Pensmore: Mystery McMansion In The Ozarks

James_H

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Pensmore is one of the largest houses in the United States at over 72,000 square feet. Construction was apparently completed in 2016, though I'm unable to find a photo of it in its finished state, i.e. with stone cladding all over (prior to cladding, it hulks like a brutalist Biltmore). It is built with fortification in mind, or at least as a demonstration of new construction methods and materials – It 'has exterior walls 12 inches thick, and was designed to survive earthquakes, tornadoes, and bomb blasts'.



The owner is Stephen T. Huff, who served in the U.S. Army Intelligence and the CIA before going on to run his own companies doing consulting work for intelligence agencies, running companies with such sinister names as 'Overwatch Tactical Operations'.

Huff says: “If Romans used it [presumably 'concrete'] back then and some of those buildings are still here, why can’t we use it now?” he asked. “Fire won’t burn it and termites won’t eat it. Yes, I think this house will be standing 2,000 years from now. Even then it would be hard to knock down.”

Helix Steel's website confirms this long-term thinking: "The exterior cladding has been design to leverage a stainless steel version of Helix® Micro-Rebar™. This is to ensure that there will be no rust, even over the next several hundred years."

Naturally, given Huff's spook connections and the house's impregnable nature, conspiracy theories have arisen. It is referred to as a 'top secret Illuminati mansion' and as a hiding place for the government for 'when the shit hits the fan'. Others have questioned whether Huff's resources are enough to have had this built – the implication being that others (the Illuminati, the 'Deep State') have paid for it.


The eaves are painted with a tree, described as 'The Liberty Tree', alongside a 'pi' (stylised to look like the Hebrew letter Ḥet (ח) for 'Huff). According to this website, "These two symbols reveal Pensmore’s commitment to science and liberty."

Also 'Pi' represents God because it's sort of similar to '3', and thus stands for The Trinity. I can't even.



There are a plethora of other symbols in the detailing, including the ever-popular All Seeing Eye, and different symbols intended to reference The Trinity.

Logic says that this is a Supervillain's Lair, but joking apart: this seems like exactly the kind of folly a multi-millionaire with somewhat fringe libertarian beliefs might build. An attempt to enshrine in stone and reinforced concrete an individual's faith in thought, technology and 'liberty' so that the ages may know them.

What do you think?
 

EnolaGaia

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... Construction was apparently completed in 2016, though I'm unable to find a photo of it in its finished state, i.e. with stone cladding all over (prior to cladding, it hulks like a brutalist Biltmore). ...
Huff sued the contractors, claiming the builders failed to incorporate the planned amount of the Helix product. This legal fight was settled 2 years ago (July 2017):

https://www.news-leader.com/story/n...ensmore-building-materials-settled/524693001/

https://www.kansascity.com/news/state/missouri/article164644552.html
 

dr wu

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Sounds like what Brits used to call a 'folly'...except that is one huge folly.
;)

btw...is Huff still alive and if so where does he live now..?
 

Frideswide

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Alas, I can't see it being part of an Open Doors Day event :(
 

James_H

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Alas, I can't see it being part of an Open Doors Day event :(
I wonder, it seems that the owner may intend it as a public demonstration of his ideas about construction.
 

James_H

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And if architecture is frozen music, is this monument the complete works of Rush in ice?
 

Spookdaddy

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...Logic says that this is a Supervillain's Lair, but joking apart: this seems like exactly the kind of folly a multi-millionaire with somewhat fringe libertarian beliefs might build. An attempt to enshrine in stone and reinforced concrete an individual's faith in thought, technology and 'liberty' so that the ages may know them.

What do you think?
The overall project, if not the architecture, reminds me a bit of van Hoogstraten's Hamilton Palace. (But in this case the design is even more spectacularly ugly; it looks like a health spa designed by a nazi dentist with a broken protractor.)
 
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