Do you kids remember TV comedian Jackie Gleason? The Honeymooners? Bang! Zoom! To the moon Alice! Making fun of 50s domestic abuse…?
Just kidding sort of, but at the height of Gleason’s fame he started a project to build a one-of-a-kind party house in the woods just north of New York City. He was fascinated with with UFOs (there’s a Space theme to my posts today) and his home and guest cottage are both round inside and out, including curved floorboards, windows, kitchen cabinets, bars, and furniture.
The twin buildings were christened “The Spaceship” and “The Mothership.”
Designed by architect Robert Cika, the house was constructed by a Norwegian shipbuilder, who shipped the completed pieces to Cortlandt Manor for final assembly, real estate agent Margaret Bailey told the Journal News.
Gleason personally oversaw the project, which cost $650,000 –about $5 and half million in today’s dollars. It took five years to complete and was a marvel that he shared with his celeb pals like Marilyn Monroe, husband Joe DiMaggio and Frank Sinatra among others.
The Mothership main house was designed to host big parties, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a 14-person, curving bar, which had a baby grand piano and a microphone that would emerge from the marble floor. There was another bar too.
The house, clearly ahead of it’s time in terms of look and tech, had central air and a built-in, surround-sound system, double-sided marble fireplaces and the main fireplace, was a three-sided, 40-foot-tall marble model that weighed 240 tons. Gleason flew Italian artisans in to complete the stonework.
The master bedroom features a round bed and a TV mounted on the ceiling along with a exposed shower.
The kitchen’s stainless-steel appliances and glass cabinetry were made to follow the curve of the room.
Gleason died in 1987 at 71. The current homeowner, a retired orthodontist, bought the 8.5-acre property in Cortlandt Manor, NY, in ’76 for just $150,000. It is currently listed for $12 million.