Billy Ulmer traveled all over the country interviewing people about why they were drawn to designing, building and living in dwellings smaller than the average American greatroom. Meet Chris and Malissa Tack.Read the rest
In a residential neighborhood in Raleigh, North Carolina, there's a house that looks like most every other house on the block. But it isn't a house. It's a public utility pump station perfectly camouflaged as a house. The inside is filled with massive industrial pumps chugging away. WUNC made a video documentary about the place. Apparently, this is a fairly common way to build electrical generators, pump stations, and other utility infrastructure in residential areas. That quiet house down the street from you? The one where nobody seems to live? Who knows what machinery resides inside… "What's Inside This House On Wade Avenue?"
As a youngster, my dream was to live in a Futuro House, the UFO-like prefab homes designed by Matti Surronen and available for purchase new in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Only 100 or so were built around the world but quite a few survive to this day, in varying states of decay. In the video above, urban explorer The Unknown Cameraman visits Futuro Houses in New Jersey. You can also see many more photos of these otherworldly abodes at Cult of Weird.
Oh, this makes me so sad. Tony Alleyne, the trekkie, club DJ, and "house-modder" who redesigned his British flat to be a faithful replica of the Starship Enterprise? Looks like he may lose it in divorce proceedings. His ex owns the flat, and wants to sell it as "a conventional dwelling," according to tabloid reports.
I did a story about him for NPR way back in 2006 (MP3 Link). I remember him as one of the most cheerfully obsessed Star Trek fans I've ever met (and buddy, I've met a lot of Star Trek fans in my time).
British tabloid The Sun broke the bummer news a couple of days ago, and quoted Alleyne: "To say I'm gutted is an understatement. It is my life's work. I admit there were tears."
Alleyne estimates that redoing the project in a new apartment would cost more than USD $150K.
More from MSNBC, which also covered the tale of Alleyne's epic Trek home when it first made the internet rounds five years ago:
When msnbc TV reported on the apartment back in 2006, Alleyne was about to file for bankruptcy over the money spent on renovations, and said he had hoped to start a business transforming homes for other "Star Trek" fans. Msnbc TV did another segment on Alleyne in 2007 when he was apparently also hoping to sell the tricked-out home, which includes a mock transporter.
"Most people thought I was barmy," Alleyne said at the time. "I mean, you could go spend the time down the pub or in a nightclub or whatever ... I decided to live in a spaceship." He says on his website, which bills him as a "24th century interior designer," that he became hooked on science fiction at age 11.
A nuke-proof space observation station in Carmel Valley, Ca., is up for sale. The asking price: $2,950,000. Able to take a 5 megaton blast, the Jamesburg Earth Station was built in the 1960s and was the first to receive live images from the moon during 1969's Apollo landing. Also included in the deal is 160 acres of land, an 11-storey antenna able to broadcast worldwide, a helipad, and a 3-bedroom home. [KSBW]