Iconic OMG! Lake Stevens spaceship house faces demolition

The odd-shaped gray house has been a Lake Stevens eyesore and icon since 1983. Names it has been called include shipwrecked lighthouse, Darth Vader house, Flintstone house, Dr. Seuss house, Rapunzel’s Tower, prison guard tower, Volkswagen bus house, hobbit house, the crooked man’s house, teapot house, pirate ship and a house Gru would live in. It was recently sold and is going to be demolished. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

It’s that wacky house that doesn’t look like any other home in town. Or in the state. Maybe even on the planet.

What’s up with that?

The gray concrete and stucco structure at 12209 20th St. NE has been a roadside attraction since construction began in 1983 by a Boeing worker with a thing for triangles.

The oddity with hexagon windows is a Lake Stevens landmark that gets called a lot of different names. More names than any other house in town.

A Herald Facebook post asking people what they called it got tons of responses:

The shipwrecked lighthouse. Darth Vader house. Flintstone house. Dr. Seuss house. Edward Scissorhands house.

Rapunzel’s tower. Prison guard tower.

Volkswagen bus house. Hobbit house. Rock house. Rocket house.

Pirate house. Spaceship house. One ugly house.

Home of Squidward from “SpongeBob SquarePants” got the most mentions.

Courtney Keller put it this way: “Count Olaf’s house from ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events.’ ”

Kate Stringer nailed it: “We usually always called it ‘OMGThatHouse.’ ”

Well, folks. Better get over there for a last look.

The house has a new owner, Lake Stevens businessman Jan Larsen, who plans to tear it down.

“It has been in my view for the 15 years I have owned the property behind it and it has been an eyesore to the community for that whole time as well,” Larsen said.

“I mean no disrespect to the gentleman who built it. He is a nice man. He did so with his own dream and design, but the result, as far as I am concerned, is not what I want to be looking at from my home and business.”

A spokeswoman for the city said the projected demolition date is May 22, pending Puget Sound Clean Air Agency approval.

I went inside the rocket-hobbit-Squidward-shipwrecked-house. OMG! It has been through a series of unfortunate events.

The place has fallen into disrepair over the years, with broken stairs, cracks and rubbish. Inside the front door was a small foyer with a washing machine. Curved precarious stairs led to a floor with the remains of a kitchen. The windows on the top floor had a panoramic view that was like looking through a jack-o’-lantern’s jagged teeth.

I doubt any of those HGTV makeover mavens and fixer uppers would take this project on.

The Snohomish County Assessor’s site lists the home’s footage as 365 square feet on the main floor, 406 on the second floor and 406 on the third.

The house is “creepy, scary at night with odd eyes (windows) in the front looking at us,” said Michael White, whose young daughter called it Scooby-Doo’s house when the family moved from New York to Lake Stevens in 1999.

“She always thought ‘the gang’ was on the case to find out what’s going on. I’m a carpenter. The house has so many unique angles and oddities that makes it stand out.”

Well, Scooby and the gang need not investigate further.

The iconic dwelling, near North Lakeshore Drive and Main Street, is part of the .16-acre parcel that includes a cute cottage built in 1917. “That house will be remodeled and rented out, but the tall gray building has to go,” Larsen said.

Whatever you call it, it’s a capsule of memories for locals.

“I walked by it every day when I walked home from school,” said Camden Norfleet. “I had my first kiss with my first girlfriend when we were walking from school. We stopped there.”

Jeannie Dalton called it “a beautiful eyesore” that will be missed. “It’s been there for decades and just a little part of what makes Lake Stevens, Lake Stevens.”

“When I was young, I thought Pippi Longstocking lived there,” said Karla Klein. “As ugly as it is, it’s a landmark.”

Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @reporterbrown.

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