This weirdly designed Indiana home will make you say "I can't even…"


meggyfin
All photos courtesy of Curbed.
All photos courtesy of Curbed.

Usually I feature offbeat real estate listings that I'm in love with. Today is… not that. Curbed recently featured an article with the brilliant title of "Absolutely Everything Is Wrong With This Indiana House." And they weren't wrong.

I'll give you this quick quote from The Indy Star to catch y'all up…

Starting from a three-bedroom ranch house where [Jerry A. Hostetler, the almost-famous pimp-turned-construction mini-magnate] lived since the '60s for a short time with a wife and infant daughter, Hostetler gradually bought up his neighbors' houses.

He cobbled them together, dug a swimming pool, dug ponds, imported fountains, added ballrooms, added life-size statues of gorillas, added — of all things — a stone grotto (into which he installed a hot tub).

By the time his creditors closed in on Kessler, a decade ago, Hostetler was up to 26,000 square feet.

This is the home that WTF built…

This the front entrance that will haunt your nightmares.
This the front entrance that will haunt your nightmares.
This kitchen makes me want to do the opposite of eat.
This kitchen makes me want to do the opposite of eat.
No no. Those mantels are WAY TOO BIG for that tiny fireplace.
No no. Those mantels are WAY TOO BIG for that tiny fireplace.
Okay now, those are way too small.
Okay now, those are way too small.
At first I was like, "oh, this supremely well-lit staircase probably complies with public safety specs." And then I was like, "but wait, where are the hand rails?" And then I noticed, "Oh, they're on the pointless indoor balcony." NBD.
At first I was like, "oh, this supremely well-lit staircase probably complies with public safety specs." And then I was like, "but wait, where are the hand rails?" And then I noticed, "Oh, they're on the pointless indoor balcony." NBD.
So many mirrored surfaces, so little dining space.
So many mirrored surfaces, such little dining space.
I don't even want to attempt a bathroom visit in the middle of the night in this room.
I don't even want to attempt a bathroom visit in the middle of the night in this room.
So... this is a sex party room right?
So… this is a sex party room right?
I mean, right???
I mean, right???

There's just so much to WTF-ery happening in the house, I laughed until I cried. And then I wanted to actually cry when I read the story behind it. (Seriously, you should read this article all the way until the end, because it has the darkest, most poetic ending of all time.)

But let's get back to laughing. I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts on this house. Or, I'd love to see you show me examples of even more homes that WTF built!

  1. This is just to say you definitely need to read the article, and read it all the way through…beautiful.

  2. I'm usually into super quirky houses but … this one not so much. I felt like my eyes were under constant assault. There were too many varying materials and textures and patterns.
    My husband and I saw a house over this past weekend that made no sense. This is it:
    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/800-S-Abington-Rd_South-Abington-Township_PA_18411_M36847-22477
    Outside had two driveways and one car garages, one right behind the house and another up the hill from it with a sloping yard in between. That narrow galley where the sink is was so narrow we had to shimmy in sideways. I have no idea why they felt the need to build that "dining platform" because it's just a broken ankle waiting to happen. The room with the built in shelves obviously used to be a porch as evidenced by the black cross beam in the master bedroom. The bathroom was probably the most normal/standard part of the whole house! What's funny is that I enjoyed the quirkiness of the house when I saw the listing, but seeing it in person … yikes! No thanks!

      • Right!? This is the type of stuff you come across when your budget is peanuts. I wish there was a photo of the double driveways / garages so you could appreciate that weirdness. Why they didn't just level out more of that useless slope yard and build a double garage I will never figure out.

  3. This is so.. garish. That is the word that kept popping up as I looked at these pictures. That and 'hideous'. The house that WTF built seems pretty accurate.

  4. Okay. I'm gonna out myself, I liked it. I'd totally live there. The stone bedroom is awesome. I'd feel like I was living in a medieval castle. The black and mirror dining room is so high contrast modern, plus I'd totally check myself out while eating. (Lol) And I love love love that entrance, so dramatic!
    I am okay with being the only one. πŸ˜‰

  5. This house is like something I would have designed as my 12-year-old self who was dying to be an "architect". (AKA I really liked drawing house floor plans for some unknown reason. It was literally my greatest hobby.) Unnecessary balconies, crazy staircases, multiple levels…this has to be the product of a child's imagination!

    • Me too!! At one point I got my hands on one of those static clingform redecorating/remodeling floor plan layout boards and omg HEAVEN. I could reposition walls and furniture without having to erase.

      I kind of forgot how happy that thing made me when I was a kid.

  6. YES!!! Oh Offbeat Home…you have just made my Indiana Dolphin House dreams come true! Let me explain:

    I lived in Indiana for over ten years near the now infamous dolphin house. Every time I drove past I was filled with the intense desire to see what that puppy looked like on the inside! I mean…there are multiple dolphin statues outside the house…and people were saying the inside of the home was even more interesting?! Anyhow, fast forward, I moved to Colorado, only to discover that a few months after I left the state, there was an estate sale at the dolphin house. I had missed my opportunity to gawk and drool over the intriguing building that is the dolphin house πŸ™ That is until this morning, when I visited Offbeat Home and proceeded to explode with real estate joy. Thanks for the assist πŸ™‚ !

  7. I'm an Indianapolis native with terrible lottery fantasies involving this house. Like, anytime the local news has anything on it, friends are posting about it on my wall. It makes me happy to see it here.

  8. I work in planning and building, and I'm gonna go out on a limb right here and say that dude never pulled a single building permit for that monstrosity, or got a single inspection. Bringing it into compliance is going to be one long nightmare for someone, or they better pay cash, because no bank in their right mind would write a loan for it πŸ™

  9. I dunno… it kind of reminds me of the Winchester Mystery House. Which has all sorts of nonsense, but is also really neat!

  10. My favourite thing is that weird little dust-attracting niche between the set of steps in the front entrance…what is that even FOR?

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