Here’s a look inside California’s quirky Flintstone House

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Love it or hate it, the iconic Flintstone House in Hillsborough, California, which was built in 1976, has become an infamous part of the Bay Area landscape.

People in the neighborhood have decried the unusual prehistoric-styled house as an eyesore in the past, but after the house sold in 2017, some felt a new owner’s wacky additions to the home’s exterior — including large metal dinosaurs — crossed a line. In 2019, the town of Hillsborough filed a lawsuit against the homeowner, calling the home a “public nuisance.”

Here’s a photo of the Flintstone House from the real estate listing in 2017, when it was up for sale:

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After reducing the price two times (from $4.2 million down to $3.19 million) when it was for sale in 2017, the Flintstones House sold to Florence Fang, who The Guardian described as a retired San Francisco media magnate. The Zillow listing show she bought the 2,730-square-foot house for $2.8 million.

But first, the house itself.

Designed by architect William Nicholson, the home is not just unusual in appearance, it is also unique in its construction. The prehistoric look was accomplished by spraying shotcrete onto steel rebar. Wire mesh frames were then placed over inflated balloons — not kind of balloons you get for a kid’s birthday party. These are specialized tools that are typically only used in aeronautical research.

The interior of the home matches the exterior’s kooky, lumpy style. No clean lines here! This is the entryway in 2017:

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In the 1980s, the Flintstones House suffered serious damage due to water runoff from the mountainside. While some neighbors no doubt wished it would just be torn down, San Francisco Bay Area architect Eugene Tsui came to the home’s rescue and restored it.

In addition to its unique design, the Flintstones House also made headlines over the years for its popularity with famous folks. It is rumored that O.J. Simpson made a bid on the house while he was in the middle of his murder trial, and that “Star Wars” creator George Lucas even owned the house at one point.

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In 2019, the house made headlines all over again when the town sued Fang.

After she bought the home, Fang, who is in her 80s, told The Guardian that she considered planting cherry trees or turning her property into a mini vineyard. She axed these ideas, but another took hold.

“I was watching ‘The Flintstones,’ and the first episode is Fred with Dino,” she told The Guardian. “And I said, ‘Dino should be here! Fred should be here!’”

AP Photo/Eric Risberg

Fang began collecting Flintstones-inspired lawn ornaments; the largest dino measures 15-feet tall. She found other kooky statues for the yard: a spaceship, an astronaut, Bigfoot, a giraffe, fake cactus and a collection of dozens of concrete mushrooms. “Yabba Dabba Do” is spelled out on the lawn.

AP Photo/Eric Risberg

Fang calls the Flintstone House her “happy place.”

“I’m just a tired old lady,” Fang told The Guardian. “I just wanted my peaceful life. I’m a very, very regular, retired old lady. But of course, a little different. I have all kinds of dreams.”

About the Author

Bridget Sharkey

Bridget Sharkey is a freelance writer/ghostwriter with a background in publicity. As a ghostwriter, she conceives, researches and composes original content for clients in the fields of business, hospitality, lifestyle, technology and relationships. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband and children, Maeve and Malcolm. You can reach her at More.

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