s house! Everyone knows the house he built is crooked.
Holy crap! This house is a just a short drive away. I may have to schedule an appointment just so I can see it.
With all due respect to Heinlein as an author, that’s the ugliest house I’ve seen in quite a while.
Cool. According to Google Maps, I am less than a 12-mile drive away. I might have to drive by there.
According to his Wikipedia entry, the house even has a bomb shelter.
Where’s the door into summer?
Anyone feel like giving me $650,000?
I’m surprised that the trees and lawn are on the outside of the house.
“Property includes spacious outdoor jacuzzi suitable for water ceremonies or multi-partner sex with assorted family members.”
“Female secretaries not included.”
Looks like it’s had a second floor added. The original appearance & layout were depicted in a 1952 Popular Mechanics article about the house, available at http://www.nitrosyncretic.com/rah/pm652-art-hi.html
That article contains a floor plan with a room marked “Nursery”… apparently the Heinlein’s childlessness wasn’t by choice.
This is the one with the fallout shelter Heinlein built in the fall of 1961, after his gloomy Worldcon Guest of Honor speech scared even himself.
Author Robert Crais once got a tour of the bomb shelter, years after the Heinleins moved out.
NE2D – “With all due respect to Heinlein as an author, that’s the ugliest house I’ve seen in quite a while.”
I thought that too – until I saw the view of the mountains. With that view, who would spend time inside?
I wonder how much the buyer’s IQ will rise after living in the house through osmosis?
Yeah but your design sensibility will fall accordingly. Agreeing with NE2D. Of course the way they photographed the exterior doesn’t help any — it would look a lot better after a 2ft snowfall. Well, maybe if the moon was out. At night.
The inside’s pretty nice though.
1. oh boy…
2. would be nice to have a million dollars to buy it and turn it into some kind of skiffy writer institute or the like. Maybe Bill Higgins could curate it.
3. I really like the upper floor with the circ. staircase popping up in the middle. If you look at it, you can see the influence of naval architecture… it’s the bridge of his spaceship.
The house was extensively remodeled about ten years ago – one of those “remodels” wherein two original walls were left standing. It’s barely a shadow of what Heinlein built and of almost zero interest outside of those who want a $650k house in CS. – James Gifford
I agree with jaye; it looks like the second floor was a post-construction addition. Sorry but the ‘starship bridge’ is not OEM.
The house square footage is comparable with the house I live in presently, but the layout is much better, with a number of postmodern touches (no hallways to speak of and lots of built-ins). The only quibble I might have is if you wanted to change the layout it would be impossible to move couches and beds. If Heinlein designed this house in the 50s, I wonder what he would do with today’s engineered materials and ‘green’ thinking.
Saikia @1, I think your “experiment” is unmannerly, and shows no respect for your fellow readers. I want you to stop running it on Boing Boing. A comment thread is a conversation, not free-form advertising space.
Is there a security camera system designed to fail at the critical moment, just as the fuzz arrives?
Come to think of it, webcams fulfill that function effortlessly…
Actually, he lived across the street from the Crooked House, up in the Los Angeles hills. I used to have a link to Google Maps’ photo of the location, but it was lost in a hard drive crash and Blogger’s upgrade to 2.0 a couple of years ago, which locked me out of my own group blog (where it was in the draft of a post about Anthony Boucher’s Rocket to the Morgue, which was set in Heinlein’s WWII-era house).
Guys, the comments here are incredible, thanks for the incredible amount of references you’re pointing to!!! :)
Anyhow I found out that here in Italy the short story “– And He Built A Crooked House” is called “La casa nuova”, that means “The New house”…
I think it’s a lot less effective… shame on you translators!
Check out the street number: 1776. He was able to pick his own number.
That’s fugly house is NOT what Heinlein designed or lived in. It’s on the same spot -that’s it.
In 1997, I was driving across country with a friend and fellow RAH fan, and we just knocked on the front door to ask if we could take a picture. The lady of the house, whose parents had purchased it from the Heinleins, gave us a tour. Much of it was massively remodeled, but a few touches could be scene. The kitchen still had the door for his sliding dining room table, and the small washroom in the back which he apparently did much of his writing was in tact. Coolest of all, however, was his bomb shelter which we toured.
The lady, who really knew nothing about Heinlein, did keep a copy of Grumbles from the Grave (was that the book where he discussed this project?) on the front table, however, which (as I recall) Virginia Heinlein inscribed and sent along to them.
The Heinlein’s Los Angeles house was at 8777 Lookout Mountain Avenue; Google Maps has a rather blurry street view of it.
Loved the Popular Mechanics article, though they cut off the last few pages, darn it! Looks like RAH shared a love of built in furniture with Frank Lloyd Wright…but that (along with the fact that it was only 1150 square feet) was probably why the house got remodeled so severely. Built-ins are great for the original designer, but a pain-in-the-neck to anyone who has different needs. Still……what a cool house it was!
Call, email, and if possible, demand a tour of the place. Take the opportunity to get a few photos. This property should be recreated in “Second Life”, and used as a terrain in various Shooter video games. “As you enter the ruins of a garrish custom house, strangely out of place in this 90’s Boom subdivision, you see on the floor a battered paperback with the title ‘Take Back Your Government’. A wire extends from beneath it”
I had the pleasure of sleeping one night in that house in the mid-90’s on a skiing trip. It was (may still be) owned the in-laws of one of my friends. I slept in the old master bathroom (extensive renovations had been done, it was turned into a guest room) and apparently Heinlein had some massive mural of a naked woman in the bathroom that had been painted over. Hardly any water pressure in the house, BTW.
Another highlight was the bomb shelter in the backyard which he had constructed with a massive heavy door that a child could open because of the counterweight. It also had a secondary opening through a very small tunnel in case of debris on top of the main door.
er, bedroom, not bathroom, haha.
Mamayama writes at #27:
Loved the Popular Mechanics article, though they cut off the last few pages, darn it!
An alternate source for the article “A House to Make Life Easy” is at Google Books, which provides scans of Popular Mechanics issues (among other magazines).
Heinline – a prolific and marvelous writer of SciFi that I devoured…every book, every short story and loved all of it. The 50s were a wonderful time for those bitten by SciFi, all of his contemporaries were in contrast, but in some ways his Scifiction was apocryphal because he touched on politics and war, survival and love, Lazarus Long, The Howard families et al. Stranger in.. and Moon is a Harsh Mistress were fantastic; Glory Road and Door into Summer, all the juvenile novels I loved. I knew that RAH was, at heart, trying to share his vision of the dystopia we may have become including a vision of America overun, re:Friday, with terrorists. He wrote a wild ride of words for those who cared for his novels. Thank You Mr. Heinline..for your vision and creations of future timelines..they were all fascinating, What IF?
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