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Surreal Slumber Party

by Anne on November 15th, 2007

Turner Classic Movies recently aired Woody Allen’s Sleeper. A post-view Googling session followed, and I learned two things. One: the voices of the Jewish Robot Tailors were performed by Jackie Mason (uncredited). Two: you can now rent the Sleeper House for one night at the rate of $2700-3900, depending on the number of guests. They throw in a limo ride, a screening of Sleeper, and a gourmet meal. Orgasmatron not included. (Or is it? Seems Woody Allen appropriated an existing elevator to serve as the Orgasmatron and it is still there. I’m sure that endless naughty jokes have been made in its presence.) There are other opportunities to visit this madly modernist mansion, as it is often rented out for parties. In early 2007, a yogathon was held on the property.

The house is located in the foothills just outside Denver, Colorado. It was designed by self-taught architect Charles Deaton and completed in 1966, but Deaton never lived in it. Woody Allen leased it out in May 1973 to serve as the home of earnestly pretentious poet and greeting card composer Luna Schlosser (played by Diane Keaton). In 1991, Deaton sold the quirky pad to California investor Larry Polhill for $800,000. At first Polhill was an enthusiastic owner, but he quickly lost interest and the place fell into disrepair. In 1999—after sitting vacant for years with broken windows and desert creatures taking up residence in its cozy curves—Polhill sold it to John Huggins, Denver’s director of economic development and a former streaming media honcho, for about $1.3 million. Huggins spent several million dollars on renovations, which included a 5,000 square foot addition, based on plans drawn up by Deaton. Huggins then put it on the market in 2002 for $10 million. When it wasn’t snatched up, he sold off 10 acres and re-listed it for $4.85 million. After four years on the market, a vacation entrepreneur and time-share reseller named Michael Dunahay finally bought it for $3.45 million…and actually moved in! He now lives there with his cat, Puff.

If you would like to learn more about the history of the “Sculptured House”, here are some handy links:

Article with lots of information about initial design and construction

San Diego Union-Tribune piece with history summary

Forbes article about John Huggins buying the house

Article about the restoration and expansion done by John Huggins

Flashy site marketing the house when it was for sale by Kentwood Realty

Article about sale to Michael Dunahay

Denver Daily News article about current owner Michael Dunahay

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