Space House On The Side Of Signal Mountain Sells For $135,000

Saturday, March 15, 2008 - by Judy Frank

The nationally recognized Space House located off the S turn on the road leading up Signal Mountain has a new owner.

A woman in Cincinnati, Ohio, who wants to remain anonymous purchased it for $135,000, according to employees for Crye-Leike Auctions of Cleveland, Tn.

The woman, who was one of only three bidders on the property, did not attend the auction held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday on the concrete pad directly under the house. She cast her bid by telephone.

Like many of the buyers who were present, her interest was attracted by a nationwide publicity campaign which culminated in newspaper and TV reports from California to Massachusetts.

During the hours prior to the sale, braving slashing rain and lightning strikes, dozens of curious men, women and children toured the Space House to get a look at the unusual property.

By sale time, the thunderstorms had ended. Cars and trucks from as far away as Ohio and Michigan lined the roadways around the house and approximately 50 would-be buyers were on hand for the sale.

The house, which sits on three-quarters of an acre of land about halfway up the mountain, was built in the early 1970s by C.W. King, who referred to it as a "House of the 21st Century."

The builder and his family hoped it would become the prototype for numerous homes built across the nation, according to newspaper stories at the time. But money problems ensued, and it remained a one-of-a-kind landmark which attracted visitors from across the nation.

Area residents grew accustomed to seeing tourists parked across the road, taking photos of the structure. And during the 1980s – when Steven Spielberg’s movie “ET” was a major boxoffice hit – word spread among the small children on Signal Mountain that the Space House was ET’s home.

The unique structure contains 1,954 square feet of living space. It is built of steel and concrete, and plumbing and electrical connections are made through the support legs under it.

It is heated by propane heat.

Inside, it is divided into three levels.

Entering the house, visitors first see a built-in bar in front of a curved wall lined with mirrors.

A short flight of stairs above is the primary living area, which features an open living room and kitchen area. A small deck overlooking the infamous S turn on Signal Mountain Boulevard opens off the area. There are also two bedrooms and a bath.

The master suite – which is round – fills the third level, and contains a bathroom with a luxurious tub.

The house went on the market in early 2007 for $184,900, but no buyer materialized.

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