It may be a really ugly house but is there such a thing as a 1956 McMansion?

I’ve seen pictures of this large Indianapolis house before but here the suggestion is that it may be the ugliest house in America. It is quite unconventional, but I’m more interested in another suggestion: that this is a 1956 McMansion.

Designers with delicate sensibilities, look away. This may be the most hideous McMansion in America. Built in 1956, this is “almost-famous pimp-turned-construction mini-magnate” Jerry A. Hostetler’s Indianapolis Hearst Castle. Minus the architectural prowess. Plus more balconies.

Although the term McMansion didn’t really emerge until the late 1990s, it is sometimes applied to past eras. I usually think this doesn’t work that well because it involves applying modern standards to past styles. In the 1950s, I think this house would have simply been considered a mansion because of its size. The average new house size in the 1950s was roughly 1,000 feet so a home like this would have been quite large. Additionally, the home was built by a successful businessman, someone who would have the means to construct what he wanted, and was not built for the mass market.

The more unusual homes of the 1950s might have been some of the new modern glass and steel homes that some architects built. The mass produced, large, poor quality McMansions of the late 20th century didn’t really exist yet as mass market housing still tended to be quite small.

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