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There are several Futuro Houses that could be described as "Lost Souls"; perhaps demolished, perhaps in storage but definately MIA.
Todmorden, United Kingdom | Until Early 1980's? | Added 072812
I recently purchased a copy of the book Fieldens of Todmorden: A Nineteenth Century Business Dynasty and I received it today. I can actually find no mention of the Futuro House in the narrative of the book though to be honest I have just scanned it; it is way too deep and "heavy" a tome for me to actually read. The photo of the Futuro [shown below] appears on page 282 and is captioned as follows:
"Waterside Plastics made a glass fibre house in the old Fielden Mill. Here it is being moved to a position in the town centre where it was used in the celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of Todmorden's incorporation in 1971. Waterside Plastics Ltd. was bought out by its management in 1972 and closed in 1990."
The photo above is a low quality photo from my copy of "Fieldens of Todmorden: A Nineteenth Century Business Dynasty". My intention is to illustrate this article and the content of the book not to provide a copyright infringing image to be copied and reproduced elsewhere so please respect the author's rights and if you would like to use the book's content purchase your own copy. Thanks!
Original Information 072812
In the late 1960's designer and businessman Arthur Bracegirdle and TV engineer Howard Taylor got together in the north of England to develop the Keracolor TV. In a document archived by the National Media Museum in the UK, "Technology - Keracolor" a little of the history of this project is discussed. The spherical cabinet for the Keracolor was manufactured using fiberglass and the first examples were made by a company called Waterside Plastics located in Todmorden, West Yorkshire. The document contains the following quote:
"It took twelve months to build a wooden sphere from which a fiberglass mould could be taken. The first cabinet was produced by a company called Waterside Plastics Ltd. located in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, northeast of Manchester. Interestingly, the following year, Waterside built one of the space-age "Futuro" fiberglass leisure houses. The utopian prefabricated "Futuro" dwellings were originally designed in 1968 by a Finnish architect - Matti Suuronen. The flying-saucer-like dwelling was taken to the town centre for the celebrations of the 75th Anniversary of Todmorden's incorporation."
The single post blog Keracolor has some great images of the Keracolor including the one shown here and it also has links to the website of a company who refurbish Keracolors using modern day "innards". It seems however that company is no longer in business; at least the website is no longer there but you can see how it looked in 2008 at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine - Keracolor.com.
Now as is self evident this website is about Futuro's - why all this stuff about the Keracolor - simple - have you ever seen a TV that looks so much like it "BELONGS" in a Futuro!
The Technology - Keracolor document is a little ambiguous about dates but as best I can tell that document dates the Futuro's manufacture around 1968/1969 and that would be in accord with David Martin of David Martin Photography who has kindly allowed me to display his photographs here. David writes in an email:
"The photographs were taken at Waterside, Todmorden in 1967 or 1968 (not sure which, but I think more likely 1968)."
Len Peltier of FuturoHouse.com has done some great research on the Futuro of Todmorden. In an email from Malcolm Stroud, a local resident Len contacted, Malcolm comments:
"The house was made by Waterside Plastics in its Waterside Mill, Rochdale Road, Todmorden, in West Yorkshire, NE of Manchester...The Futuro house was a one off and I understand they only made one. It was exhibited in Todmorden in 1971 for the town's centenary...The house was exhibited outside the Abraham Omerod medical centre (now closed) in the town, near the railway viaduct. I have also been told that it functioned as offices for Waterside Plastics for some years."
Malcolm Stroud says the Futuro ultimately went to a location in the Lake District and other sources seem to indicate the same though I can find no actual documentation of such a move or a more specific location and I have to consider this Futuro "lost" since there is also no evidence anywhere I can find to suggest it was demolished.
From his research and with the assistance of Martin of MG Caravans Limited and the Todmorden Public Library Len put together a pdf file which can be accessed on his website here.
Of particular interest [at least to me] in the document are the following:
Len - thanks for the awesome research on this one!
An indication of how long the Futuro was actually in Todmorden comes from a perhaps unlikely, perhaps appropriate source; "The World Of Strange Phenomena" on the site ForteanTimes. ForteanTimes writes:
"Alan Godfrey's experience in November 1980 is widely regarded as one of the most significant examples of an "alien abduction" in the UK."
One of the possible scenarios suggested for the experience was that Alan Godfrey had slipped into an ASC [Altered State Of Consciousness] and that a mundane object, perhaps a bus, had been perceived as something else drawn from his subconscious and ForteanTimes hypothesizes that one possible suggestion as to what that might have been is this:
"Perhaps it came from a prefabricated, plastic building called the Futuro. He would have seen the Futuro house in Todmorden, almost every day of his life - some days many times - over a 12-year period. For the building was parked at the side of Burnley Road, in a number of locations between 1969 and the early 1980s. Initially, it was used as an information centre, when it was situated just a few hundred yards from Todmorden police station. Latterly it sat outside a factory on Burnley Road.
It is possible then that the following took place: Godfrey sees a bus parked at the stop on Burnley Road, and slips into an ASC thinking he has seen a UFO, whose appearance is created from stored mental images of the Futuro house.
Interesting that a Futuro which does of course look for all the world like the stereotype "UFO" should be a possible explanation for a real UFO story. Also of interest is the timeline which puts the Futuro in Todmorden at various sites from 1969 through the early 80's.
And one final irrelevant fact but interesting to me nonetheless is that I am an expat "brit" now in Dallas, Texas who grew up in the Yorkshire town of Huddersfield less than 20 miles from Todmorden at the time the Futuro was there. Of course I knew nothing about it then - but it's another of those "its a small world" things.
Sources & Reference
Given my "limey" heritage I have a particular interest in this Futuro so if anyone has any further information on this Futuro and in particular any idea what happened to it I would love to hear from you - nothing would make me happier than to "find" this particular "Lost Soul". You can use the "Contact" form found on the main page or you can email me.
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Thames, New Zealand | Until Mid 2000's? | Added 092212
Nadia Kennington has let me know that her photograph of the Futuro displayed below was taken December 2004.
Original Information 092212
There was a Futuro House located in Thames, New Zealand until sometime between 123100 and 123106 [37°8'41.27"S 175°32'34.58"E | 111 Queen St, Thames 3500, New Zealand]. The image below is a Google Earth screen capture; Google Earth indicates the date of the satellite imagery is 123100 and it clearly shows the Futuro. Later dated satellite imagery in Google Earth  shows that the Futuro is no longer on site.
The photograph below was taken by Nadia Kennington Photography and is displayed here with permission. The image is dated 050312 but likely that is the upload date; comments on Flickr indicate that the image was taken "a few years ago" and as stated above Google Earth indicates the Futuro was long gone by 2012.
The images below are from a series of photos on futurohouse.com [the series is dated December 2004] and they clearly show that the Futuro was in a derelict state prior to its removal from Thames; to date I have no information on its subsequent whereabouts or whether there are any plans to attempt to restore the unit. Visit the excellent Futuro site futurohouse.com to see the original images.
The latest confirmation of the unit being on site in Thames appears to be this photo taken 071806 by destrifan [permission requested]. Given the Google Earth imagery that shows the Futuro no longer on site as of 123106 it appears we can place the move to "location unknown" sometime between July 2006 and December 2012.
A very similar image to destrifan's was taken by flutterbycharlie on 032106.
In a blog post dated 052306 The Tomahawk Kid provides some historical information about the Futuro though still no indication of its current whereabouts.
The Tomahawk Kid indicates that on a visit to Thames he tracked down the original owner of the Thames Futuro [one of the original Futuro franchise owners in New Zealand]. The Futuro had at some point been traded to a man named Mike Peti. Apparently the trade included the original moulds used during manufacture. In a subsequent sale the Futuro [and presumably the moulds also] became the property of one Mike Zero, owner of a [now defunct as far as I can establish] shop called "Hunters and Collectors" in Auckland. Rumor has it that at some point Zero lost everything he had, including the Futuro, because of a drug problem. The Tomahawk Kid adds that the current owner of the Futuro lives in Auckland but provides no further information.
In his post The Tomahawk Kid also writes that New Zealand Futuros were manufactured in Christchurch by Orbital Homes Ltd. Opencorporates.com indicates that this company was incorporated [as Thames Homes Ltd. see Certificate of Incorporation here] in 1967 and dissolved in 2001. Over the course of its life the company traded under the names Thames Homes Ltd. [1967 to 1971], Peninsular Builders Ltd. [1971 to 1996] and finally Orbital Homes Ltd. until it was dissolved.
Shareholders and directors of the company were Stewart Graham Harris of Thames, New Zealand and Ashley Gavin Harris of Mission Viejo, CA, USA. Interestingly in among a series of documents available from the New Zealand Companies Office website [access the documents as a PDF file here] it appears that in 1999 the shares and directorship were transferred to one Michael Peti which is one of the individuals The Tomahawk Kid indicates owned the Thames Futuro at one time. There do not appear to be documents transferring the shares and directorship back to the Harris's but the latest information from New Zealand Companies Office website does still list the Harris's as shareholders and directors.
There is very little documented evidence that this company had anything to do with the Futuro House other than the blog post by The Tomahawk Kid. I did find a brief "hearsay" and somewhat circumstantial suggestion that Futuros may have been manufactured in both Christchurch and Thames in an 071110 blog post on the blog "Gorgeous With Attitude".
It is possible they were a franchisee or in some other way associated with Futuro Homes NZ Ltd. [1972 - 1987] the company most commonly reported as being the manufacturer of the New Zealand Futuros [opencorporates.com listing | New Zealand Companies Office listing | Certificate of Incorporation].
In what is probably the definitive reference document on the history of the Futuro House "Futuro - Tomorrow's House from Yesterday By Marko Home and Mika Taanila" guest contributor Paul McNeil writes [page 123 refers] that with a promising looking future Futuro Homes NZ Ltd. had plans to open a second factory on the North Island by 1977. There are no further details but perhaps this plan involved Orbital Homes Ltd. [then Thames Homes Ltd.].
Sources & Reference
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Lake George, NY, USA | Until Late 1980's? | Added 100812
On 070813 Joseph W. Zarzynski published a short article on the website Mirror; Lake George Magazine. The article was entitled "Tracking Futuro, Lake George's Flying Saucer Home".
The article really did not include any new information but it did confirm the location of the Futuro.
"It was located just off Canada Street down near Charley Wood's Gaslight Village and Waxlife USA."
The undated photograph below accompanied the article and shows the Futuro in Lake George. The photo is courtesy of Mirror; Lake George Magazine.
Original Information 100812
There was at one time a Futuro House located at Storytown USA [now named Great Escape or Six Flags Great Escape] in Lake George, New York. Depending on how you feel at the time Lake George, located some 200 miles or so north of New York City, is a village, a town or a lake. The village is located within the town which is located by the lake.
Charles R. "Charley" Wood [1914-2004] business man, theme park developer and philanthropist purchased a Futuro House in 1971 for one of his theme parks. Depending on which of the following you read it would seem that the Futuro was located at one of two Lake George attractions owned and developed by Wood:
It is entirely possible that these two reports are not in fact contradictory; as we see from this document showing a couple of ads, one for Gaslight Village and one for Waxlife USA the two were actually located across the street from one another and so they may well have shared a parking lot.
That being said the truth of the matter is that the Futuro was actually located, at least when it was first purchased, at Storytown USA, also owned and developed by Wood. This document [a series of State Of New York, State Tax Commission Documents] provides all of the proof we need. In the document we read the following "... is part of an amusement park complex called Storytown U.S.A. which contains various attractions, displays and rides. One such display was a "Futuro II House ..."
The document also provides another very interesting piece of information, the price Wood paid for the Futuro, $16418 which included $15600 for the Futuro itself and $818 for transporting it to the site [the price was contracted 012371]. Finally we learn that the Futuro was transported by road ["on special trailers"] in a disassembled state ["in sections"].
I have not been able to locate any photographs of this Futuro or for that matter any information regarding its current whereabouts. It could have been relocated or it could have been demolished. Gaslight Village is closed as is Waxlife USA. Storytown USA is still operating albeit long since sold; it is now under the Six Flags Umbrella and is presumably much changed and modernized. Based on the limited evidence I have been able to find my best guess is that the Futuro "vanished" late 1980's [based on the RoadSideAmerica.com article] but frankly that is all it is; a guess.
If you have any information on this Futuro House, or even a photo, I would love to hear from you.
Sources & Reference
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Seaside Heights, NJ, USA | Until 1980's? | Added 101012
Information contained in issue #21 of the magazine Weird N.J. conclusively places the Morey's Pier Futuro in Delmont, NJ during the time between its leaving Wildwood and arriving in Greenwich.
Since that precludes the Futuro now located in Greenwich from being the one that spent time at Seaside Heights that makes it almost certain that there were indeed three New Jersey Futuro's and that this one is indeed a "Lost Soul".
Detailed information on this can be found on the Greenwich Futuro page.
Original Information 101012
In the year or so since I began researching the Futuro House I had seen the photo below several different times but I had never researched it further until I saw it again a few days ago; this time it was posted to the Facebook Group Futuro House by Sébastien Baldini here though it appears the photo should be credited to the family of the late Leonard Ipri [1920-2010]; World War II veteran, Superintendent Of Public Works and long time member of the Seaside Heights Volunteer Fire Company.
Information on this Futuro is limited to say the least; about all that is clear is that it served as the Visitor Information Center in Seaside Heights, New Jersey during some part of the 1980's. That is about it; I have found nothing to indicate when the Futuro arrived in Seaside Heights or from where it came and similarly I can find nothing to indicate when it was either moved or demolished.
Local historian and author Christopher J. Vaz [Seaside Heights (Postcard History) ] provides us with a little information in a post titled "UFO In Seaside Heights" on his blog "Down By The Seaside"; Vaz tells us that the:
"... red, white, and blue UFO was serving as the Borough of Seaside Heights Information Center when the photo was taken. The Information Center was located at the municipal parking lot on the west side of town between Sumner and Webster Avenues."
The post goes on to inform us that the Information Center was closed sometime in the late 1980's to make way for a more modern building. There is no indication whether "closed" meant sold and/or relocated or demolished.
Finally we read that the Futuro had previously spent time serving as a bank and also as an amusement attraction [Jaws? Themed after the Spielberg movie of the same name?] during the 1970's and 1980's.
A second article on the Seaside Heights Futuro can be found on the website Ocean County Family & Community News. Posted 100711 the article can be found here.
This article confirms much of the what we learned from Christopher J. Vaz; the Futuro served as the Seaside Heights Visitor Information Center in the 1980's, the Futuro served as a bank [First National Bank of Toms River] and that, by implication, the Futuro was either moved or demolished sometime in the 1980's.
Additionally we have a reference to an amusement park ride though this time the reference is to a "Planet Of The Apes" themed ride at Morey's Pier in Wilwood, NJ. There is however one significant difference between the two articles; this article indicates that we are talking about two different Futuros wheras the Vaz article suggests they may be one and the same.
I do not believe we have enough information to come to any definite conclusions but we can theorize a little:
We know that there was a Futuro at Morey's Pier in Wildwood, NJ during the 1970's. The cool aerial image below [date unknown] from The Season Pass shows the Futuro top center.
Ralph Grassi's excellent historical site Funchase shows us more photos of the Futuro at Morey's Pier.
From the photos and the information on Funchase we learn that the Futuro was at Morey's Pier from around 1974 and was used in the "Planet Of The Apes" attraction [of course it could have been there sooner but there is no documented evidence of that]. The photos show the ride changing over the years from Planet Of The Apes to "Star Trek" and then "Star Wars"; finally we see the Futuro featuring in "The Empire Strikes Back". The movie of that name was released 052180 so we can reasonably assume the Futuro was still at Morey's Pier in 1980 and presumably a little while past that.
We know that the Futuro from Morey's Pier is now located in Greenwich, NJ and we learn by reading this 052509 Press Of Atlantic City article that "Eventually, the ride was retired and sent to an amusement park graveyard"; Matt Damon, current owner, purchased the Futuro from there and transported it to Greenwich in 2003.
There was a "Jaws" ride at Morey's Pier [see The Season Pass] but the photographic evidence seems to suggest that the history of the Futuro and the rides it was a part of are well known and that "Jaws" was not one of them [The Jaws attraction appears to have been a development of the Exorcist attraction which was itself previously the Haunted Swing].
In contrast to what we know of the Futuro at Morey's Pier all we really know of the Seaside Heights Futuro is that it can be "confirmed" as on site for an indeterminate time period in the 1980's; however there is no documentary evidence of its location prior to or after this.
So could the Morey's Pier [now Greenwich] Futuro and Seaside Heights be the same one? It is possible; perhaps between Morey's Pier and Damon's purchase the unit was the Visitor Information Center in Seaside Heights. The Press Of Atlantic City article would suggest that is not the case but the history of Futuros is often shrouded with a little mystery.
Was the Seaside Heights Futuro a bank for while? Perhaps, though I doubt it. I think this is probably one of the examples of two Futuros getting confused with each other. We know that there was a Futuro used as a bank in Lakewood, NJ which is right next door to Toms River, NJ [that Futuro is now in Willingboro - see this video] and that it served as a City Federal Savings & Loan Branch; that Futuro was one of the models with half the number of windows and it seems likely that if there were a second Futuro used around the same time in the same area as a bank it would perhaps have been the same "security conscious" model and it was clearly not.
So there were certainly two Futuros in NJ, since they are still around [Greenwich and Willingboro] but perhaps there were three and the one that was at Seaside Heights has become one of our "Lost Souls". If we draw that conclusion what we have is this:
As always if you have any information that could make the picture a little clearer please let me know.
Sources & Reference
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Janesville, WI, USA | Until 1970's? | Added 122512
In the early 1970's there was a Futuro located in Janesville, Wisconsin. An article by Catherine Idzerda in the Janesville Gazette dated 110209 and available online at GazetteXtra.com tells us a little of the history of this unit.
The article, titled "Flying Saucer Redux: Futuro Owner Tells The Story", relates the story of the Futuro brought to Janesville by friends Larry J. Tracy and Norm Sauey in the early 1970's. The Gazette article tells us that the two men went to Philadelphia in 1970 to buy a Futuro and continues:
"Tracy instantly began to market the homes, and one his first stops was at Playboy headquarters in Chicago."
It is well documented that Playboy published an article titled "Portable Playhouse" in the September 1970 issue of the magazine but that was not the only interest Playboy had in the Futuro. Hugh Hefner had recently opened the first Playboy Resort in Lake Geneva, WI [the resort opened in 1968 and closed in 1981] and Tracy managed to convince Playboy executives that a UFO on the site would draw visitors and sell Playboy Club "Keys" [Playboy Club "Keys" were something of a status symbol. The Rabbit-headed metal key - supplanted by a plastic key-card in 1966 - was required for admission to a club].
The Idzerda article reports that the Futuro remained on the Playboy Club campus for a while until:
"Tracy eventually moved the Futuro to a piece of land he owned south of Janesville. Later, a Ford Dealership used it for a promotion, and it eventually was moved north of Interstate 90/39 near what is now the Best Western. "I don't know what happened to it," Tracy said. "I think a farmer bought it."
The two photographs below accompanied the Gazette article, they are credited simply as "submitted", so I do not know their original provenance. They are reproduced here courtesy of the Gazette but if anyone knows their origin I would love to credit the original photographers. These are the only photos of the Janesville Futuro I have been able to locate and I have found none of the unit at the Playboy Resort so if you have or know of any I would love to see them.
Photo courtesy of the Janesville Gazette - Janesville resident Sue Campbell models outside of the Futuro home after it was moved to a spot near Janesville in the early 1970s. The structure was designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen for use as a holiday home or ski lodge.
Photo courtesy of the Janesville Gazette - Larry Tracy and Sue Campbell pose in the Futuro Home. The home was a fixture around Janesville in the 1970s. Campbell and her husband owned a tavern on Milton Avenue during that time.
In 2009 Larry J. Tracy self published a book titled "A Letter To Annabelle". In the book Tracy passes on a lifetime of experience and family history to his new granddaughter. The book takes you from living in poverty, in a small Minnesota town, to traveling the world as an International consultant for some of the world's major corporations.
Pages 83-84 of the book contain a brief chapter about Tracy's involvement with the Futuro House. We don't learn a whole lot more from the book though there are a couple of interesting facts among them being that when Tracy went to Philadelphia to buy a Futuro he was only looking for a franchise to cover Milwaukee but left with a franchise for four states for which he had paid a $10,000 deposit, a not inconsiderable sum in 1970.
Tracy also tells us that the Futuro spent about a year at the Playboy Resort in Lake Geneva and seems to suggest that the September 1970 article "Portable Playhouse" was inspired by the Futuro being at the resort; this would suggest the Futuro arrived at the resort pre September 1970.
Tracy ends the Futuro chapter by recounting his involvement in the placement of a Futuro in a shopping center for a Toms River, NJ savings and loan. He recounts how they assembled the Futuro in a field a couple of miles away and then had a helicopter fly the unit to the shopping center. Though not specified it seems likely that this was the Futuro that spent a time at a shopping center in Lakewood, NJ and is now located in Willingboro. The helicopter transport and landing of the fully assembled unit is documented in the video "Ektroverde: Inauguration of a Spacebank".
The Hedberg Public Library in Janesville maintains a file with documents related to the Futuro House, some specific to the Janesville Futuro and/or Tracy and Sauey but mostly general Futuro documents; the library kindly sent me photocopies of the contents of the file - my thanks to the Hedberg Public Library and in particular to Sue and Beth.
Included among these documents are the following:
A four page document dated 021070 headed "Futuro Enterprises" which lists the ownership of "Futuro Enterprises" and indicates that shares will be made available to private investors for the purpose of raising capital to operate the company. "Futuro Enterprises" is listed as operating under franchise from "Futuro Corporation Of Philadelphia" with rights for Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan. Of 40,000 common shares Tracy and Sauey are listed as owning 51% or 20,400 with the remaining 49% or 19,600 available for purchase with a minimum purchase of 1250 shares.
The document includes some marketing information that presents financial and other arguments designed to convince investors that Futuro was a sound business proposition. It goes on to discuss population growth in the 1970's and argues the need for low maintenance modular housing in a market they estimate to be worth in excess of $50M by 1975.
Other factors suggested as making Futuro an attractive investment include low maintenance, the ability to be located in areas where more traditional construction presented difficulties and the ability to be used for a variety of purposes. The document also includes some financial estimates and extrapolates that a "Futuro Village" [composed of at least 23 Futuros though to be honest I cannot see where the number 23 comes from] at a ski resort, lakeside community or similar could generate a revenue stream that would allow the units to pay for themselves in something under a year [estimates are based on rents in the $250-$300 a week range and 60% occupancy].
An undated document titled "Facts On The Futuro II Fiber-Glass House". This four page document provides detailed descriptions of the Futuro and its features and includes details on the exterior, the heating and AC systems, the furnishings and other equipment, utilities, site preparation, transport and delivery and so on. Interestingly where many documents of the day specify cost [most commonly $10,000 for a shell and $14,000 "fully loaded"] this document states that because of differences in delivery and erection costs and state and local taxes a specific estimate would be provided for each customer; the document does not even contain an estimate of costs.
This document also throws a little confusion into the mix as far as the ownership of distribution rights for Futuro in the area are concerned. Here we see the Futuro II referred to as "owned and distributed by" Star Enterprises of Janesville with one Gene Ruchti listed as president. Since the previous document along with the Gazette article told us that franchise rights for Wisconsin among others were purchased by Futuro Enterprises owned by Tracy and Sauey I am not sure how Star Enterprises fits into the picture.
A single page undated document headed simply "Futuro Facts" which appears to be a fact sheet issued by the Futuro Corporation of Philadelphia rather than by a local franchisee. The document includes a listing of the main features of the Futuro along with indicating that financing is available and some information on Zoning and Building codes, costs and shipping costs. In this document we see the most often seen $10,000 for a shell and $14,000 for a fully equipped unit. Pre-assembled shipping costs are listed as $1000 per 100 miles by helicopter and $3000 at island in the West Indies [Barge and Helicopter]. Disassembled shipping by road is not specified and listed as variable.
An undated three page sales/publicity document for the Futuro titled "Futuro: The Space Age Recreation Home With An Imagination". This document explains the earlier possible confusion about who was actually distributing Futuros in the area. The document lists the Futuro Corporation of Philadelphia as the sole licensee and manufacturer in the US, Futuro Enterprises of Janesville as handling the franchising of Futuro dealers in the mid-west and Star Enterprises of Janesville as the local franchised Futuro dealer.
The document provides information on the features and benefits of Futuro and finishes by detailing some of the plans for Futuro [most of which never came to pass as was the case with many of the sometimes ambitious plans for Futuro in the early days] among them:
An undated and unattributed single page document titled "Futuro News" which is another document detailing various ambitious plans for the Futuro. Most of the plans never came to fruition and those listed include:
The document concludes by stating "we are in dire need of Futuro dealers to handle the customers requests" and indicating that there is a "special offer" now available - the offer is not specified but may relate to investment opportunities.
Two undated color brochures which were clearly marketing materials of the time. The first is a four page pamphlet by Futuro Corp. Philadelphia and the second is a tri-fold brochure stamped "Tracy Enterprises". We know Tracy was one of the owners of Futuro Enterprises but this suggests at some point he may have spun off another company and this seems to add another wrinkle; exactly what companies were licensed for what in respect of Futuro in the area?
A letter from American Home magazine to Gene Ruchti [Star Enterprises] thanking him for the opportunity to tour a Futuro House and enclosing three copies of the September 1969 issue of the magazine which included an article on the Futuro.
The Futuro file at the Hedberg Public Library also contains copies of the September 1969 issue of American Home Magazine, the September 1970 issue of Playboy Magazine, Larry J. Tracy's book "A Letter To Annabelle" and the Janesville Gazette article. There is also a print copy of "From Snowy Slopes To The Foot Of Minarets" from the website desura.fi; the content is no longer available on desura.fi but it can still be accessed using the Wayback Machine here. This article is of course the text of Chapter One of the book "Futuro: Tomorrow's House from Yesterday" edited by Marko Home and Mika Taanila.
The current location of the Janesville Futuro is not known but as is often the case with Futuros there are some inconclusive clues. If the unit still exists [there is no reason or evidence to suggest it does not but there is also no documented proof that it does] it seems likely that it is now in one of two locations, either Rockland or Livingston.
In a letter to the editor of the Janesville Gazette [and included in the document pack from the Hedberg Public Library] published 110809 John Bergman reports a Futuro in Rockland, Wisconsin. Bergman does not actually suggest this unit was the one from Janesville, he simply says "I do not know if it is the same one that used to be in Janesville."
Larry J. Tracy's last insight into the location of the Futuro was the statement "I think a farmer bought it." A look at Google Maps certainly suggests that the Rockland Futuro is in a rural area which would support that though the Bergman letter actually describes it as being in a "welding yard" south of Rockland [the Futuro is located on County Highway J about 4 miles south of Rockland].
Based on that same Larry J. Tracy statement about a "farmer" the other possibility for the current location of the Janesville Futuro seems to be Livingston. That Futuro was previously located on Route 29 north of Springfield, Illinois and the Springfield location was also very rural.
There is no actual evidence I have been able to find to support either Livingston or Rockland as the current location of the Janesville Futuro. However given what we do know and the "farmer" reference and looking at what we know about the history of the units currently known in the US is does seem most likely that if the Janesville Futuro still exists it is now located in either Livingston or Rockland.
If you are able to shed more light on the whereabouts of the Janesville Futuro I would love to hear from you [as would the staff at the Hedberg Public Library].
Sources & Reference
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Puzzle Park, Murray Bridge, Australia | Until Now? | Added 050513
Puzzle Park was a popular amusement park in Murray Bridge, South Australia. An 082810 article on adelaidenow.com tells us the park closed in 2007; apparently a retirement village was to be constructed on the land.
On 042413 Dave Walsh published an article titled "Puzzle Park Revisited" on the website weekendnotes.com.au which included a series of photographs from the now deserted and decaying Puzzle Park. Among them was the photo shown below.
This photo is accompanied by the following description:
"... shelter reminiscent of Derek Jolly's Futuro house in North Adelaide ..."
My first reaction to the photo was amazement at the freakish similarity of parts of the structure to a Futuro House. However, on looking more closely at Dave Walsh's photo, some Futuro House photos and Google Earth I am of the opinion that what we see here does not just exhibit a "similarity" to a Futuro House; it actually is 4 of 16 sections of a Futuro House that have been used to create the shelter type structure seen in the photo.
The image below is from Google Earth [35°9'14.16"S 139°17'7.93"E]; the satellite imagery is from 110510 and clearly shows this structure. It looks for all the world like a Futuro House and using the "ruler" tool in Google Earth we find that it is the right size for a Futuro House. Google Earth historical satellite imagery for this location is available as far back as 010902 and confirms that the structure has been in place since at least that date.
There are many photographs of Futuro House sections; take a look at the two below and note the similarity between the sections in the Puzzle park structure and the Futuro House sections.
The first photo is courtesy of Nick McQuoid and shows his Kaimaumau Futuro as it was disassembled prior to relocation [Nick - any hint as to where it is going yet?] and the second photo, courtesy of the XXO Facebook Page, shows the French Futuro during a similar deconstruction.
For me there is no doubt that the Puzzle park structure is based on actual sections of a Futuro House; the shape and profile is the same, the size is the same, the edges of the sections look the same and the sections are slightly off vertical at the bottom below the windows in each case.
If these are not original sections of a Futuro House then someone went "above and beyond" to create something that exactly replicated those sections and frankly I cannot imagine anyone doing that just to construct this shelter. It is far more likely that someone came across the sections of the Futuro House and figured this would be a cool way to use them.
I have been round and round in circles trying to decide whether to classify this as either a "lost" or "demolished" Futuro House. Since this article is on the "Lost Souls" page clearly I ended up with "lost".
However what we have is of course only part of a Futuro. It could be what remains of a demolished or destroyed Futuro [the only Australian Futuro absolutely confirmed as destroyed was the Larrakeyah, Darwin unit that was destroyed by Cyclone Tracy in 1974] or it could be part of a "lost" unit, perhaps one of the two once located in Scoresby; it could even be that at one point some extra Futuro House sections were made, maybe as spares or replacement parts, and they somehow ended up in Puzzle Park.
As is so often the case with things "Futuro" the facts are obscured and unclear; I would love to know more so please contact me if you have any information about this interesting structure.
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There are several Futuros that are known to have been at a particular location some time in the past but the current whereabouts are not known - at least to me. They may of course have been moved and are listed as confirmed somewhere else; the history of some of the confirmed ones is unclear after all. They may have been demolished but there is no clear record of that happening. Whatever the story it would be great to "find" one of the "Lost Souls" or even just confirm its fate even if unfortuately that was confirming a demolition. So; if you have any information regarding any of the Futuros listed on this page please let me know by either using the "Contact" form on the main page or by email.
Bailey, Colorado, USA | Until 2009 | Added 072812
It seems like the world of Futuros is a small one indeed. In all of the times I have read this Press Of Atlantic City article about Matt Damon's purchase of the ex Morey's Pier Futuro [currently located in Greenwich, NJ] I have never noticed the following until now:
"The Greenwich Futuro is the second Damon has owned. The first one he bought in Colorado but had to sell at a loss when the economy went south more than a year ago."
This article was published in 2009 so in theory that would put the sale of the one in Colorado somewhere around 2008. Unless there was a second Colorado Futuro [and I have never seen anything that would suggest that is the case] the one being referred to is this one. We know this Futuro has been sold several times; 2003, 2006 and at auction in 2009. Likely Damon owned it either for the period 2003 to 2006 or from 2006 to 2009. Either way that makes it likely that Damon owned two Futuros for a period of time since the 2009 Press Of Atlantic City article indicates he purchased the Futuro now in Greenwich "a few years ago".
Original Information 072812
There was a Futuro House located at 715 Clark Road, Bailey, CO 80421, USA [39°30'22.92"N 105°31'58.32"W] until sometime in 2009. This great shot by thegreatlandoni was taken 092901.
The clearest imagery available in Google Earth is dated 061605 [screen shot below] though there is data from 032606 showing the unit still on site. The next data set is dated 092311 and the Futuro is long gone.
The Futuro seems to have been for sale several times in 2003, 2006 and 2009. The first sale was in 2003 and, perhaps appropriately enough for a "Futuro" the sale was via a very modern medium; EBay. Len Peltier of FuturoHouse.com collected details and some photos from the EBay listing prior to the sale; the EBay listing itself long ago became inaccessible. In part the vendor's description read:
"Flying Saucer/Spaceship Home. Round, insulated fiberglass shell, silver, supported by 4 legs! ... Bedroom, full bath, cozy kitchen, w/living room. Has full electric heat ... and front door opens downward with a garage door opener!"
The description also indicates that the Futuro was on a 1.2 acre "very private" lot and that while things like the bed, a couple of couches and a stove were included with the Futuro the alien toys were not! Also included in the listing was square footage which was listed as 550 and the "year built" which was listed as 1974; that puts it right at the time the Futuro's were being manufactured and suggests that the Futuro had only ever been at this location.
The Futuro sold in April 2003 but after the sale it remained on the same lot. The pictures below [courtesy of FuturoHouse.com where you can see many more pictures] show the Futuro as it was at the time.
Three years later the Futuro was again on the market; this time by more conventional means - using the services of a realtor. A pdf of the 2006 MLS listing can be found here. The image below shows the Futuro as it was at the time [taken from the MLS listing].
Of note in the MLS listing is that the "year built" is listed as 1970; the previous EBay sale listing stated 1974. That could be anything from a typo to "year built" meaning something different each time. With a conventional home "year built" could also be interpreted as "year on site"; kind of hard to move a regular home. In the case of a Futuro however that is not true; they were built to be portable.
So; does "year built" 1970 mean the date the Futuro was constructed and "year built" 1974 mean the date it was on this site. There is nothing I have found that can tell me so drawing any kind of conclusion would just be conjecture though on balance whatever the year I tend to be of the opinion that this was the first and only location of this Futuro through 2006.
The two images below are from the MLS listing and show the interior of the Futuro in 2006. There are additional images in the MLS listing.
Following this sale it again appears that the Futuro remained in the same location. While Google Earth cannot place it there [Google earth has it on site 032606 and gone 092311 but has nothing in between] if we jump forward to the 2009 sale there is documentation indicating that the Futuro was still in Bailey at that time.
This third [and final that I know of] sale saw a return to the auction block but this time using a conventional auction house. On June 2nd 2009 Wright Auctioneers held an auction titled "Important Design" at their Chicago gallery. Among the lots was #138, the Bailey Futuro. A description of the lot can be found on Arcadja Auction Results; it reads:
"Matti Suuronen Futuro house Polykem AB Finland, 1968 fiberglass and polyurethane foam visit the Futuro House minisite Literature: Futuro: Tomorrow's House from Yesterday , Home and Taanila Plastic as Plastic , Museum of Contemporary Crafts exhibition catalog, 1968-1969, pg. 33 illustrates example visit the Futuro House minisite The house is in need of complete restoration. The exterior fiberglass shell is intact and has been painted a metallic silver at one point. The front entrance door does not close properly. There are metal skids attached to the house to facilitate shipping. The interior has been altered and most of the original elements have been removed. Built-in cabinets have been added. Plumbing and electrical will need to be updated and replaced. Windows all original, with three having been augmented to accommodate smaller rectangular, sliding glass windows. Extra images available, the house is located outside of Denver, Colorado and is available for viewing by appointment. Transportation of the Futuro The Futuro is currently located in Bailey, Colorado, and can be relocated to any destination. It can be shipped in one piece or disassembled into as little as eight sections for transportation. A number of shippers specialize in the transportation of oversize items and can assist in coordinating the logistics of the transport. For quotes and specific information concerning the coordination of shipment you will need to speak with a shipper directly. For a list of shippers please contact Emilie Sims at 312 235 4181 or email@example.com."
Wright's website record for Lot #138 indicates that the estimate was in the range $50,000 - $70,000 and that the result of the auction was a sale for $50,000.
I have been unable to establish a definite destination for the Futuro but Google Earth clearly shows it was moved from the site between this sale and 092311. There is however a working hypothesis based on photographic evidence and available information regarding the locations of Futuro's in the USA. Take a look at the two images below; do you notice the striking similarity between the two Futuro's? In particular note the following:
Now there are other Futuro's that have some of these characteristics but I do not recall one having all of them. So - could they be the same - the other Futuro shown is the one on Torreyson Drive in Los Angeles, California [Image Credit on that page]. So is there any evidence to suggest these are one and the same?
So; while I can not say for certain it seems highly likely that the Futuro now in LA was the one from Bailey and that it was moved soon after the sale by Wright on 060209.
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Scoresby, Victoria, Australia | Until 2004-2005 | Added 093012
Yesterday Russell White uploaded a great video to YouTube [the video itself indicates it was shot, produced and edited in 2004]. Russell's video features the pair of Futuros that were located in Scoresby and includes a montage of stills along with video footage of the disassembly of one of the units in 2004.
The video does not have commentary; mostly it is accompanied by a soundtrack and in parts we hear conversation [albeit difficult to understand] among the individuals working on the disassembly of the unit. However the video along with the associated publisher's notes do provide some information that is new [at least to me].
In particular at the beginning of the video [around 18 seconds in] we see what was obviously a notice posted prior to the sale of the two units in 2004. We learn that the units were to be auctioned [a silent auction] 051104 with the two Futuros being auctioned separately rather than as a pair.
This notice goes on to state that the Futuros were to be removed from the site between 051404 and 052804 which narrows the move date down considerably from the window previously identified based on Google Earth satellite imagery. I guess this notice does not definitively indicate the moves happened on time but the notice does say that failing to move on time would result in the winning bidder losing their payment and the Futuro(s) going to the next highest bidder so there was certainly a big incentive to move the units on time.
In addition the notice lists the company auctioning the Futuros as Caribbean Gardens Pty Ltd. A quick look on the web indicates the company is a Boat & Yacht Builder/Repairer.
The publisher's notes that accompany the video provide us with a clue as to the subsequent whereabouts of one of the units - we read that one of the units was destined for the:
"Aireys Inlet hinterland for use as a flop house for surfies and their fellow travelers"
Unless there was a subsequent move this would be an aditional unit located in Australia. I feel a stint in Google Earth/Maps coming on!
Original Information 093012
The image above is of a very cool looking pair of Futuros located at 1280 Ferntree Gully Rd, Scoresby VIC 3179, Australia [37°54'24.75"S 145°13'30.96"E] until the mid 2000's. The photo is from The Futuro House page on Facebook.
The two screenshots below are taken from Google Earth. The first, showing the Futuos on site, is from satellite imagery dated 040704 and the second, no longer showing the Futuros, is from satellite imagery dated 042805. From this we can clearly date the disappearence of these units from this site to somewhere between 040704 and 042805.
The only other photos I have been able to locate of this Futuro "double act" are by Matahina. The photos indicate they were taken 032108 but I believe this is more likely the upload date; the photos are grainy and "look" old and the Futuros were not at this site by 2008 anyway.
There is not a great deal of information out there on these Futuros; at least not that I have been able to find. What there is suggests that they served, at least for some time, as offices.
A post in a forum on iceinspace.com includes a comment that talks to their being used as offices.
In another forum post, this one on walkingmelbourne.com it was suggested that one of these was now the South Morang Futuro. This is however clearly not the case [as a subsequent comment in the forum indicates]; the South Morang Futuro has been in situ for over 20 years. Among other sources an article in the Autumn 2010 issue of Architect Victoria Magazine talks of the South Morang Futuro being "Relocated here over 20 years ago .."
A further indication that they were used as offices can be found in the comments on a Dr. Keats' photo of the South Morang Futuro where z50rc writes "I think they used to use it as one of their office buildings ..."
Finally my good friend and Futuro expert Achim Breiling tells me that these units were possibly used as offices by the Australian distributer of the Futuro House.
As to the current whereabouts of one or both of these units; there is simply no information out there. I only have confirmed locations for a small number of Futuros in Australia:
So, in summary, Blowhole Creek is the only currently confirmed location in Australia that is not excluded by the evidence as a possible location for one of these units and there is no evidence to suggest such a relocation ever took place. Given that I have to consider both of these Futuros "Lost Souls".
If you have any additional information on or photographs of these units please let me know; I would love to know where they are now.
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Bungwahl or Byron Bay, NSW, Australia | Until 2013 | Added 111012
Update 061613 | FOUND
Though I do not currently know the precise location of this Futuro recent correspondence confirms it still exists and has in fact been transported to an unknown location in New Zealand - for more information see this page.
Original Information 111012
Influential Australian artist Paul McNeil moved from his native New Zealand to Australia in 1987. A Futuro fan and owner, Paul wrote the chapter on Futuros in New Zealand in the book Futuro: Tomorrow's House from Yesterday edited by Marko Home and Mika Taanila.
Paul McNeil found his own Futuro in New Zealand, disassembled it and had it shipped to Australia. The images below are from the website "Modern-Post Modern" [m-pm.com] and show the Futuro in various stages of disassembly prior to shipping. On the website we learn that Paul first developed an interest in the Futuro after seeing one at a 1974 home show. He watched and waited for a Futuro to come up for sale and eventually he found one. The website appears to no longer exist in its own right; instead it displays the same pages as futuro-house.net but it was archived by the Internet Archive Wayback Machine and is accessible here.
On page 126 of the book Futuro: Tomorrow's House from Yesterday there is a photo of McNeils disassembled Futuro post its arrival in Australia; the photo is annotated "The author's Futuro being assembled in Bungwahl, Australia."
In recent and reliable email correspondence it was confirmed that the Futuro has actually never been reassembled and to this day remains in storage in a disassembled state. That correspondence made no mention of the actual location of the Futuro or, though it would be great to know, where the Futuro came from in New Zealand. Given no mention of the location the assumption was that the Futuro was still in Bungwahl.
An article on the Sydney Morning Herald website however seems to "muddy the waters" a little as far as location is concerned. In the article we read that:
"Mambo artist Paul McNeil is a big fan of the Futuro. He has had one shipped over in pieces from New Zealand, to put on his property in the Byron Bay hinterland ... Two years ago McNeil fulfilled his childhood dream of owning a Futuro. He purchased a bright yellow model from New Zealand and is getting ready to assemble it to use as a studio, or "just a fun place to hang out"."
The article is undated as far as I can tell so the "Two years ago" statement really means nothing [the url suggests it is a 2007 article but almost certainly the Futuro moved from New Zealand to Australia prior to 2005 since there is the photo of it in Australia in the Marko Home book and the first edition of the book was published in 2002].
What is interesting about the article however is the reference to the Futuro being located on McNeil's property in the Byron Bay hinterland. Bungwahl is some 250 km or so north of Sydney; Byron Bay on the other hand is more like 750 km up the coast. Any Google search on Paul McNeil will quickly show that he lives in Byron Bay so is the Futuro in Bungwahl or is it in Byron Bay?
To be honest I do not know; in fact I went round and round as to whether to class this as a "confirmed" or "lost" Futuro. Were it not for the mention of Byron Bay on the Sydney Morning Herald website I would probably have listed it as confirmed in Bungwahl and given it a dedicated page but with the mention of Byron Bay I decided to go with "lost" though there is little doubt that while it is disassembled this Futuro does still exist and so for the purpose of the statistics on my main page I am including this in the "confirmed" count unlike the other "lost" units discussed on this page.
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Virginia Beach, VA, USA | Until 2008/10 | Added 111812
Yesterday  I added a section to the "Myths & Legends" page based on the following 051709 anonymous comment posted on the website Artificial Owl in response to a post about the Futuro House:
"There is one of those in Pungo/Virginia Beach VA. Looks almost exactly the same except it was bolted shut."
After finding the comment I searched a little and found a further report of a Futuro in Virginia Beach that appeared on CNN a couple of years later . That article, in part, read:
"VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. For years high school aged kids have searched for a rumored alien space craft; only few have found it. Damaged and forgotten, this large brown craft somberly rests with its windows busted in, glass littering the floor, and graffitied by unwanted visitors. Hundreds of cars drive down Indian River road every day, not knowing this circular craft 11 feet high and 26 feet across, lies at the end of a private driveway. The flying saucer stays on private property, locked behind an iron gate with old brick walls, and invisible from the roadside. From the street a no trespassing sign is clearly visible. However, that hasn't stopped some adolescents from finding this retro craft."
The article also mentioned Richard Pisani, noted Futuro expert, and added that the Virginia Beach Futuro was unknown to Pisani "until recently".
Given that the source of the article was quite reputable, CNN, and that it mentioned Richard Pisani I felt that it was very likely that there was indeed a Futuro as reported but a quick search in Google Maps did not reveal anything. I had planned on starting to search back through historical imagery in Google Earth today but my good friend and "Futuro Sleuth" Achim Breiling beat me to it; he located a Futuro in Virginia Beach using Bing Maps.
Interestingly the Futuro is visible only in "Bird's Eye" view in Bing Maps, in all other views it is not there so clearly the application is using differently dated imagery for different views. I have never been able to establish how to determine the date of imagery in Bing maps so it was off to Google Earth for me.
A little time in Google Earth confirmed there was indeed a Futuro in Virginia Beach. The Futuro was located at 36°43'12.08"N 76°4'23.60"W. There was no actual address returned; Google Maps showed the address for the coordinates as "Unnamed Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456". Unfortunately Google Maps also showed that this Futuro cannot be considered a "confirmed" Futuro but rather is another "Lost Soul" since it disappeared from the location sometime between 051808 and 040610.
The series of screenshots below from Google Earth show that the Futuro arrived on site sometime between 040890 and 062194 and was then removed sometime between 051808 and 040610. Specifically the screenshots [from the top] are:
By far the best imagery available is that provided by Bing Maps "Bird's Eye" view. The two screen shots below show the Futuro looking north and looking south respectively.
So, we have another "Lost Soul" to track down. If anyone has any information about this Futuro or any photos of it either in Virginia Beach or wherever it is now I would love to hear from you.
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Baltimore, MD, USA | Until ? | Added 012713
An article entitled "Space Invader - The Futura Flying Saucer House in Dundalk" was published in the Baltimore City Paper on 111480. This article is reproduced on the website "Baltimore Or Less" and includes the photograph below. The article was by Michael Yockel and the photograph was by Barry Holnicker.
The newspaper article confirms previous information about this Futuro and adds some more detail though it does not shed any light on what subsequently happened to the unit.
The original location of the Futuro at North Point and Eastern is confirmed as was the intended use to promote a hangover remedy. The Futuro was purchased by Wayne "Froggy" Glover in 1971. The hangover remedy was apparently less than successful and in 1972 Lou Simmons purchased the Futuro for $12,000. He intended to turn it into a "space age" playhouse for his daughter, then 12 years old. After purchasing the Futuro the City Paper tells us he:
"had it moved to a spot behind his home on Graceland Ave., not far from the Cross & Blackwell factory on Eastern Ave. For the record, the saucer's address is 6831 Fait St."
Simmons says that the novelty of the "flying saucer" eventually wore off and in 1974 he and his wife decided to rent the Futuro; between then and 1980 [when the article was published] the Futuro was home to several people including a school teacher and his wife and a club owner, Lou Edwards. Edwards is quoted as saying"
"It's comfortable for a bachelor ... and it gives you a little privacy. I enjoy the solitude."
The photograph of the Futuro is interesting, it shows an "add on" structure in front of the door [reminiscent of the Willingboro Futuro]. The newspaper article relates the reason for this:
"Originally, electric stairs descended from the module when a key was placed in an outside electronic lock. After climbing the five steps and getting inside, one pressed a button and the stairs ascended into the saucer again ... the owner decided that the set-up was too dangerous for his children and has kept the stairs in a permanent down position for a couple of years. Entry is presently gained through a shed-like structure with a conventional front door, spoiling the overall cosmic effect."
The photo also shows one of the smaller "spaceships" built by "Froggy" Glover as playthings for children. Apparently an even smaller one built as a dog house was stolen at some point.
A couple of interesting notes from the article are unsubstantiated anywhere else [at least to my knowledge] but are nonetheless interesting. Simmons is quoted as saying that
"30 of those things were ordered by Puerto Rico - they were going to turn them into motels"
Simmons goes on to confirm that no such transaction ever took place. I have never heard of or come across any evidence of such an intended purchase but clearly that does not mean it was not a possibility at some point.
Finally the article quotes Simmons as saying there was another Futuro in Ocean City; this is the first mention of a Futuro there that I have come across. As always if anyone has any information or photographs I would love to hear from you.
Original Information 012713
A recent post in the Yahoo Group "futurohouse" by mikemtd tells us of a Futuro House located in Baltimore, Maryland in the early 70's.
It is not unusual to find rumors and reports of Futuro Houses that cannot be substantiated and this is a Futuro House I have not heard referenced before. However in this case I have no doubt that the report refers to a real Futuro the location of which is now unknown - another "Lost Soul" - based on the very precise nature of the report including exact locations and other specific details.
The group post by mikemtd recounts that in the early 70's a Futuro House was set up on lot a faced the interchange of Eastern Avenue and North Point Boulevard just east of Baltimore, Maryland. The Futuro appeared to be being used as marketing/advertising for something by the name of "Mornin' Afta Hangover Remedy" though it appeared to be uninhabited/unused. Mikemtd goes on to tell us that he did not think a/c was ever hooked up and that he did enter the Futuro one time and found it to be uncomfortably warm.
The Futuro was subsequently moved to a location around a mile or so away where two red children's playhouses, which also looked like UFO's, and a small blue doghouse reminiscent of the Futuro were also constructed. Mikemtd has no knowledge of where the Futuro went after that but it is long gone from this second site.
The Google Map below is by mikemtd and shows both of the locations.
View Futuro house locations in/near Baltimore in a larger map
There was second reference to this Futuro on the website UER Mobile back in 2007; I cannot seem to access the original posting now but there is a Google cached version here which allows us to read the post. Though this post is by thoughtcriminal the content is so similar to the content of the Yahoo Group post that I am inclined to think this may be from the same person rather than a separate report of a Baltimore Futuro.
As an interesting side note this posting tells us that the Futuro was delivered in two halves by flatbed. Given that the Futuro, as we know, consists of 16 primary sections this appears to be a case of a Futuro being delivered in a partially assembled state.
To date searching Google Earth's historical satellite imagery has not revealed any imagery old enough to show a Futuro at either location and I have been unable to find any other mention of a Futuro in Baltimore. If you have any information, photographs or an idea as to what might have become of this Futuro I would love to hear from you.
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Sochi, Russia & Yalta, Ukraine | Until ? | Added 042813
A little while ago Achim Breiling sent me a possible location for the Yalta Futuro. There is a round, yellow object at 44°28'43.88"N 34°9'24.84"E; the imagery is not particularly clear and measuring precise dimensions is difficult at the scale of a Futuro House using Google or Bing mapping tools but the object does appear to be about the right size for a Futuro as demonstrated in the screenshots below from Google Earth and Bing Maps.
While I cannot date the Bing Maps imagery the Google Earth imagery is dated 091611. If this is the Futuro it is clearly not in the location seen in the Pamela Voigt image. Not only is the landscape and topography incorrect but Google Earth imagery from 082509 shows that the object was not at the location at that time. If this is the Futuro then it was moved to this location sometime between 082509 and 091611. If anyone lives in or is visiting Yalta and could take a trip here and confirm whether this is indeed a Futuro House or not I would appreciate it.
Despite crawling through Google Earth imagery for 082509 and earlier for several hours I have not yet been able to determine where this object came from - if of course it was even in the Yalta area previously.
On page 34 of the awesome Marko Home/Mika Taanila book Futuro: Tomorrow's House from Yesterday we are told that in the mid seventies the Soviet youth travel agency Sputnik purchased three Futuros. One was to serve as a ski-cabin [the original intent behind the whole Futuro concept] and was to be located in Dombai high in the Caucasus Mountains; the Dombai Futuro is still in the mountains though it is now owned by the Hotel Tarelka. I am not sure if it remains in its original location or not but that is my assumption; I have never seen anything suggesting it was ever relocated.
The remaining two Futuro's were to serve as a holiday bungalow in Sochi, Russia and as a cafe in the Crimea; this last unit was to be a rare example of the "two story" variant of the Futuro House.
I have never come across any more information about the Sochi Futuro but thanks to some "detective" work by futurohouse we do have just a little information on the Futuro that went to the Crimea.
futurohouse came across a thesis by Pamela Voigt on a webpage entitled Dissertation Voigt [In German | Google translation to English here]; the thesis discusses the use of glass-fiber reinforced plastics in architecture and it includes sections on the Futuro House - the thesis can be downloaded from the web as a pdf file here. The thesis is in German so I am unable to read it but it does include several photographs, among them photos of the Berlin Futuro and the Futuro displayed at the 1971 Internationale Kunststoffhaus Ausstellung der Welt.
On the webpage there is a series of rotating images and one of the images, not included in the thesis, is the image shown below. futurohouse contacted Pamela Voigt and she confirmed the location of that Futuro; it was Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine. Pamela Voigt indicated that the photograph was given to her by Matti Suuronen himself and she also kindly gave permission for it to be used on the web.
The base of the Futuro is hidden in the photo and it is surrounded by trees; there are some stairs in the photo so it is likely that the ground level where the Futuro is located is higher than the level seen in the foreground of the photo but it does look as if the Futuro was indeed the "two story" variant reported in the Home/Taanila book as being the version purchased and located in the Crimea.
The photo below is from page 33 of the Home/Taanila book and shows the "two story" variant Futuro in the Polykem yard. Looking at the two photos it is impossible to definitively confirm if the one in Yalta was actually the "two story" variant but it is certainly possible and in my opinion likely.
This photo above is an intentionally low quality photo from my copy of "Futuro - Tomorrow's House From Yesterday" edited by Marko Home and Mika Taanila. My intention is to illustrate this article and show the "two story" variant of the Futuro. It is not to provide a copyright infringing image to be copied and reproduced elsewhere so please respect the author's rights and if you would like to use the book's content purchase your own copy. Thanks!
Pamela Voigt later co-authored the book Kunststoffbauten, Teil 1: Die Pioniere with Elke Genzel. I recently purchased a copy of this book; of course it is in German and I have no way to read it but it clearly includes a wealth of detailed information on the Futuro House along with some nice photographs [I will add a link to the book on my "Collection" page in the next few days]. The book is available on Amazon.com and the authors home page for the book can be found here [In German | Google translation to English here].
So, we have three Futuro's purchased two of which are now "location unknown" or "lost souls". If you have any information as to their current whereabouts [or know if they even still exist] please let me know.
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Mont Blanc, Quebec, Canada | Until ? | Added 081113
Len of FuturoHouse.com has probably tracked down more information on the Futuro House than anyone and he is at it again. This time a Futuro House that was located in a ski-resort around Mont Blanc, Quebec, Canada.
The Futuro served as a boutique for a ski-boot retailer and later as a resort honeymoon suite. Its current whereabouts is unknown so if anyone is able to provide any information on this Futuro please let me know or drop Len a note on FuturoHouse.com
The photo below is courtesy of FuturoHouse.com; it shows the Futuro though it appears the Futuro was likely not the focus of the shot - it looks more as if it was perhaps a publicity shot for Mistral, a Netherlands based company famous for surfboards and sports apparel.
My thanks to Len for tracking down another possible Futuro and also to Achim Breiling who provided information.
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