Deaton's Sculptured House

November 11 Update (from the Denver Post):

The Sculptured House sold at a foreclosure auction Wednesday for $1.5 million — $1 more than the minimum bid placed by the lender that foreclosed on the iconic home.

Denver investor John Dilday, a regular on the auction circuit who is known by his cronies in the industry as "the Godfather," said he already has a number of people interested in buying the house at 855 Visionary Trail. Dilday typically buys homes to flip them to other investors. "I usually don't buy houses like this unless I have interest," Dilday said.

The foreclosed-upon owner, Michael Dunahay, walked into the auction just as it started to see whether anyone would bid on the house he paid $3.4 million for in 2006. In recent weeks, Dunahay publicly said he had a plan to keep the house, but he needed to pay the public trustee $170,773 by Tuesday to do so. After the auction, Dunahay invited Dilday to visit the home Wednesday afternoon.

"He was very cordial," Dilday said after his visit. "He took us on a tour of the house, he showed us all of the mechanical systems, and he's going to leave all the manuals." Dilday, who took some of his potential buyers with him, said the house is in great condition. "I was surprised," he said. "It was a good experience as far as foreclosures go. Any house is hard to let go, and especially one like that one."

Even though Dunahay watched the house sell, he still thought he could get it back. "Everything is going according to plan," he said after the auction. "I have a 90-day redemption period. That's the law." Not so, said Margaret Chapman, public trustee for Jefferson County. Under the most recent laws, only junior lienholders have a right to redemption. "There used to be an owner redemption if your case was filed prior to Jan. 1, 2008," Chapman said. "There is no owner redemption in his case." If a junior lienholder does not file an intent to redeem, the deed can be issued to Dilday on Nov. 24. A title search on the property before the auction found two liens on the property, both of which have been settled, Dilday said.

Because there was a nearly $1.4 million difference between what Dilday paid and what the bank was owed, Chapman said she was surprised the lender, Bayview Loan Servicing LLC, did not send a representative to the auction to protect its bid.


A Brief History of the Sculptured House

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The Sculptured House, also known to locals as the Star Trek House, Clamshell House, the Jetson House, Sleeper House or Flying Saucer House, is a distinctive elliptical curved house built on Genesee Mountain in 1963 by architect Charles Deaton, who is also designed Arrowhead Stadium.  Deaton's inspiration for the house was captured by an article in Art in America: "On Genesee Mountain I found a high point of land where I could stand and feel the great reaches of the Earth. I wanted the shape of it to sing an unencumbered song." Designed for himself and built by Clifford Dellzell for $100,000, the architectural marvel was even featured in Woody Allen's 1973 film,Sleeper.

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Deaton, however, never lived there. The interior was never finished and Deaton sold it to Larry Polhill in 1993 for $800,000. In 1999, it was purchased by software millionaire John Huggins for $1,325,000. Huggins, a Colorado native, said he had been interested in the home since he was a young boy. By the time he bought it, after nearly 36 years of neglect, the windows had been smashed in, the plaster was coming down and there was snow inside the house. Three years and several million dollars later, he had added 5,000 square feet to the property--using plans that had been drawn up years before by the original architect--and completely redesigned the interior with the help of Deaton's daughter Charley to renovate the interior and her husband, architect Nick Antonopoulos, to build the addition. It was then put on the market for $10,000,000. He later lowered the price to $4, 800,000 and eventually sold it to Michael Dunahay in 2006 for $3,425,000. Dunahay slept one night at the house and knew it was meant for him to live in. “I was amazed that nobody had bought it. Now, I am inspired every day while living here,” he said.