Take a trip across the country and you’ll find a range of stunning homes. From stately mansions to rustic cabins, there’s a lot to take in. But to put it simply, those normal dwellings have absolutely nothing on the crazy ones you’re about to see. We’ve rounded up a list of the most unique, most creative, and, oftentimes, most ridiculously bizarre homes that exist in every state. And when you’re done looking at these, you’ll also want to read up on The Most Popular House Style in Every State.
The Rosenbaum House, built in 1940, is the only home built by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright in the state of Alabama. The home is noted as the perfect example of the “Usonian Home,” a Lloyd Wright concept that reimagined the American home as smaller and more futuristic. Today, long after the original owners have gone, tours are still available to see this unique piece of history in person.
Also called the Dr. Seuss House for its whimsical design, the 185-foot-tall Goose Creek Tower, located in Talkeetna, Alaska, was erected nearly two decades ago by Anchorage attorney Phil Weidner. With cabin after cabin built on top of one another, your first question is likely whether or not this building is structurally sound—and you wouldn’t be the only one to ask. Apparently, it is. (Though it does feature a basement with an escape tunnel to a safe room—you know, just in case.) The tower has a clear, 360-view of Denali and the start of the Aleutian chain. Its owner simply calls the home “a poem to the sky.”
Taliesin West, located in Scottsdale, Arizona, served as architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home from 1937 until his death in 1959. Wright wanted the home to have a connection to the desert and built it using local rocks and materials. He also employed natural light wherever he could, and the ceiling of his drafting room is covered by a translucent canvas. At the end of the day, Wright saw this winter home as an inspiring escape. Now, it serves as the main campus of the School of Architecture at Taliesin and is home to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.
Worth an estimated $10.9 million, this home in Fort Smith, Arkansas, is the most expensive residence in the state. Situated on a sprawling 20 acres, the 18,367-square-foot home features an indoor pool with two infinity edges, marble fireplaces, a sports bar room, and, yes—a treehouse, made using an imported California redwood, according to realtor.com.
The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, was the brainchild of Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester Repeating Arms rifle fortune. After a series of tragedies, including the deaths of her daughter and husband, Sarah visited a psychic to ask for help. The spiritualist told her that her family was being killed by the ghosts of gunshot victims and that the only way she could escape them was to build a mansion full of booby traps. Sarah took this advice seriously and set off to build a mysterious estate that now features doors that open to 12-foot drops, staircases to nowhere, and sealed off rooms. It’s also rumored to be quite a bit haunted.
Also known as the Sleeper House, the Deaton Sculptured House on Genesee Mountain in Colorado was built by architect Charles Deaton in 1963. (You might also recognize it from Woody Allen‘s 1973 film, Sleeper.) The five-story home features five bedrooms, five bathrooms, a state-of-the-art kitchen, and a top-level master suite.
According to Deaton, he built the home to feel and see the earth simultaneously. “On Genesee Mountain, I found a high point of land where I could stand and feel the great reaches of the Earth. I wanted the shape of it to sing an unencumbered song,” he told authors Thames and Hudson.
Originally built by actor William Gillette (famous for playing Sherlock Holmes on stage), this castle was occupied from 1919 until 1937—and was eventually purchased by the state of Connecticut after Gillette’s death. But, it turns out, the castle was never structurally sound. The walls, for example, were constructed similarly to a stage set and lacked reinforcements in critical places. Additionally, some of the castle’s insulation included seaweed and paper. Fortunately, the stunning estate was restored in 2002.
Throughout the ’60s, people thought that Futuro Houses, designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen, would be able to end the world’s housing shortage. This one, in particular, was built in 1968 and is one of two Futuro Houses in Delaware—and one of just 96 ever built. Located in Milton, it stands at the edge of an airfield tarmac and appears as though it might have just landed. The saucer is currently owned by a man named Rich Garrett, who says the only drawback of this home is its lack of closet space.
The Dune House in Jacksonville was built in the ’70s by architect William Morgan, who saw an opportunity to create an environmentally-friendly home in a sand dune created after Hurricane Dora in 1964. Taking the blank canvas that nature left behind, Morgan insulated the home using the surrounding earth—which inevitably camouflages the home to onlookers. The Dune House was also built using no right angles—just curves.
This fun home, built by country-western singer Elvis Carden in Fayetteville, inspired his album Living in an Old Guitar. And it’s certainly a sight to behold, especially by air. At one point, the home was on sale for a minuscule $160,000, according to Atlas Obscura.
Perched on a lava cliff at Kehena Point, the Kehena Cliff House is a three-story concrete mansion with spectacular views of the sea below. Each room was designed to accommodate sweeping views of the ocean—and the home is particularly well-suited for whale watching. Now, those who would like to stay in this architectural feat can for $249 per night, as an Airbnb.
This teepee house, built in Cascade, Idaho, is a tiny home consisting of a quaint 826 square feet. Inside are two bedrooms, a half bath, a kitchen, and a wood stove (there’s a bathhouse just outside). Located in the middle of the woods, this home is all about accessing the simple things in life—like the wooden deck made for stargazing.
This bizarrely shaped residence was designed by architect Errol J. Kirsch in the late ’70s. And while he didn’t say much about his inspiration for it, the architecture blog Strange Buildings says the futuristic dwelling was likely built to be environmentally conscious, with the masonry moss strategically placed to provide insulation and the windows set up to illuminate the space in place of electric lighting.
For this creative home, on showcase at the Indianapolis Art Center in Indianapolis, American artist John McNaughton aimed to “turn the idea of a home (literally) on its head.” “Twisted House” was installed in 2005 as part of the Center’s ARTSPARK initiative. If you visit, you can walk around and pretend what it might be like to live in this bizarre little home.
Located in Urbandale, Iowa, the Spaceship House was built in 1993 by farmer and millionaire businessman Lemar Koethe. Though the mansion may have an incredibly futuristic exterior, its interior still contains all the luxuries that the owner didn’t want to forego, such as a car wash bay and a recreation center. More than anything, the home provides stunning panoramic views of the surrounding Iowa countryside.
Perhaps the most unforgettable dwelling on the list is this Cold War-era missile silo that was converted into a home by Ed and Dianna Peden in 1994. Once housing a four-megaton warhead, this “home” is now an eclectic living space. Who says living underground can’t be stylish?
This famous Kentucky attraction was built by artist George Stacy in 1935. The goose structure is even equipped with egg-shaped windows and automobile lights that serve as the goose’s eyes. Decades after it was built, visitors still flock to this home to experience it themselves.
Image via Ebay
Since 2017, this three-stories tall shipping container home has been standing proudly in New Orleans. Dreamt up by owners Kicker and Ann Kalozdi, this home contains seven Irish Channel shipping containers, welded together for durability. The interior of the home is just as unique, specifically because it looks nothing like the inside of a shipping container. The couple managed to creating comfortable, open spaces throughout the home.
Built in 1890, Goose Rocks Light, located near North Haven, Maine, was purchased by a private organization, Beacon Preservation, in 2006. Now, visitors to the lighthouse can stay overnight in the second level keeper’s quarters, though it’s definitely quite the adventure to get there.
During the 1970s, futurist architect Roy Mason transformed the once-ordinary home that stood on this site into this one, which typically reminds people of the set of The Lord of the Rings. To create its curvy shape, the architect used polyurethane foam. The interior includes plenty of reading nooks and magical spaces. Currently, the Bethesda home is privately owned.
Yes, this is an actual house made of actual paper. The Paper House in Rockford, Massachusetts, was designed and built by mechanical engineer Elis F. Stenman. Now, nearly a century after the property was first constructed, visitors can explore this wild home, which was built, and decorated, using 100,000 pieces of varnished newspapers.
This Hawaiian-inspired oasis was built in the middle of small-town Marshall, Michigan, in 1860. The inspiring piece of architecture was constructed by the former chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court Abner Pratt, who wanted to mimic the ‘Iolani Palace in Hawaii. Featuring tropical murals and a sprawling wraparound porch, the Honolulu House remains the most impressive home in the state.
Made out of hardened polyurethane insulation foam, the Ensculptic House was built by architect Winslow Wedin in 1969. If you view it from the top or the side, the Minnesotan home looks like a giant mushroom, with small pockets of light illuminating the creative spaces inside. The residence is still privately owned.
Also known as Nut’s Folly, this historic antebellum mansion in Natchez, Mississippi, was built in 1864 and is the largest octagonal home in the country. After surviving decades of neglect, the mansion now operates as a historic house museum. (Fun fact: You might recognize this home from a few episodes of True Blood).
Once a licensed bomb shelter, the cave used to build Caveland was originally purchased on eBay by owners Curt and Deborah Sleeper. Now, the property features two stories of bedrooms, gently curving staircases, hardwood floors, and 28 sliding glass doors on its facade. Not to mention, a good portion of the cave is preserved inside the home.
Though it might seem like it’s straight from the set of The Lord of the Rings, this architectural treasure in Trout Creek, Montana, is a private guest home adorned with all of the staples that make it resemble the famed Hobbit dwellings you know and love.
Built in 1877 for Benson Bailey, a Civil War vet, this gothic revival has become somewhat famous in the state of Nebraska. Though no one knows where the home was originally built, it was at one point disassembled and moved to its new location in Brownville—and now serves as part of the Brownville Historical Society museum.
Since former Nevada lieutenant governor and neurosurgeon Lonnie Hammargren is known as the “Man who Collects Everything,” it makes sense that he would build a massive estate to pay tribute to his treasures. Located in Las Vegas, this not-so-humble abode features millions of dollars worth of collectibles, from roller coasters to movie props, according to Vice.
Currently listed as the most expensive home in the state of New Hampshire, this residence, situated on the scenic Lake Sunapee, is just five years old but still manages to embody a stunning old-time opulence. And if you want to own this piece of paradise, it’ll cost you; the dreamy home is listed at $6 million.
Considered artist Ricky Boscarino’s largest and most impressive work to date, Luna Parc was built in 1989—but that’s not to say it was finished then. For decades, the artist and architect has added new sculptures, paintings, and other pieces of art to his whimsical home.
For thousands of years, Taos Native Americans have lived in the Taos Pueblo—perhaps making it the most ancient structure in America. The buildings that are there now were most likely constructed between 1000 and 1450 C.E. To this day, visitors can still take a walk through this centuries-old establishment, which is still occupied by Taos Native Americans.
When you picture the Hamptons, you likely think of enormous mansions before you think of funky homes designed by avant-garde artists. The Bioscleave House, however, breaks the mold of the typical Hamptons house. Built by artists Madeline Gins and Arakawa, the interior of the home is just as playful as the exterior, featuring a raised dining platform, earthen mounds in the flooring, and off-kilter windows—all painted a kaleidoscope of colors, according to realtor.com.
George Vanderbilt, the grandson of famed industrialist Cornelius Vanderbilt, erected this 250-room French Renaissance chateau in Asheville, North Carolina, as a testament to his wealth and taste in 1889. Filled with a number of architectural treasures (like a two-story library), this estate continues to be one of the most prominent examples of the Gilded Age. Though it’s still owned by the descendants of the Vanderbilts, tours are available to see this impressive mansion for yourself.
The only standing castle in the state of South Dakota, the Coghlan Castle was built using stone at a time during the early 20th-century when nearly every other building was made of sod. Located in a remote part of the state, the castle had been left to rot since the Coghlan family left it in the 1940s. This hidden gem remained largely unknown until it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. A decade later, it’s still in the process of being renovated.
Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Mushroom House appears as though it has been transported to the landscape straight from a fairytale. Architect Terry Brown created this interesting space, complete with a cone-shaped addition and several architectural oddities that make it the most interesting residence in the state.
Located just outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma, this home, built in 1970 to resemble the look of a fishing reel, has managed to captivate many across the state. In order to create the perfect shape, each room in the home had to be circular, according to Zillow. We can only imagine what it was like to furnish this place.
Built in 1909 to be the private home of Oregonian publisher Henry Pittock, this 46-room French Renaissance-style château, which features panoramic views of downtown Portland, has become the most famous piece of architecture in the city. More than a century after it was built, the home, now owned by the city’s Bureau of Parks and Recreation, is open to public tours.
Perhaps one of the most famous buildings in the entire country, Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, was named the “best all-time work of American architecture” by the American Institute of Architects. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935, the home was first used as a weekend getaway for Liliane Kaufmann and her husband, Edgar J. Kaufmann, Sr., owner of Kaufmann’s Department Store. The house is most famous for its notable use of natural materials—including the waterfall that flows naturally underneath it.
Yet another testament to the Vanderbilt family fortune, this expansive mansion, which sits peacefully on the coast of Newport, Rhode Island, was built in 1895 with the intention of being a “summer cottage.” However, with all of the incredible features inside of the home (including an arcade, a library, a music room, and a morning room), it’s hard to imagine that this home resembles anything close to a cottage.
As one of the most impressive homes in South Carolina, the Calhoun Mansion, built for businessman George W. Williams in 1876, is a Victorian-style residence in Charleston. After Williams died in 1903, his son-in-law, Patrick Calhoun, moved in—and eventually turned the place into a hotel. Since his passing, the mansion has remained famous for its role on the hit television show North and South—and is still open for tours.
Also known as the Thomas Lenehan House (as he was the one who built it), this famous home was erected in 1902 and features an incredibly distinctive onion-shaped dome. At one point, the dwelling was used as a hospital. Now, it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Built as a part of the flying saucer craze of the 1960s, this home in Chattanooga is still outfitted with many of the retro features it was originally built with, including the retractable staircase leading into the home (though it is now permanently stuck in the “down” position). Currently, the home can be rented.
In Lubbock, Texas, the Steel House, designed by architect Robert Bruno, was constructed over the course of three decades. But despite spending the better portion of his life on this architectural wonder, Bruno died before it was completed. More than a decade later, the home still sits unfinished—though there are plans to move it to a different spot designed to memorialize his work, according to the Dallas News.
Once the official residence of Brigham Young, the second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this home gets its name for the feature on top of it that resembles a beehive. The home was built in 1854 to accommodate Young’s large family (remember, he was a polygamist). It was also his official residence as the governor of Utah. Now, the stunning mansion serves as a museum and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Constructed by architects Dave Sellers and William Reineke in the 1960s, the Tack House is among the most innovative architectural wonders in the country—and the one that reigns supreme in the state of Vermont. After you’ve taken in the dramatic exterior of the home, you’ll be even more awestruck by the inside (and you can totally check it out, since the space is available to rent on Airbnb). Each of the three floors are connected by a series of ladders, with cozy sitting areas and nooks throughout.
Considered one of the most famous homes in the United States, Monticello was Thomas Jefferson’s primary plantation. Located just outside of Charlottesville, Monticello was the first home of its kind in America, with its raised ceilings and elements of European design that were rarely seen in the states during the 18th century.
This home in Sedro Woolley, Washington, is nestled on 20 acres of pristine Pacific Northwest forest and feels like a fairytale come to life. The home is equipped with every castle must-have, including turrets, a stone facade, and a bridge that provides the only access to the home. It also has a salmon creek and an all-natural swimming pool.
The 1933 construction of this home in Williamson, West Virginia, was merely a publicity stunt by O. W. Evans of the Norfolk and Western Railway, who wished to create a recognizable symbol for Williamson’s coal industry. Designed by architect Hassel T. Hicks, the home is made entirely of bituminous coal. Now, it’s a national historical landmark.
When Alex Jordan began working on this home in 1945, he did so with the intention of making it as spectacular as possible. Now, the home is thought to be one of the most bizarre in the country, with each room containing a different set of wacky decorations. For example, one room is decorated with mannequins hanging from the ceiling—and several pay tribute to Jordan’s love of Christmas. Overall, the home is a unique blend of ideas and architectural concepts, and is well worth your visit.
Located in Wapiti Valley, this mansion is legendary in the state of Wyoming. The sprawling and imaginative cabin was built by amateur architect Francis Lee Smith—whose small building project eventually turned into an obsession that never stopped. In fact, the rickety wooden house became such an obsession for Smith that it eventually killed him, when he fell to his death while working on it in 1992. Now, decades later, it’s still in the care of his daughter—and remains a popular attraction in the city of Cody. And for more reasons to avoid building your own mansion, check out these 13 Reasons You Should Be Glad You Don’t Live in a Huge House.
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