Picture Sunday: Baldassare Forestiere’s Underground Paradise


Sicilian immigrant Baldassare Forestiere spent 40 years, until his death in 1946, digging an underground house to escape the unforgiving heat of Fresno, California. He hoped that his underground abode would someday become a hotel. That never happened, but he did manage to create, in my opinion, one of the most striking residences in the United States. We’ll do a longer post about it, but in the meantime, here’s two photos of one of the many citrus trees he planted in a maze of underground atriums.


See the website of Forestiere’s underground gardens for more information.

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  1. When we visited here a couple of years back, on our way to Yosemite, it was closed due to flooding.

    Having just read up on the cisterns (plazas on top) in Venice, I’m wondering if this would have served a better purpose as a cistern/garden/hotel.

    Even as a Persian windcatch design.

    I’m wondering now if there are any Venice type cisterns or Persian windcatchers operating around CA or the Southwest.

    Awesome photo!

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