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Hillsborough, California: Flintstone House

Private home designed with domes and tubes; garish paint job makes it look even more like cartoon Bedrock City. New owner added dinosaurs, giant mushrooms, a UFO and aliens to the yard in 2018.

45 Berryessa Way, Hillsborough, CA
I-280 north from San Jose/Palo Alto/Woodside. A few miles north of the intersection with State Highway 92, and just past the Bunker Hill Drive exit, look to your right as you cross the Doran Memorial Bridge. Private property. Freeway drive-by only.
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Pre-2017 view from the freeway.

Flintstones House

Hillsborough's Flintstones House is now permitted to maintain its prehistoric 1960s TV elements. The brightly painted private multi-dome dwelling had been in a code violation dispute between the town and the owner -- a classic public nuisance vs. creative yard art clash. A settlement was reached allowing the many displays of dinosaurs and cartoon characters to remain. The town paid owner Florence Fang to withdraw a countersuit.

Originally built in 1976, it had been nicknamed the "Flintstones House" by locals for decades. Fang purchased it in 2017, had the domes repainted from orange early earth tones (as in our 2009 drive-by photo) to even more unnatural cartoon hues, and added dozens of statues and other wonderfully garish garden elements.

The public can see the property from the nearby northbound freeway. Veteran Roadsiders will instantly note the architectural resemblance to Bedrock City attractions (of four that once thrived as must-stop kids destinations, only one is still open in some form).

[ Team, 06/29/2021]

Flintstone House.

Flintstone House

The Flintstone House is still very private property, on a narrow dead end street.

[Mike, 08/25/2019]
Flintstones House

The Flintstones House has been in the news lately, and not necessarily in a good way. A new owner has made landscaping additions, including dinosaur statues, that have attracted attention to the point where local authorities are calling the house a "public nuisance." Oh my!

[Alan H. Haeberle, 03/31/2019]

Hillsborough: Yabba-Dabba-Don't draw any more attention to your weird house.

Flintstone House.

Flintstone House

The Flintstone House - also known as the Dome/Bubble/Marshmallow/Gumby house, etc., is strategically located on a hillside above the Crystal Springs Reservoir south of San Francisco. The actual street address is on Berryessa Way, but the best view of this house is the one you'll see while traveling north on Interstate I-280 crossing the Doran Memorial Bridge. You've got maybe 15, 20 seconds to take a picture, so have your camera ready.

Designed by architect William Nicholson and built in 1976 using sprayed concrete over balloon-shaped forms, the house suffered from structural and drainage problems for years, and almost had to be torn down because of mold growth throughout the walls. Its demise would have delighted many neighbors in the conservative community of Hillsborough, who set up a local design review board after the house was first built, in hopes of preventing any more such oddities from invading their area. Fortunately, repairs were made around 1988 that saved the house and allowed its continued occupation. It still is a private residence, so enjoy the view from the highway.

For many years the house was a gleaming - perhaps even glaring - white, but recently it has been painted a deep orange-red color. Not so in-your-face obvious, but very attractive.

[Alan H. Haeberle, 12/12/2007]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Goofy Father Junipero Serra StatueGoofy Father Junipero Serra Statue, Hillsborough, CA - < 1 mi.
Last Stagecoach Hold-Up in San Mateo CountyLast Stagecoach Hold-Up in San Mateo County, Hillborough, CA - 1 mi.
Lost Dairy MuralLost Dairy Mural, Burlingame, CA - 3 mi.
In the region:
Tony Bennett Statue, San Francisco, CA - 18 mi.

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