Domes and Homes

In 1946 Gerry and Ann Cunningham used their last $600 to buy 20 acres of Colorado mountain meadow surrounded by pine and aspen. They built their first home, a single 12′ x 18′ room, out of red sandstone from the quarry in Lyons. This single room served both as their living quarters and as the factory for the fledgling Gerry Mountaineering Equipment Company, complete with anvil, forge, drillpress, and sewing machine. When twins Peter and David were born a small workshop was built for the business, but the business and the family continued to expand. They next built a two-story four bedroom house modeled after a Swiss chalet up the hill where it commanded a sweeping view of the Indian Peaks. The original house became “the shop” and a cinderblock addition more than doubled its size. Some years later the boys left home and I went off to boarding school. They decided to rent the chalet and remodel “the shop” into “the ranch house.” They had lived in it before its expansion, so it would certainly be big enough for them now.

At that point they thought their days of building homes were over. They had built two beautiful homes on their mountain property and were happy to live in either one. Then I introduced them to the curved walls and colored lights of domes, and their lives were never the same again.

The beautiful hallway that connects the living room of the Patagonia dome with the smaller rooms.

The progression of all these building projects is found on these pages.At the end of their lives they lived in the last dome they built in Patagonia Arizona. In Colorado they built two beautiful homes. In Patagonia they created a work of art. Much as Peter and David and I love this dome, our lives are all centered elsewhere, so we are preparing to sell the land and its main dome and guest dome. Here are a few pictures to whet your appetite until the page for the main Patagonia dome is created.


One response to “Domes and Homes

  1. Bob Lukach

    March 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Hi Penny! I love your blog site! Just to intoduce myself, my name is Bob Lukach from Seabrook, NH. I own lots of your parents backpacking gear that I bought in the late 60’s and early 70’s. To me, your father was nothing less than a genius, the best at what he did. To this day I still search for vintage Gerry equipment and all things related to your parents’ company. I’m also the same person who purchased two of your parents nylon parkas thru Bruce Johnson. He and I have corresponded over the years and he has been a great source for me to find vintage gear. He’s also done great things with his History of Gear endeavors and to bring the “pioneers” of gear to the forefront.
    I’m glad I found your site and will continue to read it for more in depth vision into your family’s wonderful history.
    Thanks so much Penny!

    Bob Lukach


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