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Circular modernism

1950s, Celebrity houses, Midcentury modern, Modernist, USA

Jackie Gleason’s Round House in Cortlandt Manor, New York, USA

Jackie Gleason’s Round House in Cortlandt Manor, New York, USA
Jackie Gleason’s Round House in Cortlandt Manor, New York, USA

Time for some truly over the top architecture, courtesy of Jackie Gleason’s Round House in Cortlandt Manor, New York, USA.


Not that Jackie Gleason designed it. This was the work of Robert Cika back in 1959, although Gleason was said to have had a hand in every decision made in relation to the final build and the interior. This isn’t just a house for Jackie Gleason. It was an extension of his personality.

It sits on 8.4 acres of land, nestling amongst the trees on the plot and apparently is a ‘prefab’ build, constructed by a shipbuilder in an plane hangar and then assembled on this site.

Gleason died back in 1987, but the house doesn’t look to have changed much over the years. After all, how could you change it? And why would you? This is a magnificent piece of architecture and the kind of overblown project no-one would dare to try in the 21st century.

There are actually three buildings that make up this particular property, with the main one and focal point being what was known as The Mothership, a huge circular structure that’s an impressive from the inside as it from the outside. Perhaps more so.

That covers around 3,950 square feet and includes two bedrooms, an office / broadcast studio, a library and a lower level living room designed for partying.

Amazingly, this house has four bars to keep his party guests watered (which included Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra), but that’s not its only notable feature of this place.

Check out the stunning marble spiral staircase, the sweeping wood flooring, the stunning beams, the built-in circular units, the baby grand in the centre of the entertaining space, that amazing kitchen area and its steel units, the three pit Italian marble fire and card room, a private library and a bedroom that is straight out of the Jetsons. The bathroom is pretty spacial too.

Words don’t do it justice, Check out the images to see this one at its best. This is bold modernist architecture for Hollywood royalty with money to burn. Everything has been thrown at this one. But this isn’t quite all you get.

Something far more traditional is just a hop away. That is known as the Barracks and was on the site before The Mothership. It certainly isn’t without its charm, especially if you are a fan of the 1950s. But the traditional stone house just can’t live with the main property.

But one building that does give it a run for its money is the Spaceship. Yes, another circular property, this UFO-inspired buildings was originally just seen as a storage area. However, it developed a life of its own and also has a kitchenette and bathroom installed.

Beyond that are two pools, although they are more recent, added into the mix by the current owners in the 1980s.

This really is a one-off, but also a insight into the lives of the rich and famous 60 years ago. If you fancy reliving the era and hosting the best parties around, you can do just that right now. But you will need around $12 million to spare.

Images and details courtesy of Remax. For more details and to make an enquiry, please visit the website.

Via Curbed

Property Location

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