Alisa Goldsmith has spent hours reading the social media commentary about her glass house.
“I’ve been down the rabbit hole the last 24 hours, reading some of the thousands of comments, which is hilarious, being that I’ve lived here, decorated it, and renovated it. It’s just so funny to hear everyone’s impressions about it,” Goldsmith says. “I’m taking it all with humor. I have to say, I’m very amused. I’m tickled about how tickled everybody else is about it.”
The striking residence is nearly entirely glass, and is topped by a distinctive red roof. The structure takes the shape of a barn, but is decidedly unbarnlike in all other ways. What looks like a silo from the exterior is actually a spiral staircase.
“Everyone thinks that it was a converted barn, but it’s not,” Goldsmith says. “It was actually built as a home, and we’re the third owners. The original owners were a married couple of architects, so they had the vision for it.”
The original owners built the house in 1990, and then Alisa and her husband, Jason, gutted it in 2018. The previous owners had built the house using the principles used to build skyscrapers, so it was built with steel beams.
“Before we renovated, they were covered in wood, but we stripped them down, painted them black, and left them bare,” she says.
Goldsmith was showing the house to a client when it was on the market back in 2017, and she fell in love with it.
She couldn’t get it out of her head, so she brought her husband back to see it.
“I didn’t actually think that he was going to be onboard with buying it,” she says. “Everyone wants to look at it, but certainly not everyone wants to live here. It’s a very specific buyer, and my husband was so into it. He just fell in love with it.”
They bought it for $800,000 in March 2017, and the renovations began.
“We didn’t change anything on the exterior,” she says, “but we pretty much took the interior down to the studs.”
The fully renovated house now has five bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms on 5,754 square feet of living space. All surrounded by glass.
“I laugh when people say it’s like a fishbowl,” Goldsmith says. “And I’m like ‘Well, no one’s looking at me, but I’m looking out.’ And if this is a fishbowl, it’s a fishbowl I don’t mind being in.”
She says there are houses on two sides that are only visible when the trees are bare, but they’re far enough away that she doesn’t worry about privacy.
“Someone would have to be a mile away staring at me with a telescope and know what to look for and where to look to catch a glimpse,” she says. “I always thought if someone wants to work that hard, then God bless ’em.”
Lutron shades are in place on all the windows, including blackout shades in all the bedrooms and theater room.
“That definitely helps with privacy, and it’s all app-controlled. You can just walk in and say, ‘Alexa, turn on master bedroom shades,’ and the shades go up or down.”
Smart technology is installed through the house. The kitchen has high-end appliances, two islands, and quartz countertops. A deck outside has room for folks to dine, with a river view.
On the lower level, there’s a guest suite with a separate entrance. There’s also a detached two-car garage with a greenhouse above it.
Goldsmith says that while she was perusing online comments and during showings, she found two things everyone wants to know.
First, how does she clean the windows? Second, how much does it cost to heat and cool the place?
The home’s many windows have mostly been left up to the care of Mother Nature.
“If you’re looking for a pristine home with pristine windows, this is not your house. You are in the woods living in basically a tree house. You don’t even notice it,” she explains.
As for the climate control, there are two heating systems, a five-zone geothermal system, and a backup boiler for additional heat.
Goldsmith says the geothermal heat is enough in the summer, but not in the coldest part of winter. The average monthly electrical bill runs about $700, rising to as much as $1,100 a month, with an additional $800 a year for heating oil.
“I’ve only owned two big homes, but they were comparable. Whether it’s glass or not, if you have a big home—it’s not cheap to heat and cool.”
One often overlooked aspect of the home? There’s very little wall space to hang artwork.
“You live here, and you realize you don’t need artwork, because your surrounding is your artwork, and it’s constantly changing. It’s like every season is a new masterpiece. It really is just spectacular to live here,” she says, adding that the snows of winter are her favorite, because everything is bare and it’s white everywhere.
The Goldsmiths are selling the house because of family circumstances. They’re ready to tackle a new renovation project.
“We actually are going to take over my childhood home and build an addition for my mom and do a top-to-bottom renovation of that house,” Goldsmith says.
That means the glass house needs new owners to love it as much as the Goldsmiths.
“We’ve had a few showings, and my husband and I can tell right away if they’re not going to be a fit. If they’re buttoned up and sort of conventional, then we’re like, ‘They’re not going to like it,’” she says. “It’s going to be somebody who literally loathes convention.”
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