three years ago at age 89.
;e father of three children, Celeste, Ty and Brian, was
an artistic man who built Japanese gardens, pagodas and
topiaries. Inspiration for this design struck when he threw
a handkerchief in the air and it ;lled with air, forming a
“He loved the ;ow of air in a circle, the ;ow of energy,
the outside coming in,” Celeste says. “;ere are a lot of
round structures through history, from cathedrals to the
womb. It is natural and soothing.”
Her father’s idea was to make a prefabricated home
that was energy-e;cient, a;ordable and could withstand
the elements — the house is so sturdy that it can endure
tornadoes and hurricanes.
He received nine patents, including one for an earthquake bolt attached to the 51-foot-in-diameter concrete
footer of the dome. Steel ribs climb from the footer up to a
central ring at the top of the dome. Yacoboni also created
pie-shaped insulated ;berglass roof panels.
“He had to fabricate it in a careful way that maximized
the curve,” says his former neighbor, Irvin Guyett, a psy-
chologist who rented from Yacoboni while he was building
the dome. “He was so creative. His intention was to build a
house that you could buy from Sears and load it on a truck.”
;e walls of the dome are not weight-bearing, making it
easier to change the ;oor plan of rooms. Dome owners can
add a lo; on the second ;oor, says Celeste, who lives in a
double dome in New Mexico.
;e design was so innovative it was featured in Popular
Science, Popular Mechanics, Mother Earth News and many
other magazines, Celeste says.
But Yacoboni’s dream of making dome living main-
stream was never ful;lled. His 92-year-old widow, Carmela
“Millie” Yacoboni, says he had an o;er from a steel company,
but banks wouldn’t ;nance it. “;e man was far ahead of his
time,” Millie says. “I think today it would have been a go.”
Even if he never spread the gospel of round living, visi-
tors now can experience it in Pittsburgh.
“It was a magical experience,” Groesbeck says. “It’s like
you’re entering a new dimension.”
For reservations, visit airbnb.com/rooms/1114987
“He loved the
flow of air in a
circle, the flow
There are a
lot of round
It is natural