TheFuturoHouse.com | Latest Site News & Updates
- Location | County Highway J, Rockland, WI 54653, USA (Approximate - No longer at this location)
- Lat/Long | 43°50'25.57"N 90°55'39.85"W (No longer at this location)
- Current Location | Joshua Tree, California, USA (Vicinity Only)
- Current Lat/Long | Unknown
- Image By Len Peltier | Date Unknown
- Google Street View | September 2012
- Latest Confirmation | 053118
Information Update History
This Futuro has now been purchased and will be relocated to Joshua Tree, California. Any further updates relating to either the current status or the history of this Futuro will be found on the Joshua Tree
page. There will be no further updates to this page.
We recently received an email from Dave in which he shared some recollections of this Futuro during its time in Sun Prairie, WI
(and provided the precise address - Galaxy Plaza, 1632 W Main, Sun Prairie, WI). Dave also mentioned the USGS Earth Explorer, a tool we were previously unfamiliar with, which had aerial imagery showing the Futuro on site. After a few hiccups we were able to track down this imagery which clearly shows the Futuro on site as of 100182. Later imagery from 120187 shows the Futuro had been moved by then which aligns with previous information
that it was moved to Camp Wakonda some time around 1983/84.
Dave's email also prompted us to take a another stab at finding a photo of the Futuro in Sun Prairie, several previous searches had turned up nothing, but this time we came across the photo below on the City of Sun Prairie Museum Facebook Page
from a post back in 2013; the photo is undated. The comments on the post suggest that after serving as a hair salon the Futuro was then used as a gaming arcade for a time.
To satisfy our curiosity we also took a look in Google Maps now that we were armed with an address; there was of course no imagery showing the Futuro but Street View did have this interesting imagery from September 2017 which clearly shows the same building with the entrance to the Futuro, long gone of course, bricked up.
The two photos below were posted to Instagram 042918 by Jerry Wideen
; it is unclear when the photos were actually taken. Jerry's original Instagram posts can be found here
We recently received an email from Doug Ziegele who was, in his past, the camp Director of a Christian Youth Camp based at Camp Wakonda
. In the email Doug shared his recollections of this Futuro.
Doug recalls that the Futuro was purchased by Camp Wakonda around 83/84 and moved there from its previous location in Sun Prairie, WI
where it had served as a beauty salon at the Galaxy Mall; not unreasonably Doug suggests that perhaps the mall was so named because of the presence of the Futuro. The Futuro was also moved once a short distance within the camp during its time at Camp Wakonda to accommodate lodge development.
The Futuro was purchased following a visit by Doug and a strong camp supporter to Sun Prairie when, on return to Camp Wakonda, the camp supporter opened his check book and wrote a large check to "encourage acquisition".
When the unit arrived at Camp Wakonda the interior was painted a deep lavender color with purple on the ceiling and black bands at the joints. It was evident that a circle of hair dryer stations had occupied the interior and none of the interior partitions remained. The windows proved a challenge for the camp as there was vapor trapped between the panes of glass in the windows.
The Futuro initially served as a computer camp and was a favorite gathering place; Doug recalls that it was used primarily without chairs and that singing inside it was a special experience because of the acoustics! A microphone was never needed.
It was eventually sold to Doug Flahaut and moved to Rockland, WI
This history lines up perfectly with that provided earlier by owner Doug Flahaut which has the Futuro starting out life at the Playboy Resort
in Lake Geneva, WI
before being moved to a vacant lot in Janesville, WI
. In Janesville it served at various times as both a realty office and a beauty salon before being moved again to Sun Prairie, WI. From there the Futuro was moved to Lake Wakonda and then finally it was purchased by Doug Flahaut and moved to Rockland.
It certainly makes a nice change to find that multiple reports on the history of a particular Futuro actually line up instead of conflicting.
We also recently took the time to "poke around" a little in Google Earth and found the imagery below which places the Futuro at Lake Wakonda on 042698 (at 43°52'35.58"N 89°34'44.51"W). Likely it was moved shortly after that as Doug Flahaut wrote to us a little over a year ago indicating he had purchased the Futuro "about twenty years ago".
A couple of newspaper articles published in the Janesville Gazette
that we recently added to our collection of "Things Futuro
" combine to allow this Futuro's time at the Lake Geneva Playboy club in the early 1970's to be quite accurately dated.
In the 022070 issue
Larry Tracy is quoted as saying that "The Lake Geneva Playboy Club will be the site of a fully constructed and equipped Futuro within the next two weeks" and the 122471 issue
reports on the Futuro being moved from the Playboy Club to a site in Janesville the day prior to publication so, between the two, the Futuro can definitively be placed in Lake Geneva from late February / early March 1970 until 122371.
As an added bonus the 122471 article included this very cool photo of the Futuro, dwarfing the truck carrying it, traveling from the Lake Geneva Playboy Club to a lot in Janesville on 122371.
This photo was posted to Instagram by xoxodanajean
092217. When we first glanced at it we were not sure what the location was. After reading the comments which clearly reference Rockland and its current owner Doug (at least as far as we know - no news yet on the "tentative" sale of the Futuro) to be honest we were still not convinced; we simply could not reconcile the location seen in this photo with that seen in photos of the Rockland Futuro.
However after spending quite some time looking at photos of Rockland, various views in Google Maps and Google Earth and a few other resources we finally managed to convince ourselves this photo was indeed a photo of the Rockland Futuro (we believe it is taken from a position NNW of the Futuro).
Owner Doug tells us he now has a prospective buyer for his Futuro with a "close" tentatively planned for the fall.
This original press photo is 9 ⅞" by 7 ⅞" in size and dates from 1970. It shows this Futuro during its time at the Playboy Resort
in Lake Geneva, WI
The lower part of the photo and the accompanying description clipped from a newspaper article is affixed to the back of the photo; the text reads:
"No, Lake Geneva is not being invaded by little green men from outer space. The Futuro, a versatile living module that can be used as a vacation home, is formed of fiber glass in the shape of a flying saucer.
Among other markings and annotations on the rear of the photo are a red stamp that reads "Sentinel Copy" (perhaps the Milwaukee Sentinel
), a date stamp in red which is a little unclear but we believe reads 041870 and a stamp identifying the location of the photograph as the "Playboy Club-Hotel, Lake Geneva, Wis, 53147". The photographer is identified as being Sol Frishman.
Owner Doug Flahaut let us know this week that he is considering selling his Futuro and is currently open to offers. Doug also sent along the series of photos found below and a little historical information. Doug wrote:
"The history as was passed down to me is that it was purchased new by a Playboy Club in northern Wi. It was later moved to a vacant lot and converted to a beauty salon. It was also converted to a realty office at the same location. I was told that it was then moved to the "Galaxy Mall" somewhere around Madison WI.? It was then moved to Camp Wakanda near Westfield WI. where it was used for computer camp in the 80s. I bought it from Camp Wakanda twenty some years ago?
The history is rather interesting in that it identifies this Futuro as being the one that was first located at the first Playboy Resort
in Lake Geneva
, WI. That Futuro is reported to have then been moved to a piece of land south of Janesville. Reports are that a Ford Dealership later used it for a promotion and that it eventually was moved north of Interstate 90/39 near what is now a Best Western. Its subsequent history is unknown. More detail about the "Janesville" Futuro can be found here
It is not that unusual for the early history of Futuros to be a little clouded and sometimes conflicted, the history passed on to Doug does not specifically mention Janesville or a Ford Dealership and the reports relating to Janesville make no mention of a beauty salon but the Futuro could, and likely did, serve multiple purposes over time not all of which are noted in any particular version of its history. What is consistent in these reports however is that this Futuro is the one that started out its life at the Playboy Resort.
So; on balance it appears to us that this Futuro is the one that first appeared at the Playboy Resort and then later in Janesville, WI; obviously sometime post Janesville it must have been refinished in a different color as the Janesville unit was blue. As a result the Janesville Futuro
which has, up until now, been listed as a "Lost Soul
" is now reclassified as "found".
For the record this information also, in our opinion, cleared up reports of a Futuro serving as a salon in Sun Prairie, WI.
that were listed on the "Myths and Legends
Once again there are some discrepancies; those reports suggest that the salon was in a strip mall called the The Galaxie Plaza. The history given to Doug reports a salon, location unknown, with the Futuro later being moved to the "Galaxy Mall" somewhere around Madison Wi. In our experience these "conflicts" are often simply the result of memories becoming a little clouded over the years and these two "histories" are consistent enough for us to be certain they relate to the same unit.
Doug tells us that while the Futuro is missing windows and the door it is very restorable. From the photos we can see that at some point not only did the door go "walkabout" the actual entrance was modified with the height of the entry being increased such that it "merged" with the window above it resulting in a Futuro with an oversize entry way and 15 windows rather than the standard 16 windows around the circumference of the unit.
Also visible in a couple of the exterior photos is the fact that the two lower viewing windows are painted over. These "windows" do not appear to be visible in the interior photos and it is unclear whether this is simply window glass that has been painted over or if there was some structural modification to "close" the window openings.
The interior shots also show us that this model appears to have the most common US structure consisting of 8 sections that were, if normal process was followed, mechanically joined and sealed to form two hemispheres at the time of manufacture.
Disassembly of these units has proven difficult in some cases, such as the failed attempt at Media
which resulted in significant damage to that unit, but in other cases this has not proved to be a problem (for example when the LA Futuro
was moved from Colorado
). In the end whether or not the unit will easily disassemble cannot be ascertained from the photos and would likely not be known until an attempt is made to actually take the unit apart.
If you have an interest in making on offer for this Futuro or if you would like more information please register your interest using the form below:
Please Note | TheFuturoHouse.com has no ownership interest in this Futuro and makes no representations as to its condition. TheFuturoHouse.com has no role in any possible offer and/or sale other than hosting this form for those interested to use to make inquiries. All submissions made using this form will be forwarded to Doug, owner of this Futuro.
Note: Post the completed sale of this Futuro the above referenced form has been removed from this page.
This awesome high res photograph of the Rockland Futuro was taken 101213 by Sarah Buehler. Sarah emailed us a copy this morning and allowed us to display it here - thanks Sarah.
When we first added this Futuro to the site there was no Street View imagery in Google Maps at this location. Though the latest satellite imagery available in Google Maps/Earth remains unchanged the "Google car" has obviously done a drive by and there is now Street View imagery dated 090112. A screenshot can be seen below; seems there is some construction going on around the Futuro.
Original Information 100512
On 090912 we added an entry to the Myths & Legends
section of the site regarding a reported Futuro somewhere around Rockland
, WI. At the time we classed it as "indeterminate"; we were unable to find a Futuro in the area but neither were we able to disprove the existence of one. Now thanks to some great detective work on the part of Len of FuturoHouse.com
the status is no longer "indeterminate" as a Futuro has been confirmed in Rockland.
The Futuro is located, as reported initially, on County Highway J; it lies four miles or so south of Rockland.
The Google Maps imagery for this location is less than convincing and appears somewhat distorted. Interestingly Google Maps is not currently displaying the latest imagery Google has available; the imagery displayed is from 033107 but there is imagery from 062710 available in Google Earth. A screenshot from this imagery can be found at below.
We do not often use Bing Maps but in the case of this Futuro the imagery available in Bing is clearly better than that available in the Google Maps and Google Earth. You can find three screenshots below which show the Futuro much more clearly than Google.
Given that this is a "new" or at least "newly rediscovered" Futuro the search is young but so far we have found no additional information on this unit so if you know anything about its history or you have or know of any photographs please let us know
Our thanks to Len of FuturoHouse.com
fame for the discovery and the photo and to our good friend Achim Breiling for letting us know about this discovery.
The screenshots below are (top to bottom, left to right):
- Bing Maps Aerial View
- Bing Maps "Bird's Eye" View (looking north)
- Bing Maps "Bird's Eye" View (looking south)
- Google Maps Satellite Imagery (Dated 062710)
This photograph by Pearl Clarkin
The original photograph can be seen on Facebook here