The long history of the Donaldson Futuro‘s original design by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen, its fabrication in 1969 in Philadelphia, the journey to San Diego, and ultimate home in Idyllwild makes for fascinating reading, whether you’re an architecture buff or not. It has recently been been designated California Registered Historical Landmark No. 1062.

Look inside!


PHOTO: Donaldson Futuro at night by Paul Kozal
Exterior, public view from Big Rock Road. PHOTO: Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA
Donaldson Futuro on top of faux rock concrete footing. PHOTO: Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA
Nighttime mood at sunset. PHOTO: Paul Kozal
Hinged downward opening door and integral stairs similar to a Cessna Citation aircraft, an airstair. PHOTO: Paul Kozal
The Donaldson Futuro. March 26, 2018. PHOTO: Paul Kozal
Photographed by drone. August 11, 2017. PHOTO: David Marshall, AIA
From the original “Your Own Adventure in the Grauhaus” brochure. (this model, with square windows, was never built.) PHOTO: Courtesy Stan Grau Collection
Moving the Futuro in San Diego, 1969. PHOTO: Courtesy Stan Grau Collection
At the parking area behind the Design Center, San Diego. November, 2002. PHOTO: Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA
Relocating the Futuro from the Design Center to the San Diego Boat Yard in November, 2002. PHOTO: Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA
At the San Diego Boat Yard undergoing restoration. November, 2002. PHOTO: Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA
Donaldson Futuro en route to Pine Cove from San Diego, blocking three lanes of Interstate 15 with CHP escort. December, 2004. PHOTO: Joy Guevara
Moving the Futuro up California State Highway 243 to Pine Cove, passing through Mountain Center, accompanied by CHP. December, 2004. PHOTO: Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA
Portion of roof badly damaged due to weathering, removed and replaced with new fiberglass. Decemer, 2002. PHOTO: Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA
Near top of door opening where upper and lower halves of shell are joined. December,2002 PHOTO: Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA
Living Room showing original range and oven, March 26, 2018. PHOTO: Paul Kozal
Kitchen showing original sliding plastic storage cabinets, range top, and Formica countertop. PHOTO: Laurie Donaldson
Dining area showing original dining table and coffee table with Sadie Sue lying on the shag carpet. PHOTO: Laurie Donaldson
Bathroom showing original shelf and cantilevered wall-mounted toilet. PHOTO: Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA
Bathroom showing original counter, cabinet with mirrors, and sink. PHOTO: Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA
Bedroom showing under bed storage. PHOTO: Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA
Living Room showing original range and oven, March, 2018. PHOTO: Paul Kozal
Interior, original kitchen and central console. March, 2018. PHOTO: Paul Kozal
North facade at night. May, 2016. PHOTO: Carlie Galloway
Restored opening for central fireplace, adapted for acrylic skylight and light fixture, PHOTO: Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA
Futuro in the snow. PHOTO: Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA
Nighttime mood at sunset. March, 2018. PHOTO: Paul Kozal
Wayne and Laurie Donaldson in front of their Futuro. November, 2009. PHOTO: Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA

One response to “Donaldson Futuro Has Landed!”

  1. Wendy Lucas-Meyer says:

    Coolest story ever!

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