In the mid 1960’s a structural concept became a reality in a most unlikely place. A mid-century modern dome house was constructed on top of an ancient 150-foot volcanic cinder cone in the center of the California desert. Resting on 60 acres of untouched desert beauty near the Newberry Springs oasis, the historic Volcano House continues to offer unparalleled views and serve as a place to truly escape from the confines of civilization.
Located in the western Mojave Desert 20 miles west of Barstow, the Volcano House offers stunning 360 degree vistas of the high desert and its many surrounding ranges. The property has a 4-acre lake that is fed by the Mojave Aquifer which is the largest in the Western United States.
The Volcano House was originally commissioned by Vard Wallace, a successful engineer, businessman, and inventor. The Volcano House was designed by renowned architect Harold J. Bissner, Jr. and completed in 1968.
The house was later owned by Huell Howser, the popular host of the PBS travel show “California’s Gold”. Mr. Howser searched for spots in California that were unique and off the beaten path. The Volcano house was once featured on the show. Mr. Howser donated his life’s works, including episodes of his beloved travel show along with his Volcano House to Chapman University located in the city of Orange, California. The university used it as a base for study tours and projects by its students and faculty of environmental science, astronomy, film, and other disciplines.