Vincelette Futuro House listed in the National Register of Historic Places
The Vincelette Futuro House, located in Houston, Delaware, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on Dec. 26, 2023, for its architecture and social history. Originally designed by Finnish Architect, Matti Suuronen, Futuro Houses were once marketed as vacation homes. Futuro Houses were designed as spaceship-looking dwellings, constructed of fiberglass and polyester resin layers. The Futuro made its way to the United States and tapped into the 1960s era’s passion for embracing mobility in a new way: it was exotic, sleek, modern and movable. Slight design differences between Finnish and American Futuro House designs spoke to the regional differences between consumers during the 1960s. As they gained popularity, Futuro Houses became a cultural icon and symbol of a new future that promised Americans a kind of freedom during a time of insecurity.
The futuristic style of the Vincelette Futuro House speaks to the interest in the Space Race and Cold War-era science fiction blossoming in the 1960s. The Futuro held particular appeal in Delaware because ILC Dover, a division of the International Latex Corporation later known as Playtex, engineered and produced the first space suits, including those worn by Astronaut Neil Armstrong. In addition, the DuPont Company provided much of the research and several key products required for the suits and other components of the Apollo Program.
Joseph Hudson sold Futuro Houses through his company, New Dimensions, in Delaware. Hudson believed Delaware’s beach towns were an ideal market for vacation homes; however, local communities pushed back against the introduction of Futuro Houses on the landscape. Ultimately, Hudson’s company failed, largely due to zoning regulations, which prohibited Futuro Houses within town limits. Hudson was responsible for selling Robert Vincelette his Futuro House in 1977 and, when Vincelette was unsuccessful in moving the building to Georgia (again due to strict zoning regulations), the Futuro landed in its current location in Houston. The Vincelette Futuro House retains most of its original finishes and features and spatial arrangements.