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Robert & Virginia Heinlein's
Colorado Springs House

In 1950-51, the Heinleins built a new house in the Broadmoor district of Colorado Springs. Being a newly developed area, they were allowed to choose their own house number. It will surprise few that they chose 1776.

This article was written shortly after the completion of the house, and shows off Heinlein's innately clever design abilities. Many of the features are now common in more recent houses. Although his direct influence is probably nil, his ability to see future developments is again impressive. The house, city, and its substantial bomb shelter are featured prominently in the novel Farnham's Freehold. The house was sold when the Heinlein's moved to Santa Cruz in the mid-1960s.

Mystery/thriller writer Robert Crais, a Heinlein fan (who puts at least one Heinlein reference in each of his bestselling novels), visited the house in about 1998 and was allowed to visit the bomb shelter and take pictures. (His photo essay is, unfortunately, still off line years after a web site update.)

The house has been renovated and enlarged at least once. The bomb shelter, built in early 1963 (after Heinlein announced they had no shelter at SeaCon, Labor Day 1962), apparently survives in almost original condition, but the house was extensively renovated and expanded in 1981, with a second floor larger than the original footprint added. The original house, now the first floor, retains the same floor plan, but there are varying reports about how much of the original interior remain. At least some of Heinlein's clever details and fittings have been removed or replaced, while some others remain.

Horace Hall was kind enough to pull the publicly filed floor plans for the house and create this composite illustration of its current layout (as of May 2009, when the house was up for sale).


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