To some Pleasantville residents, it’s an eyesore. To others, it’s a curiosity. To neighborhood kids, it’s “the Igloo House.” But to Bruce and Deana Nelkin and their two children, Lance, five, and Melinda, three, the 48-foot geodesic dome (together with its adjoining 30-foot dome, i.e., the garage), perched high above the town, is simply “home.” So what kind of suburban family lives in a dome?
Meet 49-year-old Queens-born Bruce, an Internet marketer who grew up in a center-hall Colonial in New Rochelle, and 42-year-old Deana, a Bronx-born insurance underwriter whose childhood home in Crestwood was a Tudor.
WM: So, why a geodesic dome?
DN: Bruce, in tenth grade, picked up an architectural book and saw a picture of a geodesic dome. He’d wanted one ever since. Around the same time, I toured a dome on vacation with my family and knew I wanted to live in one.
WM: Your house is actually two domes, or hemispheres. What is the second one used for and how are they adjoined?
DN: The main dome is a three-bedroom, two full- and two half-bathroom home. They are joined by a link, which is our pantry. The garage, the smaller dome, has a half-bath and a full attic above it.
WM: What’s the best thing about living in a dome?
DN: It has high ceilings. It’s extremely strong—earthquake-proof, tornado-proof, mostly fireproof, hurricane-proof, termite-proof. It has great insulation and is passive solar, so our heating bills are much smaller than our neighbors’. It’s also a really cool-looking house.
WM: What’s the worst thing about living in a dome?
BN: Drywalling is tough because our house is a bunch of triangles—each at a different angle.
WWM: Any neighbor complaints?
DN: Not any more. We are used as one of the local landmarks.
WM: Do you think you’ll ever sell?
DN: If we get a $10 million offer, we may consider it…maybe.