A trip back in time: The Dymaxion House exhibit at The Henry Ford in Dearborn - A true one-of-a-kind house!

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center

Try to imagine what a subdivision of these homes would look like
in your neighborhood :

Dymaxion house at The Henry Ford

An inventor named Buckminisiter Fuller started thinking about the design for this
home in the late 1920's, and in the years during WWII the US Army commissioned
him to build and send these homes to the Persian Gulf.   Mr. Fuller had bold ideas 
to mass produce these homes for returning veterans to help ease the housing
shortage after the war, but his homes never came to fruitiion.

This Dymaxion home has been donated to The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn MI
and was lovingly restored to be exhibited there.

One of the unique (and ahead of it's time) features that I found so interesting was its
inner gutter system to capture rain water for recycling.    In the picture below you will
see that the home is wrapped inside with aluminum sheets and has a gutter system
that lays just below those sheets.  Any rainwater entering the home was funneled into
those gutters, then drained to a catch-all outside of the home to be reused by the
homeowner for lawn watering or clothes washing.

Dymaxion House exhibit at The Henry Ford

Imagine, in early 1940 someone
was thinking about the environment and how to recycle
and reuse our natural resources!

Unlike the Lustron homes that were produced during the late 1940's, the Dymaxion
homes and the dreams of Mr. Fuller to mass produce these homes never came to pass.  
What a shame
.  I would have loved to see what a subdivision of these homes looked like
in my area.  The homes were right around 1000 square feet and had 2 bedrooms and
2 baths. (Unusual during those years to have 2 full baths!)  

Below is a photo of what the living room and dining room looked like.

Dymaxion house at The Henry Ford

Have the winter blahs?   Take a day trip to The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn MI.

The Village is closed now until around April, but the museum is open and is filled with treasures
and exhibits.
  There are 2 restaurants in the museum, plenty of parking, a coat check area at
the main entrance, and lots of family fun and "oohs and aahhs" to be had!

~Kris Wales~


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Michigan Wayne County Dearborn
the henry ford museum in dearborn mi
the dymaxion house exhibit

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Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License #RS-225179-L / Delaware License #RS-0025038 - Downingtown, PA


I find it amazing to look back and see the true insight many had about the future.

Jan 17, 2009 10:32 PM #1
Lorrie Shaw, PPS


Wow! I had forgotten about this exhibit! When I was kid, we took many a trip to the Henry Ford and I was always amazed at the Dymaxion House. Too bad that it did not take off. I think that we need to make a visit back to the Museum very soon - it will bring back so many more memories!


Thanks for posting this! Have a great day!

Jan 18, 2009 12:23 AM #2
Mara Hawks
First Realty Auburn - Auburn, AL
Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL

When I was a kid, I thought THE JETSONS represented "the future"...sort of missed the mark, thankfully...I like more furniture and decorating!

Jan 18, 2009 12:26 AM #3
Heather the Realtor Orlando, Lake Mary
LemonTree Realty - Orlando, FL
First Time Home Buyers, Bank Owned Homes

Kris is it has been ages since I have been the Henry Ford museum but I did not remember there being homes there. I guess as a kid I wasnt interested this summer when I go back i am going to have to check that out.

Jan 18, 2009 12:28 AM #4
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Kris, This is great! I never knew that there was such a design. I read somewhere, that that we were concerned about the environment further back in time, just the Captains of Industry were not behind it and there was no general public concern or support for it.

Jan 18, 2009 09:39 AM #5
Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com

It's been years since I have been there.  Though I have been at a few weddings there in the last few years.

Jan 18, 2009 12:41 PM #6
Kris Wales
Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center - Macomb, MI
Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI

Dan:   The Henry Ford museum is filled with many exhibits like this one.  It really is a fun way to spend the day - taking a trip back in time.  Thanks for your comment.

Lorrie:   It had been 10 years or so since I had been inside the museum.  We are there every summer in the Village, but not in the museum.  I was surprised at how much had changed and been renovated or added.  Well worth spending a cold wintery day inside of it!

Mara:   When I got the first glimpse of this house The Jetsons did come to my mind!   I wonder if they makers of that comic strip - cartoon ever saw this?

Heather:   If you get a chance you should go.  They've changed so much and add new exhibits quite often.  I don't ever remember another house being inside the museum.  The Village of course is filled with them, but not the museum.  It was a fun display.

Endre:   When I read more after I got home about this home my thoughts were much the same as yours:  It was ahead of its time and the general public never got behind the project.

Russ:  I would love to see a wedding there.  Were they in the chapel on the Village grounds?

Jan 18, 2009 09:52 PM #7
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate


Thanks for the post. It is intriguing to think they were concerned about the environment back then.

Jan 18, 2009 11:13 PM #8
Kris Wales
Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center - Macomb, MI
Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI

Dorie:   It was great to hear that in the 1940's there were people interested in protecting our environment.  The sad thing is that most didn't listen at the time and thought people were odd for bringing it up.

Jan 19, 2009 09:18 PM #9
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Kris, I'm with you, I think that it would be a trip to see a subdivision of these houses... I think that many of these "inventers" were ahead of their times...

Jan 20, 2009 09:04 PM #10
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Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI
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