A quirky house with connections to both the Muppets and the Grateful Dead is on the market for $750,000.
Potential buyers should prepare to be a bit bewildered—in a good way.
“It’s amazing. You walk in, and there’s so much attention to detail, it’s overwhelming,” says the listing agent, Daniel Staley. “It’s something that you have a hard time grasping, because there’s so much going on.”
Of paramount importance, the home is also round. As in: no right angles.
“It’s a different type of living, not for the average Joe, so to speak,” Staley says.
There are five floors of living space. Four of them are round, which means that the basement is the only spot without curves.
A deck on the fifth floor is a standout feature.
“It’s basically a 360-degree wraparound porch, with views of the Catskill Mountains to the to the west, and up and down the front range of the Catskills to the north and to the south,” Staley explains.
A hill hides the eastern views.
“It feels like you’re halfway to heaven. You feel like you know nothing can hold you back. It’s just total freedom when you’re up there.”
The artist John Kahn began building the house on 5 acres located near Woodstock, NY, in 1993, and it took him several years to complete the residence. Kahn built it using repurposed materials and considered the project a work of art.
“There’s nothing like this. It’s one of a kind. It lets you into the imagination of this great artist, and it was something he did out of love over a six-year process,” Staley explains. “It’s a living, breathing sculpture, and there are sculptures all over the grounds.”
There are also two outbuildings, containing a sauna and a studio.
Kahn was a friend of Jim Henson, of “Muppets” and “Fraggle Rock” fame, and they used to collaborate on projects—including sets for the popular programs.
Kahn eventually sold the house to Rhoney Gissen Stanley, a holistic orthodontist in the area. She, along with her boyfriend, Owsley Stanley III, aka Bear, were known for manufacturing LSD in the 1960s, when Bear was a sound engineer for the Grateful Dead.
“She was a major player in the spiritual movement of the ’60s,” Staley says, adding that she’s selling the house so she can move to the West Coast and be closer to her grandchildren.
“The house is in impeccable condition. No updates, no nothing. It’s in move-in condition,” Staley says.
“It’s the coolest house I’ve ever been in, and I’ve been doing this 25 years. You feel like you’re almost in ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ You feel like you’re in a spiritual comic book.”
The main floor has the kitchen and living space, and the kitchen cabinets have copper inserts in them. Wood and bamboo accents are visible everywhere.
The entire top floor is taken up by the master suite, which has a bathroom and kitchenette as well as the enviable wraparound deck, with those amazing vistas. The second floor has another bedroom. A grand staircase runs between floors.
An office in the basement was used by Stanley to run her orthodontic practice out of the home. The house is built into the hillside, so the basement is actually at ground level, with outdoor access, Staley explains.
He says that once inside, you don’t notice the lack of corners in the house.
“There’s a perfect flow to it, it flows like a river. It’s so smooth, spacious, lightweight, and airy,” he says.
He admits that this home may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
“The perfect buyer is someone with an alternative mind,” he says. “Someone who is not the status quo, someone who is not afraid to be unique, someone who is looking for a place to create.”