Wednesday, Jul. 28, 2010

Paper House; Rockport, MA

Newspapers across the country are losing money. New home construction has yet to recover from the bursting of the housing bubble. Here's a solution to both problems: Make houses out of newspapers! It may seem ludicrous, but the idea has a precedent: In 1922, engineer Ellis F. Stenman began to construct a summer home using newspapers as insulation. Curiousity got the better of him, however, and he began to make the entire house out of paper, holding it together with glue and protecting it from the elements with heavy layers of varnish. (The framework of the house and the floor are made of wood; the roof is shingled.) Eventually, Stenman even made paper furniture for the house — using all the news fit to sit upon. Stenman's great-niece still operates the house as a tourist attraction, but admits that even she doesn't know what exactly made Uncle Ellis choose to live in a paper house.