Surreal Estate: Portland Mushroom House

by Jamey MortonDecember 29, 2015

It Could Only Happen in Portland

Known locally as the “mushroom house” and the “dome home,” the property located at 1850 Carriage Way in West Linn, Oregon is nothing if not visually striking. As you might have guessed, the home is the result of an artist’s entirely unique vision.
As the story about the property goes, a man named Francisco Reynders was driving past a salvage yard in Portland when he saw something that sparked his inspiration. And what caught his eye was a set of World War II gun turret covers from the USS Bunker Hill.

So of course, he purchased these sturdy metal domes for $50 a piece, and set to work designing a unique home around them. The gun covers were used to create the home’s smaller rooms, and Reynders made the largest dome out of a circular steel cage, plywood, and polyurethane foam.

As luck would have it, the home has no corners, because the designer believed that bad things happened in the corners of life. When he was finished, Reynders declared his creation to be “organically sensuous,” an assessment that we wholeheartedly agree with.

When the home was built back in the 1970s, it was pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but now it’s in the middle of West Linn, Oregon, which is a Portland suburb that’s known for its excellent schools, amazing quality of life, and quaint little downtown area.

Let’s take the tour of this strange and wonderful home, which is currently listed on the market for $849,000.

The Living Dome in West Linn, Oregon

The largest of the domes is home to the property’s living room. Artful recessed lighting and custom built-ins surround the dome, and a beautiful, multifaceted skylight at the center of the dome allows for plenty of natural light, even when the skies turn gray during Oregon’s winter. There’s a dining area, a conversation hub, and a sweet little nook with a cozy fireplace that features a custom tile hearth. The whole scene is presided over by a stained-glass bull skull.

The Kitchen

At the center of the circular kitchen, you’ll find a perfectly round island with ample storage underneath. Custom cabinets run around the circumference of the room, keeping everything you’d need in the kitchen within easy reach. The design style is truly mid-century sleek in every sense.

The Master Bed Dome

The master bedroom gets its very own dome, and it is nearly as big as the living room. There’s a private nook for the bed, a sumptuous master bathroom, and even a steam room. Reynder’s original wall paintings have been lovingly restored, and they really are quite striking.

Surrounded by Beauty in West Linn

This home is a work of art in its own right, and it’s surrounded by plenty of natural beauty. For starters, the yard is dotted by old growth trees and flanked by verdant forest. If you’re feeling creative, just head out past the pond to the Quonset hut workshop, where you can crank your Marshall half stack, practice your chainsaw sculpting technique, or just tend to your geraniums. Totally up to you.

A Unique Opportunity

Homes this cool and unique don’t come on the market very often, especially in a market as desirable as Portland/ West Linn. If you’d like to live inside a work of art, then you’d have a tough time finding a better place to live than 1850 Carriage Way.

And the next time you come upon a particularly strange piece of property for sale, we want to know about it! Send the details our way, and we’ll be sure to feature the listing in a future posting of Surreal Estate.

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About The Author
Jamey Morton
Jamey has been a writer since he discovered science fiction and fantasy in the fourth grade. His early love for all things strange and mysterious has translated into a passion for writing about haunted mansions and other intriguing topics related to real estate and homeownership. Jamey loves nothing more than finding a medieval castle in the middle of New Jersey or a chalet on the coast of Florida. When not researching otherworldly real estate, Jamey can be found writing his series of outer space horror novels in his home in Seattle.