To some people, home is just four walls—a place to retreat for eating, sleeping, and other mundane activities. For a special few, though, a house is a blank canvas on which to paint their personality, a stage for their creativity.
When homeowners display their obsessions on a grand scale, those homes become the stuff of dreams — and of slideshows.
The following collection of unusual homes features tributes to television shows, movies and superheroes and sports. One uncannily replicates another well-documented shingle-sided seaside home.
Read on to witness the lengths that enthusiasts will go to bring a theme home.
By Colleen Kane
Posted 28 September 2012
Location: Hinsdale, Ill.
Price: $2.55 million
Bathrooms: 4 full, 1 half
Square footage: 3,754
The ivy-covered Tudor 1932 exterior of this, uh, stately manor gives no hint that behind the house, the pool has an aquatic bat signal. Zillow reported that the sellers’ son was a Batman fan as a young lad, so they surprised the lucky boy when he was 3 or 4 by painting the bat symbol at the bottom of the pool. “A guy came out and freehand drew it, and they [the owners] just kept it over the years,” the listing agent Beau Carstensen told Zillow. “One of the son’s friends posted it on YouTube later, and that’s when it went viral.”
Location: Falmouth, Upper Cape Cod, Mass.
Price: $2.995 million
Bathrooms: 4 full, 1 half
Square footage: 3,934
The original Grey Gardens [pictured at center], a shingle-style home in East Hampton, on Long Island, N.Y., was the home of Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis’s aunt Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter “Little Edie.” The house first drew notoriety with the 1975 documentary of the same name, which revealed that the two ladies were living in squalor in the once-grand home. With new owners, that home became grand again, the documentary became a cult classic, and in 2009 begat an HBO movie starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore.
This owner of this 2011 home on Oyster Pond, now for sale, modeled its exterior on Grey Gardens. Realty agent Wesley Grover of Robert Paul Properties explained that it was “passion project of sorts” for the owner, who intended it as a summer home before deciding to spend more time elsewhere.
Location: Carmel, Ind.
Price: $5.5 million
Bathrooms: 6 full 1 half
Square footage: 16,326
This party palace, built in 1995 as a place to entertain up to 500 guests, boasts a ballroom, men’s lounge with weaponry hung above the numerous urinals, and a ladies’ room for multiple guests, and a cloak room with rotating rack. But safe home! The mansion has only four bedrooms.
The home celebrates the “Star Wars” movies with a themed bar silently policed by realistic life-size figures of Darth Vader and Stormtroopers. Another bar fitted out with an antique poker table is an homage to old-school Chicago mobsters. (Darth Vader and antiques sold separately.)
The owners are selling according to Jimmy Dulin of Re/MAX Ability Plus, “they don’t entertain like they used to.” But really, does anyone?
Location: Waxahachie, Tex.
Square footage: 5,825
The Munster Mansion is the project of Sandra and Charles McKee, superfans of the old sitcom, “The Munsters,” who since 2000 have built and transformed their home to be as close to the one in the classic TV show as possible.
To make the mansion, the couple watched recordings of all 70 episodes of the 1960s series, pausing to get down the exact layout and furniture. The FAQ on their website boasts, “We are always working on ways to make the house look older and dilapidated.” The McKees open to the public their private tribute to the Munsters for charity once a year. This year’s event takes place on October 19 and 20.
Location: Long Lake, Minn.
Price: $4.95 million
Square footage: 9,078
The putting green and a swimming pool on this two-acre estate on Lake Minnetonka are nothing new as far as luxury entertainment. But the indoor hockey arena indicates a particular passion. The homealso has an indoor golf simulator in the pub. One thing’s for sure: no one who buys this home is going outside to the Minnesota winter to practice their sport of choice, as long as those sports are hockey and golf.
Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
Price: $7.5 million
Square footage: 8,000
Melody Land in the Northridge neighborhood of L.A. is not an exact replica of Elvis Presley’s Memphis home Graceland, but it’s close enough for retired Elvis impersonator Danny Uwnawich, otherwise known as Danny U., who built it in 1991 at a cost of $3 million.
The $7.5 million sale price also includes one year of maintenance. The sale website says that over $11 million has been invested in the house, but that likely includes extensive repairs after the house was badly damaged in the 1994 earthquake that caused chandeliers to fall down, broke walls and shattered marble and glass.
The house comes with “over $1.2 million of artifacts” including the Rolls Royce seen in some of the photos, the $200,000 custom sofa, $100,000 chandeliers, and a $10,000 toilet. As a final selling point, the master bath has a Roman guard statue... no word on whether Danny U.'s two televisions in the bath are included.