This "flying saucer" house, pictured on the side of Signal Mountain in Chattanooga, Tenn., Tuesday, March 11, 2008, will go up for auction on Saturday. The buyer needs a fascination for outer space, tolerance for gawkers and at least $100,000. Built by the late Curtis W. King in 1970, the circular house has multiple levels, three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an entrance staircase that lowers and retracts with the push of a button. (AP/Photo Mark Gilliland)
(AP) A mountainside house being auctioned in Tennessee is perfect for anyone tolerant of gawkers and fascinated with outer space: It's built like a flying saucer.
The home "landed" on a twisting road leading to Chattanooga's Signal Mountain in 1970 _ just after television executives grounded the run of the original "Star Trek" series. It will be sold to the highest bidder Saturday.
The circular house _ ultramodern when it was built _ is ringed with small square windows and directional lights and perched on six "landing gear" legs. It has multiple levels, three bedrooms, two baths and an entrance staircase that retracts with the push of a button.
Terry Posey, an agent with Crye-Leike Auctions of Cleveland, Tenn., said the current owner has had the property only four months and didn't want to comment. Posey posted an e-Bay ad and said he already has a $100,000 bid.
John Kleeman of Litchfield, Conn., an attorney and space culture enthusiast, said he knows of variations of the flying saucer design in Florida, Connecticut and California.
The flying saucer designs popped up about the time of the moon landings. "That's when all the excitement was," Kleeman said.
The Chattanooga home's unusual shape _ sort of like two white Frisbees pasted together _ poses some interior decorating challenges. The curve of the exterior creates a sloping ceiling and short side walls, but there's also a striking curved bar and a custom bathtub.
The house is larger than the prefabricated and movable UFO-shaped structures, known as Futuro houses, designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in 1968.
"It really looked like a spaceship ready to take off," said realtor Lois Killebrew, who handled an open house at the first sale of the Chattanooga home decades ago.
The late Curtis W. King and his family built the unusual home because "they liked to do unusual things," Killebrew said.
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