Falling for a Futuro - Page 4

A tenacious California architect takes on the restoration of his out-of-this-world dream home

futuro book

Donaldson, who owns the only Futuro sited in California, bought his to restore it to its pristine original condition, complete with shag rug. "It's hard to clean, it looks like hell," he says of shag. "It looks like an old matted dog."

But Donaldson is following the strict Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Restoration. He hopes one day to get the house placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Once the house is restored, Donaldson will use it as a getaway. Inside, he says, "It's actually very quiet, extremely quiet."

Charles Castle, deputy director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, was thrilled when Donaldson, whom he called "one of the greatest preservation architects ever, in our region," bought the long-derelict Futuro. "We knew he was somebody who really cared about the history of the Futuro."

Photos: Adriene Biondo, John Eng, John Gibbons (courtesy ZUMA Press, Inc. and San Diego Union-Tribune); and courtesy Wayne Donaldson, Matti Suuronen