UPDATED 020417 | ADDED 090811 | COVINGTON, KENTUCKY, USA | HOME | LOCATIONS - LIST - PREVIOUS - NEXT
224 Wright Street, Covington, KY 41011, USA | 39°5'17.39"N 84°31'35.16"W
Featured Image By RoadsideArchitecture.com | Date 030606
Google Maps | Satellite Imagery Date 100915
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Notes, History & Resources
It seems that the Futuro House is being "memorialized" in a mural on the exterior of a Covington area Kroger store. The mural, named "Love the Cov", is based "on important elements that give the city its reputation". Obviously the Covington Futuro is one of those elements though the imagery it inspired within the mural is very clearly "general" and not identifiable as specifically relating to the Covington Futuro.
The original of the photo below and a little more information can be found on The River City News website.
Justin Dahan visited Covington 092615 and sent me these photos; thanks Justin. The Futuro seems to be in pretty much the same condition as in earlier photos.
I often check back in Google Maps to see if locations have updated but I rarely if ever check to see if there is new Street View imagery but the capture shown below has caused me to rethink that. The imagery has been updated since I last looked and the capture below is really a rather cool shot of the Futuro with the city in the background. My thanks to Fabio who posted this shot on his blog La Freccia Ferma. There is also a nice collection of other street view captures of Futuros here along with many other interesting and varied shots from the Google Street View universe - well worth checking out.
Cincinnati radio station ClassX threw a party to celebrate the release of the Winter 2013 issue of their publication Live Magazine. The party was hosted by Covington Futuro owner Rob Detzel at the Futuro. You can read much more about the party and the magazine [which includes some very interesting information and history] at right.
There are a couple of great Facebook posts on the ClassX Radio Facebook Page. The first includes a great series of photographs of the party [some of which are displayed below courtesy of the ClassX Facebook Page and include some great interior shots] while the second includes a video shot at the party.
I have embedded the Facebook post that includes the video on this page; unfortunately you cannot resize an embedded Facebook post and it was too wide for the column format of this page so I have embedded it at the bottom of the page so as not to throw the rest of the content out of alignment. You can find the Facebook post and video here.
Mike Fair captured this very atmospheric photo of the Covington Futuro 032413; the photo is displayed here with permission. Thanks Mike.
The image below taken by AnDy631 081905 and reproduced here with permission shows the Covington Futuro "Easter Egg"; a "Beam Me Up Scotty" plaque on the door, presumably an "homage" to Star Trek.
Original Media 090811
This first video is a capture from a Local12 WKRC Cincinnati news broadcast featuring the Futuro. It includes a conversation with Rob Detzel, the owner, some nice footage of the interior and some shots of other Futuros.
Two short videos showing the Covington Futuro.
I have always really liked black and white photography and I think this photo of the Covington Futuro is very atmospheric. The photo, taken 040810, is by Charlie The Cheeky Monkey and is reproduced here with permission.
These next few photos were taken 010712 and posted on Lyinn's Blog; they are reproduced here coutesy of Lyinn. These are the most recent photos I have found of this Futuro and make its confirmed date 010712.
This next photo shows one of the "Millennium Mosiac" seating units in Covington that features the Futuro. It was taken by qrtr2four and is displayed here with permission.
If you would like to see additional photographs of the Covington Futuro check these out.
Cincinnati radio station ClassX recently threw a party to celebrate the release of the Winter 2013 issue of their publication Live Magazine along with the celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Futuro. The party was hosted by Covington Futuro owner Rob Detzel at the Futuro. A digital copy of the magazine, which includes an article on the Futuro starting on page 14, is available online here [it can also be downloaded as a pdf file] and there are photographs and a video in a couple of posts on the ClassX Radio Facebook Page here and here. The video and some of the photos can be found to the left and are displayed courtesy of ClassX Radio.
The Live magazine article is very informative and adds some fascinating detail to the story of the Covington Futuro. In the article we learn the Rob Detzel first saw the Futuro in a 1973 issue of the magazine Family Circle. Detzel decided the Futuro could be a great marketing tool for his construction business and he contacted a gentleman by the name of Bob Hart to see if he could show a Futuro at his upcoming Home Show. To Detzel's surprise Hart asked how much Detzel would charge to show the Futuro and a deal was struck. All Detzel had to do now was to actually procure a Futuro to show.
Detzel formed I.F.O Promotions [see reference in the original information below] and arranged to meet with Len Frockner [almost certainly Leonard Fruchter] who was the main US licensee for the Futuro. Detzel is quoted as saying:
"I call him [Fruchter] to tell him I was interested and he says well come on up and we'll go drinking, and if I like you at the end of the night, I might sell you one, so I said, I can do that ... and I took off to Jersey"
Detzel goes on to recount how Fruchter had purchased molds and sufficient materials to construct eight Futuro's, the ones with only eight windows [for security reasons] to be used as banks in and around malls. Two had been placed by the time Detzel met with Fruchter.
That two Futuros had been placed, at Woodbridge Mall and Willingboro Shopping Center, is very interesting. I had always thought that one unit had moved from one location to the other and then ultimately ended up at the current Willingboro location but this suggests that there is another unaccounted for unit either yet to be relocated or destroyed sometime in the past. For sure none of the other US units I know about is of the eight window configuration.
"But he [Fruchter] had gotten drunk and was disgusted with them (space-banks) and had decided to burn all the extra material and break the molds by the time I got up there.
With two placed and four destroyed there were only two Futuros left when Detzel and Fruchter met; Detzel purchased a yellow Futuro. After making some modifications that included adding a second hatchway and cutting in two more windows [which makes this unit unique among Futuro's with two hatches and ten windows] the Futuro was displayed, as planned, at the Hart Productions Home Show. The Futuro clearly captured people imagination at the show; Detzel made over $4000 from selling 50 cent tours of the unit.
After the show the Futuro spent a few weeks at the nearby New Northgate Mall before stints on the Atlantic City boardwalk and at various home shows in the New York area. Eventually the Futuro was moved back to Kentucky in the mid 1980's and ultimately it ended up in its current location in 1987 where it remains to this day.
The recent party at the Futuro hosted dual celebrations, the launch of the ClassX Live Magazine Winter 2013 issue and the 40th anniversary of the Futuro. In the video of the party at the Futuro we see Covington Mayor, Sherry Carran, proclaiming November 2nd 2013, the 40th anniversary of the Futuro, as "Futuro House Day". The mayor goes on to read a proclamation declaring the site of the Futuro as "Area 89" and she presents Detzel with the keys to the City Of Covington. The actual proclamation went as follows:
"Now therefore, I, Sherry Carran Mayor of the City of Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky, by virtue of the authority vested in me and on behalf of its Commission, do hereby proclaim Saturday, November 2, 2013, as "FUTURO HOUSE DAY" in the City of Covington and the site of the Futuro House is officially dubbed "Area 89."
Original Information 090811
In 1973 Rob Detzel purchased this Futuro House and exhibited it at a Home & Garden Show. By 1976 he had the Futuro relocated to the Covington site it remains on to this day.
This Futuro is unusual [and similar to the Willingboro Futuro] in that it only has 8 windows. Anna-Maija Kuitunen in her final thesis for the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Finland "Futuro no. 001 : Documentation and evaluation of preservation need" [available online here] wrote:
"There are many variations of the Futuro house depending on where and for what utility purpose they were made. For example, American markets demanded more spacious rooms with bigger windows which could be opened (Home & Taanila 2004,). In the United States they made an alteration to the steel legs which instead of the steel ring were connected directly to the body of the building. Those Futuros that served as banks could have less windows and those that served as Air Force-owned observation posts could have larger and reinforced windows."
So; while it appears that the Futuro was purchased in 1973 by the current owner and that it may well have only ever had a single owner perhaps it was initially planned for use as a bank branch, or perhaps it was simply purchased from a distributer that was dealing with the "8 window" models.
In 2000 in answer to a reader's question Karen Samples of The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that:
"Covington's housing department has a file on the house. It contains an undated flier describing it as "The Futuro: Vacation Home of the Future." A picture shows a flattened oval perched on what looks like metal stilts. The contact on the flier is I.F.O. Promotions, 7709 Hamilton Ave., Cincinnati."
I have been unable to find any information on I.F.O Promotions who may have sold this Futuro; I would love to hear from anyone who could tell me anything about this company.
The real estate valuation site Zillow lists a sale of this property in 1987 for $7000 but as far as I can tell it has been owned by the same individual since the 70's. If anyone can confirm one way or the other please let me know.
The most recent confirmation of the Futuro's continuing presence on site comes from Lyinn's Blog whose author visited and photographed the Futuro 010712.
The Covington Futuro has been "immortalized" by being featured on one of several mosaics that were created as a part of the "Millennium Mosaic Project" in which artist Olivia Gude created 5 cast concrete seating modules decorated with ceramic and glass tile mosaics. More information about this project can be found here and here and qrtr2four took a great photo of the mosaic that features the Futuro which is displayed with permission in the left hand section of this page.
And one final note; in an apparent "homage" to Star Trek Rob has placed a sticker on the Futuro's door; it reads "Beam Me Up Scotty". Check out a photo by AnDy631 top left.
Latest Confirmed Date
This photograph by cincysalesguy taken 011017.
cincysalesguy's original photograph can be seen on Instagram here.
Sources & Reference
In Print - Books & Magazines
Got new, updated or corrected information or an image I could use?
I am always looking for additional information, history, details, images, videos; just about anything Futuro I guess - if you would like to contribute please use the Contact Form or email me directly.
As far as images go I am particularly interested in those that are either significantly better than the ones already on this page or show a different aspect or detail. If you own an image meeting one or both of those criteria I would love to be able to use it on this page but I will simply provide a link if that is your preference. Where permission is granted to use an image on the page appropriate attribution will be provided by means of a link to the original image, a link to a website of your choosing or both.
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