Muppet set designer’s Catskills ‘tower house’ is a playful sculpture you can live in, for $1.2M

Posted On Tue, May 30, 2017 By

Posted On Tue, May 30, 2017 By In Architecture, Cool Listings, Quirky Homes, Upstate

At the heart of this thoroughly trippy house near Woodstock, N.Y. are tales of the Muppets and Jim Henson, The Grateful Dead, and their biggest LSD supplier, and that’s not even the half of it. The real visionary here was the home’s first owner, artist, engineer and master set designer John Kahn, who built the one-of-a-kind house over 15 years. Kahn was a friend and collaborator of the late Muppet creator, and he designed sets for the “Fraggle Rock” touring company and more. Kahn used re-purposed materials including slate, copper, aircraft-grade aluminum and redwood as well as local wood and bluestone to craft this cylindrical work of art that never seems to look the same way twice. The three-bedroom home spans 3,518 square feet and is asking $1.2 million.

Kahn, a Long Island native, is known for “designs that utilize complex engineering principles and a variety of materials that ‘play together’ like including stone, wood, glass, metal and fabric.” The Tower House estate includes a guest house, a sauna imported from Sweden, a large studio building and three storage buildings.

The current owner of this most unusual estate on 5.5 acres of wooded land is a holistic orthodontist–and former secretary to the Grateful Dead–who was married for a time to the late Owsley Stanley, the well-known ‘60s LSD super-producer and visionary sound engineer.

Kahn sold the home–along with most of the one-of-a-kind art on its walls and grounds–in 2007 to move to Easter Island after he fell in love with the island’s people and culture.

Each room appears as a complete universe of creative design, yet all of life’s necessities are present, along with notable whimsy. Circular spaces perfectly accommodate fixtures and fittings, and art is layered upon art. The gorgeous verdant wilderness is visible from every angle.

Art definitely makes life more interesting here, though comfort clearly isn’t sacrificed. And round rooms mean there are no dark corners.

In the upstairs chambers, the livable-art effect is no less, with every surface revealing a wealth of texture and color. If the toilet pictured above is functional, major points should be given for non-traditional plumbing configuration.

Kahn used wood and bluestone from the property itself in the landscape design.

Kahn was inspired by the unspoiled Catskills wilderness; a mix of materials and shapes, art and sculpture can be found everywhere on the home’s many decks, patios and grounds.

The artist’s sculptures dot the landscape, including Easter Island Moai, and a large tower that was formerly a NYC water main; Kahn sold the home–along with most of the art on its walls and grounds–in 2007 to move to Easter Island after he fell in love with it on a visit.

See more details and distractions in the gallery below.

[3 Tower Lane by Kimberly Crail for Keller Williams Realty]

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Images courtesy of Keller Williams Realty.

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