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Sunridge (Weaver House)
Dennis Weaver, the limping deputy sheriff of the TV series Gunsmoke, and his wife, Gerry, hired a Taos, New Mexico, architect to design an “Earthship” of recycled waste and adobe with over 3,000 mud-filled tires and 15,000 aluminum cans. All this trash is hidden under the adobe skin of this 6,000-square-foot, $300,000 multilevel house. The glass south face is at an angle to catch the winter sun. Tipis in the front yard are a memorial to earlier residents. Largely sunken into a south-facing slope, this is a well-disguised celebrity mansion. Michael Reynolds, a leading proponent of earth architecture, solar energy, and recycled materials, elaborates on his ideas in his book A Coming of Wizards: A Manual of Human Potential (1988). His house for Weaver is perhaps the best known of about one hundred such dwellings in Colorado.
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