A delightfully quirky, purple and red domed dwelling in Hillsborough, California, known as the “Flintstone House” and themed after the 1960s cartoon, is somehow not universally beloved by all. In 2019, the city sued its owner, Florence Fang, over the home’s whimsical landscaping — including 15-foot-high dinosaur sculptures and a Hollywood-style sign on a hill that reads “Yabba Dabba Doo” — which it described as “a public nuisance.”
Fang, a retired publisher who bought the home in 2017, defended her prehistoric aesthetics and responded by countersuing. Two years later, Fang has settled the lawsuit and will receive $125,000 from the Bay Area city to cover her legal expenses; as part of the deal, she has agreed to apply for permits for any additions to the home’s exterior, but they are guaranteed to be approved, the Palo Alto Daily Post reports.
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Hillsborough officials had claimed that she should have sought their approval for the unconventional landscaping changes, which involved more than 10,000 square feet of her property. But Fang, who is Chinese American, alleged that the suit was racially motivated.
“Is this really about Fred and Dino?” asked Fang’s attorney, Angela Alioto, during a 2019 press conference. “Or is it about treating Mrs. Fang differently because she had a dream — and because she is Chinese and this is Hillsborough?”
“We’re in the United States, they can’t tell you to get rid of a dinosaur,” Alioto added.
The Flintstone House was built in 1976 by architect William Nicholson, who used a technique known as “monolithic dome construction” to create four distinctively bulbous designs in California. Inspired by the monicker bestowed by the public, Fang transformed the home into a true tribute to the modern Stone Age family, decking out its green spaces with statues of Flintstone characters and giant colorful mushrooms. It has since become a favorite landmark for many commuters driving northbound on the I-280 highway; for others, it is an architectural eyesore.
“I’m just a tired old lady. I just wanted my peaceful life. I’m a very, very regular, retired old lady,” Fang told the Guardian in 2019. “But of course, a little different. I have all kinds of dreams.”