Xanadu: The Retro Foam House of the Future
Kubla Khan – Samuel Coleridge
“In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.”
Xanadu, a glimpse into the future of housing architecture, was first designed by Bob Masters and Roy Mason and was started in Dells, Wisconsin. Another version of the project was started as an 80s housing project and tour attraction in Kissimee, starting in 1983.
The home was run by electronic servants. Commodore computer systems managed everything from the thermostat to home security. Xanadu was such a gem among travelers that it attracted 1000 visitors a day maximum, generating thousands in income for the makers and companies in surrounding areas.
However, in the mid 90s, people became disinterested in the Xanadu homes and it closed due to lack of interest. Mold began to deteriorate the Xanadu home’s structure throughout the 90s. The Tennessee and Wisconsin homes were torn down in the 90s, and the Kissimee home was finally destroyed in 2005.