‘Spaceship House’ To Be Auctioned in Tennessee – The Wall Street Journal

‘Spaceship House’ To Be Auctioned in Tennessee – The Wall Street Journal
Take a closer look at this unusual, 35-year-old structure in Signal Mountain, Tenn.

December 12, 2008, 2:35 pm


Sushil Cheema reports:


From the looks of it, E.T. has come back to Earth and set up shop in Signal Mountain, Tenn. At least, that’s what one might think upon stumbling across the house designed like a spaceship at 1408 Palisades Road. Star Trek fans?or lovers of quirky architecture?now have a chance to buy the house at auction on Sunday.


Known as “The Spaceship House,” the building was the creation of Curtis King, who spent $250,000 to have it built for his son in 1973, according to Terry Posey, an auctioneer with Crye-Leike Auction of Cleveland, Tenn., who will be running Sunday’s auction.


Made of steel and concrete, the structure provides nearly 2,000 square feet of living space, including three bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a bar and entertainment area. The rooms are round, just like the house itself, and are situated around a central point. The house includes the original fixtures. A retractable staircase serves as the entrance to the house, but it is broken and remains in the “down” position.


The Spaceship House changed hands a few times over the years. The current owner, a local man who once owned a furniture business and who is now a real estate investor, wishes to remain anonymous. He bought the property in the fall of 2007 for $165,000, but has never lived there. “Due to health issues, he’s liquidating all his local property and holdings with plans to relocate to Florida,” Mr. Posey writes in an email, adding that the owner wants to unload the property as soon as possible.


At the auction, there will be no minimum bid for the property and no reserve. “He trusts that the public will give him all that they are willing to give for it,” says Tony Young, another Crye-Leike auctioneer. The winning bidder must pay a non-refundable deposit of 20%.


Crye-Leike previously auctioned the house in March with a winning bid of $135,000 from an Ohio buyer who put down a 10% non-refundable deposit. That deal fell through.


The current auction has already drawn attention. Nearly 300 people came to an open house on Dec. 7, Mr. Young estimates. “We had some folks that expressed a serious interest,” he said, adding that some were just stopping by out of curiosity.


The auction on Sunday will also include two other properties belonging to the owner of the Spaceship House: A commercial property located in Rossville, Ga., and a mobile home in Dunlap, Tenn.