Bless My “Sole”, What An Unusual House

Remember that old rhyme about the old woman who lives in a shoe?  Would you believe there actually are homes that were constructed to resemble footwear?  It’s true.  Perhaps the architects or the homeowners themselves were harking back to the nursery rhyme, or perhaps they had some other whimsical reason, but in some places there are houses built like gigantic footwear.  For people needing residential design services, Sarasota FL may have designers who can create such unusual homes-or something more conventional.  Just ask around and see what local designers can do.

One “Shoe House” is in Hallam, Pennsylvania.  Completed in 1949, it was a huge advertisement for Colonel Mahlon Nathaniel Haines, a man known as “the Shoe Wizard.”  Haines had a chain of 141 shoe stores in Pennsylvania and Maryland and was also an honorary Indian Chief!  He is supposed to have given an architect an old work boot and told him to create a house just like it for him.  Sometimes a designer has to fulfill an unusual request for a client, and this one was as unusual as they come. 

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Another startling fact about the Haines and his livable boot was that he would invite newlyweds who worked for his company to spend a romantic week there with maid and butler service-and, of course, free shoes as a wedding gift.  He would also invite senior-citizen couples to use the house as a weekend getaway spot for 38 weeks out of the year.

The Haines shoe house is no longer used except as a tourist attraction.  Odds are your needs in home design don’t run to having a home that looks as if it belongs on a giant’s foot.  Whatever you’re really looking for, there’s a designer in Sarasota who’ll have you stepping in the right direction.