Architecture & Real Estate | June 29, 2021 6:10 pm

Legal Battle Over California’s “Flintstone House” Wraps Up

The city of Hillsborough originally sued the owner, calling the dino-festooned house "a public nuisance"

A view of the so-called Flintstone's House on April 11, 2019 in Hillsborough, California. A legal battle between the owner and the city just wrapped up.
A view of the so-called Flintstone's House on April 11, 2019 in Hillsborough, California.
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Over the years, many people have watched The Flintstones and taken in the distinctive lodgings of the family who gave the show its title. (To say nothing of the acclaimed 2017 comic book revival.) It is in no way, shape or form an accurate representation of how early humans lived, but the house’s blend of caveman chic and 1950s suburbia makes for a memorable visual. So memorable, in fact, that one California homeowner built a house that pays homage to it.

An article at Hyperallergic by Valentina Di Liscia has more information on Hillsborough, California’s own “Flintstone House.” In 1976, architect William Nicholson built the house; Nicholson’s work, like this Palm Springs home, makes use of organic shapes and domes in abundance.

By 2017, the time retired newspaper publisher Florence Fang moved in, the “Flintstone House” nickname had already come into use. And so Fang doubled down on it. The house’s yard now features a host of dinosaur sculptures, as well as the phrase “Yabba Dabba Doo” spelled out in massive letters.

The city was not impressed by these renovations and filed a lawsuit to put a stop to them in 2019. Fang countersued, arguing that she was being discriminated against.

Fang and the city have now reached a legal settlement. According to Di Liscia’s article, Fang “has agreed to apply for permits for any additions to the home’s exterior, but they are guaranteed to be approved.” She’s also receiving $125,000 from the city to cover her legal expenses.

And the Flintstone House survives to delight passing traffic on I-280. It’s a building that’s hard to miss, after all.