A Very Strange House in New Jersey

It’s been a while since I last scouted in Jersey, but this past Friday, I found myself searching the Morristown area for a country road. I happened to turn down a residential street…


…passing a handful of your typical upper class houses that can be found pretty much anywhere:


Nothing particularly of note here…


And then, I saw a very unusual home:


What the heck is this?? It almost looks like the house is playing a game of hide and seek from the other houses, and just found the best hiding spot ever.


And, rounding out the weirdness…


…a little fake sheep perched on the lawn:


According to a neighbor who happened to be passing by, the design is apparently based on a museum in Vermont (anyone know which one? I did some searching, but couldn’t find anything). While the front is obstructed by trees, a Bing satellite view reveals the rear is covered in floor to ceiling windows.


I dug up an older picture online, when the trees were younger – very few windows to speak of. I have to admit, something was really creeping me me out about the house…


In a way, I was sort of reminded of the Beetlejuice house – not because of architectural similarities obviously, but moreso in how both clearly meet the definition of a house, yet feel like something is distinctly off (see: Uncanny Valley).


Finally, if you want to solidify that Beetlejuice reference, check out the crazy mailbox…


This thing is definitely waiting to be brought to life, Beetlejuice-style:


Wire bird:


This all said, while the house might be odd, it’s certainly the only one in the neighborhood I bothered to stop and look at.


PS – Well, that, and this cool abandoned farmhouse further down the road:


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  1. That farmhouse is abandoned? What a shame! When I see things like that I get itchy to save them.

  2. Elizabeth, I agree.
    The house reminds me of the house in a Steve Martin movie (Housesitter), with Goldie Hawn. The house in that movie is in Vermont. Not sure if it was just built for the movie or if it was already there.
    I is kind of cool and I like this house better than any of the others on the street, but the lack of windows is a no-no.

  3. Love that mailbox!

  4. It looks like a Hugh Newell Jacobsen house. . .


  5. Brantley beet me to it.
    HNJ has some very interesting house in his design portfolio.

  6. The lack of windows on the front strike me as being the weirdest part of the whole thing. Love the mailbox and the sheep, though! Somebody needs to interview these folks.

  7. Some of the trees look close enough to the house that their roots may eventually cause foundation damage.

  8. I think they where referring to Prickly Mountain in Warren Vermont,
    a 60 Back to the Land commune that exemplified experimental architecture, and all things hippy

  9. It actually looks a little like the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass.

  10. As an architect I would be so tempted to ring the bell and ask for a tour! I bet the inside is incredible. Based on the interesting mailbox I wonder if the house is meant as a blank canvas for some fabulous art pieces? I picture very eclectic fascinating people living there.

    Great find!! I love seeing houses that aren’t “cookie cutter”!

  11. The satellite-viewed house reminds me of Danvers Mental Hospital… 🙁

  12. This reminds me a bit of the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont. I used to love going there when I was a youg’un.


  13. Maybe there is a Beetlejuice connection to this house. The Beetlejuice house was specially built in Vermont for the movie. It was just a shell, though, and was torn down after the movie shoot was done.

  14. That mailbox reminds me less of Beetlejuice and more of the Doubtful Guest sculpture at the Edward Gorey house on Cape Cod:

    There’s something very Gorey-esque about the shape of that mailbox!

  15. It reminds me of the addition to the Florence Griswold museum in Old Lyme, CT (hard to find good photos):


    It has the same white walls and grey peaked roofs.

  16. Those sheep look very very similar to ones we have here at the Missouri Botanical Gardens! http://www.mobot.org/mobot/hort/sculpture/s43.html

  17. This is my hometown!! Must find this house.

  18. This makes me think of Who drummer Keith Moon’s former home, Tara.

  19. Hey!

    Could you help me find the Hugh Newell Jacobsen house in Chatham? Where is it?