The Volcano House of Newberry Springs

Just beyond the eerie dunes that make up the Mojave Desert’s Devils Playground, a glaringly white dome rises up out of the ground. Poised atop a 150-foot cinder cone in Newberry Springs, the galactic-looking saucer is  utterly out of place in the desolate landscape. Commissioned by engineer and inventor Vard Wallace in 1968 and designed by architect Harold J. Bissner Jr., the house is an icon of the mid-century modern movement. Though Howser reportedly fell in love with the Volcano House the moment he saw in it 2003, he rarely used it and put it on the market for $750,000 a few years later. Unable to sell it, he later gifted the property to Chapman University. The 2,206 sq ft mid-century home has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, with high curved ceilings that reach up towards a central stone fireplace. It’s easy to see how someone living there could channel their inner Don Draper while sipping cocktails on the built-in sofas in the sunken conversation pit. A separate guesthouse sits at the bottom of the cinder cone and looks out over its own private lake. The 2-story outbuilding contains a large garage and an upstairs apartment that could be the ideal caretaker’s residence.