The Friends apartment, McLaren’s Pub in How I met your Mother, the office from, well, The Office; they’re all iconic locations from classic sitcoms that you can actually go visit. It’s a shame, though, that you’ll never be able to visit what’s perhaps the most famous sitcom location ever, 742 Evergreen Terrace, better known as The Simpsons house – oh wait, you can.
Yes, you read that right. The Simpsons house is a real place that you can go and visit if you so choose. It’s not in Springfield, though (wherever Springfield is?). It’s in Nevada and, while you won’t find Homer napping in his hammock in the yard, the story of its construction would be worthy of a Simpsons episode.
Back in 1997, a replica of The Simpsons house was built as a grand prize in a competition run by Pepsi, Fox, and Kaufman and Broad homebuilders (the company who built the house). Valued at $120,000, the house was built to be an almost exact replica of America’s most dysfunctional family’s home.
That meant it was painted bright orange, each of the rooms was decorated to look like the Simpsons lived there, and props from the show – including Duff beer and doughnuts – were scattered around the house.
As the architects and builders got to work, though, they realised something about the fictional home. It was about as well designed as Springfield’s Nuclear Plant and needed several changes to make the house safe. As such, the designers concentrated on making the television room and Bart’s bedroom as close as possible to the TV series while taking necessary liberties with the rest of the design.
The house’s notoriously shifting architecture also made designing a replica difficult, but they ploughed on and eventually built a safe version of the home. And you know what? It looked really good. I mean, you wouldn’t want to live there, but if you’re a fan of The Simpsons, it was definitely worth seeing.
Before the competition ended, the house was opened to the public, and more than 30,000 people went to see the architectural miracle. So what happened to the house? Well, 15 million people entered the competition to try and win the house, but it was Barbara Howard who won out.
So how quickly did this Simpson’s mega fan move into the house? Well, they didn’t. In basically the inverse of Bart choosing the elephant over $10,000 in cash, Howard decided to take an alternate prize of $75,000 over the house. I won’t lie, dear reader, I’m furious.
As for the house? Well, it was sold to an unknown owner who subsequently removed all of the Simpson’s details and repainted the house to make it look more normal. Cultural vandalism? Perhaps. But to be honest, we’re not sure we could live in a house decorated by Homer and Marge.
If you love The Simpsons check out our list of the best animated series.