While perusing listings for a property that could be transformed into an interesting vacation rental, one curvaceous residence caught Michael de Filippi‘s eye.
“I was using different keywords to find a really unique property. I was just looking for something that was different that that would be appealing for people on a short-term rental basis,” he says.
Built in 1974, the dome home offers about 1,500 square feet of living space, although none of it can truly be labeled square. The frame is steel, the windows are round, and the ceilings are curved.
“I knew I could do something very unique with it, but I actually had to get there and see the bones of the structure and see what I was dealing with before making that kind of decision,” he explains. “I had a really good feeling from seeing the pictures it was something I wanted to make an offer on.”
Before de Filippi could begin working on the one-of-a-kind home, he had to rectify the issues brought on by a decade of neglect in the Florida heat and humidity.
“When the infrastructure work was done, I had to go in there and basically make the aesthetics good. I had to repaint it with different colors to accentuate the steel beams,” he says. “I had those painted orange, which I think gives it a really cool touch.”
Now the work is done and the property is available to rent for around $150 a night. It can sleep up to six guests, and the loft area is set up as an arcade.
“It looks like a spaceship or something like that,” he says. “I describe it as an out-of-this-world experience.”
It’s now marketed as the UFO Dome on vacation rental sites, but originally it was known as a Yaca Dome.
Named after the designer Joseph Yacaboni, who built the first Yaca Dome in the 1960s near Pittsburgh, this structure was built to withstand earthquakes and winds up to 250 mph.
Yacaboni built a few dozen of these homes around the country. At least 10 of the domes remain in the Lake Placid area, de Filippi says, but many haven’t been maintained.
“I see the value in these homes,” he says. “It feels good to preserve something like this and make it even better.”
The home hasn’t been on the rental market long, but it’s already had some bookings.
“The perfect renters are people who either appreciate science-fiction stuff, aliens, or outer space,” he says. “It could even be a family that just wants to relax and have a good time enjoying the local sites and everything the house has to offer.”
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