It's been likened to a clam shell, a taco, a mushroom and a flying saucer. The futuristic home, perched on the side of Genesee Mountain just west of Denver, Colorado, is called the Sculptured House, but it's probably best known as the house from Woody Allen's 1973 sci-fi satire 'Sleeper.' In the movie, it's the safe house where Allen's character, a 1970s health-food restaurateur, discovers he's been in a cryogenic sleep for 200 years and has been awakened by underground rebels fighting against a totalitarian police state where citizens are led by the nose (literally).

Allen rented the house for $2,000 per day for exterior shots, but scenes inside the house were filmed elsewhere. That's because the house, built by visionary architect Charles Deaton in 1966, was still unfinished inside. Deaton, who designed the curvy building to be free of corners and right angles ("People aren't angular. So why should they live in rectangles?" he said), ran out of money during construction, and the house remained unfinished and uninhabited for decades. A software magnate bought it, spent three years and millions of dollars renovating it, and finally took up residence there in 2006, 40 years after the house was built and 10 years after Deaton's death.

It's been likened to a clam shell, a taco, a mushroom and a flying saucer. The futuristic home, perched on the side of Genesee Mountain just west of Denver, Colorado, is called the Sculptured House, but it's probably best known as the house from Woody Allen's 1973 sci-fi satire 'Sleeper.' In the movie, it's the safe house where Allen's character, a 1970s health-food restaurateur, discovers he's been in a cryogenic sleep for 200 years and has been awakened by underground rebels fighting against a totalitarian police state where citizens are led by the nose (literally).

Allen rented the house for $2,000 per day for exterior shots, but scenes inside the house were filmed elsewhere. That's because the house, built by visionary architect Charles Deaton in 1966, was still unfinished inside. Deaton, who designed the curvy building to be free of corners and right angles ("People aren't angular. So why should they live in rectangles?" he said), ran out of money during construction, and the house remained unfinished and uninhabited for decades. A software magnate bought it, spent three years and millions of dollars renovating it, and finally took up residence there in 2006, 40 years after the house was built and 10 years after Deaton's death.

Location as Character: The strange, remote house is where Allen's Miles Monroe gets his first disorienting glimpse of the future. The house's appearance -- its organic shape, its otherworldly contrast between its smooth concrete surface and the rugged mountain terrain -- embodies the themes at play in the movie: sterile technology vs. untamed nature, alienation vs. conformity, past vs. future.

Historical Significance: 'Sleeper' would prove one of Allen's biggest hits; it was also his most physical comedy, full of sight gags, slapstick humor and nods to silent film classics. In fact, 'Sleeper's' poster billed it as "a nostalgic look at the future." That was a joke then, but now, it seems perfectly apt. Today, 'Sleeper' reads as a brilliant satire of what was faddish and popular in 1973, with its cheerful mockery extending to how the artists, intellectuals and architects active four decades ago envisioned the future. The Sculptured House stands as Colorado's most popular monument to 'Jetsons'-era futurism, seen by generations of Denverites whenever they drive west on Interstate 70 to go to the mountains.

Fun Fact: 'Sleeper' marks one of the few times in his 40-plus years of filmmaking that Woody Allen has ventured outside of the New York metro area. Most of the film was shot in and around Denver. Joel Schumacher (the future director of 'St. Elmo's Fire' and 'Batman & Robin') had one of his first film industry jobs on 'Sleeper' as a costume designer, and he told me, decades later, that his chief memory of the film was of the New York-based crew eating endless orders of Big Macs; the sandwich was then new to McDonald's menu and still a great novelty to the filmmakers. Maybe that's why there's a shot in 'Sleeper' of a McDonald's (actually a church in Lakewood, Colo.) with a sign that boasts of about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 sold. Come to think of it, the Sculptured House, with those wraparound windows that give it a panoramic view, does resemble a hand holding a burger...

Directions: The house is located about 20 miles west of downtown Denver at 24501 Ski Hill Drive in Golden. Head west out of Denver on I-70 to Exit 254, toward Genesee Park. Turn left on US-40 eastbound, then right at South Genesee Mountain Road. After about a mile and a half, turn left on Genesee Avenue, then left again on Ski Hill Drive.

Visitor Info: The house is a private residence, so you can't really tour it. (Besides, it's not like there are robot butlers or an Orgasmatron inside.) Of course, you can get a fine view of it just driving by on Interstate 70 or throughout Genesee Park, which surrounds the Sculptured House.
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