Cover Image: By Yuanwen8624 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

There’s great news for those of you who regularly (or those who plan to) take a road trip around California’s San Francisco Bay Area — the real-life “Flintstone House” in Hillsborough is here to stay.

Following a lawsuit by the City of Hillsborough, claiming the modern stone-age single-family house to be a “highly visible eyesore,” a California court ruled that Florence Fang, the owner of what has become known as the Flintstone House, is free to display statues of Fred and Wilma and other sculptures inspired by the famous 1960s The Flintstones cartoon.

Actually More Modern Than Stone Age

The house is an iconic landmark for those traveling the stretch of California’s Interstate 280 between San Francisco and San Jose. However, it started as a more of a modern architectural experiment rather than the modern Stone Age family abode it currently is.

The house was originally designed and built by architect William “Nick” Nicholson in 1976, who wanted to revolutionize the architectural industry with new material and techniques for building. Inspired by the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, Nick came up with the idea of building a dome structure using inflated aeronautical balloons and a material he developed made of plaster mixed with fiberglass. He sprayed the mixture over the balloons and then let the air out, creating these dome structures that are part of the home’s unique look today.

Image: By Jeffrey Cole – flickr via wikimedia commons (CC BY SA 2.0)

When it was complete, the house was painted off-white and featured three bedrooms, two baths (all circular shaped) and a two-car garage. Additionally, the master bath features rock flooring instead of the traditional tile, which now adds to the whole Flintstones theme.

The exterior of the house was originally painted off-white. However, after water runoff from the surrounding mountains caused the house to fall into disrepair in the mid-1980s, the house was refurbished by architect Eugene Tsui and painted an eye-catching shade of orange.

Meet the Flintstones

First nicknamed the Dome House, the Bubble House, and the Gumby House by passersby, that all changed when Florence Fang bought the nearly 3,000-square-foot property as a retirement home for $2.8 million in 2017.

Soon after purchasing the house, she added the colors purple and red to the domed facade, as well as whimsical statues to her yard, including the eponymous cartoon character the house is now named after. Later, she included the nearly as-large-as-life dinosaurs and a sign that read, “Yabba Dabba Do!” 

People passing by on I-280 began to take notice of what was now (and may forever be) known as the “Flintstone House.” Kids and adults alike look for it on their commutes and road trips between San Francisco and San Jose, making it a famous roadside landmark of the San Francisco Bay area.

A Rubble of Trouble

However, it wasn’t only passersby who took notice of Ms. Fang’s quirky house and garden. Some of her neighbors and local government officials also took notice — but they didn’t find it so fanciful. In fact, they called it a “public nuisance,” and the Hillsborough code enforcement panel presented Ms. Fang with a $200 fine and demanded she remove what they said was a “highly visible eyesore.” Fang refused and kept adding statues to her property. The city then took her to court, claiming her garden was more than the city’s allowance of 10,000 square feet. They also stated that it was a possible danger should any of the statues fall down the hill and hurt or injure people passing by, and they asked the judge to have her remove them.

Fang countersued, while also getting 30,000 signatures from people telling the government to “leave the property owner alone.” Finally, after two years of court battle, in June 2021, an amicable settlement was reached that allows the city to review and approve any landscaping updates that Ms. Fang wishes to make in the future. In return, Ms. Fang’s “current improvements to the Flintstone house were permitted to remain.” Additionally, Ms. Fang received $125,000 from the city to cover her court costs.

In the meantime, Ms. Fang is having a gay old time these days, adding more statues and dreaming up even more ways to get those zipping by on the interstate to stare in wonder. We hope it lasts until the age of The Jetsons.

Whether you’re taking a cross-country road trip to see the Flintstone House or roadtripping locally, be sure to make a Stuckey’s stop part of your road-trip itinerary. Browse through our wide selection of classic candy, pecan treats, and kitschy souvenirs that you remember like our world-famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls and Stuckey’s-branded “Eat Here and Get Gas” t-shirts.

Image: Stuckey’s Corp

And don’t forget, Stuckey’s road-trip treats are also available online and can be delivered right to your door. Visit us today at stuckeys.com to find out more!

Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!