By Jamie Leary
GENESEE, Colo. (CBS4) – The owner of a Colorado historical landmark is showing off renovations he is still making. The changes not only preserve the structure, but upgrade it.
“I had this idea of taking the house to a high tech level even though it was a mid-century modern piece, and I tried hard to do that,” said Larry Winkler.
Larry and his wife, Toni, purchased the iconic Sculptured House eight years ago at a foreclosure sale. Known best for its role in the 1973 Woody Allen “Sleeper” film, the home has changed hands many times.
Aside from the Winklers, it seemed there wasn’t much interest in taking on the work needed to fix the home. Their bid of $1.5 million was the only offer.
“We both looked at each other and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, what did we just do?’”
They knew there was a lot of work to be done, but the list quickly began to grow.
“When we first purchased it we thought it was fantastic! Then winter showed up in the next two months and we found heating system failures and numerous different things that we needed to be addressed.”
There were rodents, broken pipes and a door that periodically allowed snowdrifts to form inside.
When Larry drilled holes to address issues with the pipes, he found issues with the shell of the home.
“There was this enormous shell that was literally between 28 and 42 inches deep, and there was literally no insulation…” Larry said. “When it was all said and done, we probably put 9,500 pounds of insulation in this house.”
The renovations have been ongoing for the last eight years and the work continues today. The most recent and largest undertaking? The addition of a utility room.
“We needed to really figure out how to get the utilities from one part of the house to the other. I make jokes about it, but this is my favorite piece of art right here.”
It’s the heart of the home and also has a state-of-the-art security system.
“This project of revitalizing the house and adding the efficiencies and technologies of today’s new modern homes was a bit of a challenge but a lot of fun.”
Larry says the renovations are ongoing and it’s always been his goal, historical designation or not, to maintain its character.
“You know, it is a historical landmark and it needs to stay just like this and it needs to, so to speak, it needs to represent.”
Aside from an addition made by the previous owner in 2000, the home looks much the way it did in the 60s. From the hand-made staircase to the bedrooms. Even some of the furniture has been there since the 70s.
The Winklers live in the home full-time. They say because of the history and the architecture, many people try to visit… he said at one point, kids playing “Pokemon Go” would venture onto his deck looking for the virtual creatures.
He reminds people that it is a residence and asks that people please enjoy the home from a distance.
“It’s something that everybody has seen from a distance. You know it is our private home, but I enjoy showing it to people, but I can become overwhelmed sometimes with the requests,” Larry said. “It’s going to be here and it’s going to be here forever and as long as we have it, it’s going be in great shape.”
Jamie Leary joined the CBS4 team in 2015 and currently works as a reporter for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. She couldn’t imagine a better place to live and work and will stop at nothing to find the next great story. Jamie loves learning about and hearing from her fellow community members, so connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.