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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sleeper House

Those of you who are from Colorado probably know about this house but don’t really know about it. The house that I am speaking of is the spaceship looking house that sits on top of Genesee Mountain and is visible from I-70. This house, designed by Charles Deaton, is known as the "Sculptured House" or more commonly as the "Sleeper House" after the Woody Allen movie that it starred in.

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Charles Deaton based his architectural philosphy on the premise that “people aren’t squares, so why should they live in squares?”. In 1963 Mr. Deaton started to build the kind of house he thought people should live in, on 15 acres high in the foothills above Denver. The house was intended to be both a work of art and a home, although it would be many years before it ever became a home to anyone. By 1966 the exterior of the building had been completed at a cost of $100,000, which was a lot of money for a complete house in those days. The exterior design was widely praised in architectural circles and received a fair bit of attention in the press, but financial problems prevented Mr Deaton from ever finishing the building. The house was the subject of a 1969 New York Times article, which inspired filmmaker and actor Woody Allen to use the building in his 1973 comedy "Sleeper". The infamous "Orgasmatron" of the movie was apparently inspired by the tiny two-person elevator in the stem of the house. The elevator is still there, but unfortunately it doesn’t do any more than move from one floor to another.

In 1991 Mr. Deaton sold the house and land to Larry Polhill, a California businessman, for $800,000. Mr. Polhill started work on an addition designed by Deaton that would triple the livable space in the house, but lost interest and allowed work on the house to stop. The house sat neglected for years, with vandals smashing all the windows, and the interior left open to the elements. When Denver resident John Huggins inspected the house prior to buying it in 1999, he found four feet of snow in the living room, and a fox living in the house. Foxes and snowdrifts notwithsthanding, an inspection found the house to be structurally sound, and Mr. Huggins bought the house and began the long process of restoring the house and completing Charles Deaton’s dream. The $1,325,000 that Mr. Huggins paid for the house was based entirely on the appraised value of the 15 acres it sat on.

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Mr. Huggins hired interior decorator Charlee Deaton and architect Nick Antonopoulos (daughter and son-in-law of the original architect) to complete the interior and the addition to the house and, two years and a few million dollars later Charles Deaton’s dream was realized. The addition to the house is invisible from the highway, even though it triples the livable space in the house. The original windows (all of which were smashed by vandals) have been replaced by soundproof glass to block out the sound of traffic on I-70. Until I-70 was completed to Genesee in 1971 the only paved road near the house was US Highway 40, two narrow lanes far across the canyon carrying a few cars an hour on a busy day.


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Cloud Nine Living offers a night of excitement at the "Sleeper House". Enjoy a once in a lifetime experience at Charles Deaton’s "sculpture you can live in". Your private limo will take you 20 miles west of Denver to one of the most beautiful, storied and mysterious homes on Earth. The 7,700 square foot marvel of modern architecture juts out from it's 8,000' perch amidst 300 acres of dense pine forest. The secluded enclave is your private playground for the night. Inside, the finest designer furniture, bedding, sound and lighting spark your imagination. Outside the the 5,500 square foot flagstone deck, 3 acre meadow, gas and charcoal barbecues, hot tub and views remind you of your place on top of the world. The ultra private master balcony delivers breath taking vistas of both The Continental Divide to the West and The Front Range from Boulder to South Denver to the East.

Up to 8 guests will enjoy a catered 4 course gourmet dinner, cocktails and wine and a private screening of Woody Allen’s 1973 film, "Sleeper"; in which the home had a starring role.Prices range from $2,700 for 2 people to $3,900 for 8 people


Charles Deaton also designed a similar Key Savings and Loan Association (now Colonial Bank) in Colorado. I am not positive but I think that this may be the bank that is located off of Hampden and Broadway in Englewood. Here is the only picture that I could find of it

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Facts taken from Blue Sky Colorado and Cloud Nine Living

Other Links:
-Kentwood Homes - I think this is the official site for it. Amazing pictures of exterior and interior
-Forbes: Sleeper House - Good and short article
-Littleton Rotary Photo Slideshow - Quick slideshow but the photos from the Kentwood site are way better
-Rocky Mountain City & Mountain Views - Another good article
-Charles Deaton Wikipedia Page
-Sculptured House Wikipedia Page


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