Bethesda, Maryland: Hobbit House - Mushroom House

An average 1960s suburban home, remodeled into a droopy-looking-something out of a sword-and-sorcery flick, to the probable horror of its average suburban neighbors.
Allan Rd, Bethesda, MD
I-495 exit 39. Drive southeast on River Rd/Hwy 190 for around four miles, then turn right onto Western Ave. Take the fifth right onto Allan Rd; the house will be the third on the right. Private property; visible from the street.
Private property.
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Visitor Tips and News About Hobbit House - Mushroom House

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Hobbit House.

Hobbit House - Mushroom House

It's fabulously hideous. I'm sure the neighbors are plotting revenge! This monstrosity is in the midst of an otherwise classy and extremely expensive community in high-end Bethesda, close to the DC line. Wow.

[Gina, 07/18/2017]
Mushroom House

I know the owner of the house. He's a really nice guy who plans on doing more to add to its quirkiness. It's even more incredible on the inside. It was bought by a couple back in the 1960s as an average colonial, but over the next decade they transformed it into what you see today. The additions nearly doubled the footprint. They sold it earlier this year to the current owner.

[Howard L Gilson, 12/04/2015]

Hobbit House.

Hobbit House - Mushroom House

Looks like the place is being sold. It's freaky. New owners hopefully soon.

[Dj, 04/06/2015]
Hobbit House

This bit of architectural whimsy is now for sale. Asking price is $1.2 million. The February 7 Washington Post real estate section quotes the grown son of the Garfinkle family as saying, "Boy, you guys ruined me. I'm having a hard time being happy with just a conventional house." Makes me wish I was looking for an urban home.

[James Lehman, 02/20/2015]

Hobbit House.

Hobbit House

This is a private home, but easily visible from the street. It was originally built in the early fifties along with its more usual four bedroom neo-colonial neighbors. But some time later it was renovated using shotcrete, (such as is used in free-form swimming pools). I remember reading a newspaper article about it when it was rebuilt.

The entire house is concreted: roof, sides, chimney is molded in, as are the windows and doors. There is no other exposed material. Our family took to calling it the "Hobbit House" in light of its resemblance to illustrations in a copy of J.R.R.Tolkien's novel. I have a lot of admiration for the rebuilder of this exceptional home.

[James Lehman, Jr., 11/25/2001]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Madonna of the TrailMadonna of the Trail, Bethesda, MD - 2 mi.
Van Gogh's Starry Night in Door KnobsVan Gogh's Starry Night in Door Knobs, Bethesda, MD - 3 mi.
Gargoyles, and Darth VaderGargoyles, and Darth Vader, Washington, DC - 2 mi.
In the region:
George Washington Masonic National Memorial, Alexandria, VA - 10 mi.

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