Rooms with a view
If you take a drive along Auburn-Folsom Road, which roughly parallels the north fork of the American River, now part of Folsom Lake, you’ll find both small ranch properties and gated communities. This portion of the lake is located in Placer County and adjoins the growing communities of Granite Bay and Loomis. Most of the really posh multi-million dollar houses are tucked away from the road but visible from the lakeshore; they clearly vary a lot in choice of style and level of opulence — but they usually try to make the most of the lake view.
I wondered for years about the structure shown above; finally, last December I discovered that it actually is just what it looks like — an observatory — as well as a private home with an amazing view of Folsom Lake. I did manage to find a web page with some information; sadly, it was last updated in early 2015 and most of the links provided no longer work. Here’s what I was able to learn:
The KINGMONT OBSERVATORY is privately owned. It has been our home. The building is a modified aprox 28′ diameter, 44′ high butler building grain silo, with a modified (it has pella windows installed in it) “Observadome” company dome on the top. It is located about 30 miles from Sacramento Ca. at about 930 ft MSL. It overlooks Folsom Lake, and the Sacramento valley. (For pilots it’s on about the 30 degree radial at about 30 dme from SAC). The Property (about 15 acres) has the possibility of being “split”, and there would be several great building sites on the resulting parcels. You can find it on “google earth” near the north-west end of Folsom Lake. We have decided upon selling it, as we are getting to the age where 64 steps up to the summer bedroom (in the dome) is getting old! It will NOT be cheap, but it IS a great place! Just watching the buzzards slope soaring close to the building is worth a LOT!!. . . We have priced the place based upon the land value, and the salvage value of the building as it would need . extensive reworking to meet current building codes. (A great project for the right folks ! ). The folks that built the done tell me that a replacement to the same specs would now cost about $35O,000! There is some considerable salvage value! .
El Dorado County sits along the opposite shore of the north fork. Here, there aren’t as many houses visible, and the ones I’ve spotted are much less ostentatious. It’s normal to spot propane tanks along the edges of the property as the area is more rural. I haven’t been able yet to figure out where this particular house is located — it appears quite isolated on a small hilltop with no other structures anywhere in sight.