The Garden City UFO House


If you take a drive down the Garden City Peninsula you can catch a glimpse of a rare example of late 20th century modern architecture.

Known by locals as “The UFO House” , “The Spaceship House”, “The Jetson’s House”,  or “The Flying Saucer House”, it created quite the commotion when it was first built.

Many considered it to be a futuristic oddity because it was surrounded by traditional 50’s and 60’s beach cottages. It really did look out of place and out of time, and still does..

This home was designed by Miami architect Peter Vander Klout. It was an early attempt at designing a “Hurricane Proof” home that could withstand winds as high as 300 mph.

Klout’s design has withstood the test of time and severe weather. Several of these homes were built in South Florida around Miami and the Keys in the mid 70’s. One near Homestead Fl withstood the ravages of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Hurricane Andrew hit the Homestead area as a Category 5 hurricane with sustained wind speeds as high as 165 mph.

On September 22, 1989 Hurricane Hugo made landfall between Myrtle Beach and Charleston SC as a Category 4 storm with 140 mph winds. Dozens of homes were completely demolished on The Garden City Peninsula and hundreds more severely damaged. However, our little UFO home suffered no structural damage.

The home was built in 1976. It has 1800 square feet of living space, 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms with beautiful views of Murrells Inlet. It has been owned by the Graham Family of Galivants Ferry since it was built and is still in use today.

It may well be the last surviving “in-use” example of Klout’s design. Most of the homes built in South Florida have been abandoned or demolished.

If you want to see the locally famous UFO House, set your GPS to 1566 S. Waccamaw Drive, Murrells Inlet SC. You’ll have to park at The Gulf Stream Cafe if they’re not busy. You can also use the small unimproved roadside parking space just south of The Cafe. From there, it’s just a short walk down the sidewalk to the property. This is private, fenced-in property and can only be viewed from the sidewalk.