Featured in the Oct. 2014 issue of Pittsburgh Magazine (the article "Dome away from Home" can also be viewed online).
Is it a spaceship? A yurt? A tent? No, it's a Yaca-Dome! And it's not just any old Yaca-Dome, it's the original Yaca-Dome!
This photo was taken by an Airbnb photographer in Aug. 2013, before we replaced the outdated light fixtures by the doors with LED fixtures.
PLEASE READ ENTIRE LISTING BEFORE SUBMITTING A BOOKING REQUEST... answers to many questions you may have can be found here, and it also contains important info regarding our check in times and other policies.
Before you submit a booking request, please send a message to tell me a bit about yourself, the makeup of your traveling party, and the general purpose of your trip. Like many Airbnb hosts, I prefer to know these things before I consider accepting a booking request for this home.
This unique home was built in 1969 by Pittsburgh native Joseph Yacoboni, who received a US Patent in 1975 for the construction method. The house was designed to withstand earthquakes and 250 mph hurricanes...not something we here in the 'Burgh normally have to worry about!
MAXIMUM OVERNIGHT OCCUPANCY IS 6 PEOPLE. All guests must be accounted for in booking requests and the total number cannot be greater than 6 people (including children and infants, regardless of their age). We offer our home as overnight lodging for the registered guests only, and we limit the number of non-overnight visitors guests may invite to the property. WE DO NOT OFFER THE HOME FOR USE AS AN EVENT VENUE, and no parties or other large gatherings are permitted. No pets are permitted on the property. Please respect our right to decide how we allow our home to be used and how many people we feel our home can safely and comfortably accommodate.
* This listing's Airbnb Verified photos reflect the furnishings and decor at the time of the Airbnb photo shoot (August 2013). Please note that furnishings and decor are subject to change at our discretion.
You'll be staying in one of Pittsburgh's most unique vacation rentals. Only 26 Yaca-Domes were ever built; ours was the first one built, and it's also the only Yaca-Dome in this part of the county.
Features of the Igloo include:
Master Bedroom- King size bed, nightstand with lamp, chest of drawers, chair, side table with lamp, clock radio, closet, and ceiling fan.
Middle-sized Bedroom- Queen size bed, bedside table with lamp, chest of drawers, chair, small side table, floor lamp, clock radio, closet, and ceiling fan.
Smallest Bedroom- Full size bed, side table, small shelf unit, narrow chest of drawers, floor lamp, and table fan. There is no closet in this room.
Bathroom- there is 1 bathroom, and it contains a vanity sink, tub/shower combination, Kohler Rialto toilet (low profile), blow dryer, scale, towel rack and towels
Living room- vintage MCM sofa and matching chair with open wood frames, end tables, TV with Comcast cable (it is a "smart TV" however you must use your own account if you want to log into Netflix, Amazon video, or similar services... the cable is a VERY basic package)
*** Please note that THERE ARE NO SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS IN THE LIVING ROOM, and the sectional sofa and ottoman shown in some photos are no longer here***
Kitchen- 5 burner gas range w/ convection oven, side by side fridge, microwave, automatic drip coffeemaker, Bodum French press, tea kettle, toaster, waffle iron, basic cookware, dinnerware, cutlery, other assorted kitchenware, a fresh kitchen sponge, and 2 dish towels. We also supply potholders and an oven mitt... please do not use the dish towels to remove hot items from the stove top or oven! Please note that the refrigerator is not hooked up to a water line; when we use the house, we buy a bag of ice (or make cubes in the ice trays) and pour it into the bin of the ice maker, which then can be used to dispense cubed or crushed ice thru the door.
Patio- outdoor dining set
Starter supplies of coffee, teabags, creamer, sugar, salt, pepper, coffee filters, napkins, paper towels, trash bags, recycling bags, dish soap, liquid hand soap, shampoo, bath wash, and toilet paper are provided.
Iron and ironing board (stored in closet)
Bed linens- the bed linens may vary from those shown in the photos. Each bed will at minimum have sheets (with a spare set for stays longer than 7 nights), a blanket (which can be found stored in the closet during warmer months), a comforter, and 4 pillows.
Bath linens- for stays of 7 nights or less, we supply a set of 2 bath towels and 2 washcloths per registered guest; also provided are hand towels and a bath mat. We will provide double those amounts for longer stays.
Laundry facilities- none in the house; however, there are several self-serve and drop-off laundries within 2.5 miles or less from the house.
If your traveling party includes children, infants, and/or individuals with mobility issues, please note:
- the home is not child proofed and there may be cleaning chemicals and other potentially hazardous household items that are not out of reach of children; the booking Guest and other adults in the group are responsible for supervising children at all times
- we do not provide cribs, playpens, highchairs, or any other baby gear
- we do not provide toys, games, or other items to keep children entertained
- the home's beds are pretty high; it is the responsibility of the booking Guest to determine prior to booking whether the beds are suitable for the needs of all traveling party members
- there are not grab bars in the bathroom
- the home's toilet (Kohler Rialto) is not an ADA height toilet
Please note that there are some items and areas at the property that guests are not permitted to access as they are reserved for our personal use. Thank you in advance for respecting our privacy, and for ensuring that all traveling party members and invited visitors (including children) also do so. The following areas and items are off limits to guests:
- the outdoor storage shed
- the furnace room
- a small indoor storage room
- the items stored in a few cabinets/drawers/shelves labeled "NOT FOR GUEST USE" that are reserved for our personal use
- anything that is locked
Interaction with Guests
Usually my housemate Lisa answers all Airbnb messages on my account and will be the primary contact during your stay, and you are responsible for contacting us in advance to coordinate a mutually agreeable arrival time.
We schedule check in times between 4 PM and 8 PM. Depending on the circumstances and our schedules, we may agree to schedule a check in later than 8 PM, but this must be requested BEFORE the booking is made.
Either Lisa or I will meet you at the house for check in. Please keep in mind that we will schedule our other obligations and personal plans for the day based on the originally agreed-upon arrival time, and plan your travel schedule accordingly. Contact us ASAP if you encounter any delays that will cause you to arrive over 45 minutes after your scheduled check in time... while we will make an attempt to accommodate the new arrival time, in order to accommodate our other obligations we may need to schedule the new check in time later than you request. Also, if your plans change and you arrive in town earlier than the agreed-upon time, due to our other obligations we often won't be available to meet you earlier and/or may not yet have the house ready for you to check in.
Upon arrival, be prepared to upon request present your unexpired US driver's license (or state-issued ID card, if you don't have a driver's license) or a valid passport, and all other guests 18 years of age or greater must also be prepared to provide the same.
You can contact us any time for emergencies, and can call or text between 9 AM and 9 PM for non-emergency questions or concerns.
During your stay, we may occasionally stop by the property to retrieve items from the storage shed, do some yard work, collect trash, etc. We will only enter the home if we have informed you in advance, if there is an emergency, or if we have reasonable belief that the House Rules or other terms of the booking may have been violated.
Despite being within the Pittsburgh city limits, the home's location feels more secluded than you might expect. It's in a wooded area, near the end of a quiet lane.
Shopping and dining in the East Liberty/Shadyside area and other nearby neighborhoods are just a short drive from the house and include:
-Bakery Square (ZipCar, TechShop, LA Fitness, Jimmy John's, Panera, Coffee Tree Roasters, Anthropologie, Marriott Springhill Suites...and the Pittsburgh location of the internet giant whose name airbnb won't let me post, it comes from its' founders misspelling the word "Googol")
-Village of Eastside Shopping Center (Trader Joe's, McDonald's, Tuesday Morning, Staples, China Garden Buffet)
-A diverse selection of popular Pittsburgh restaurants (BRGR, Casbah, Dinette, Mad Mex, Noodlehead, Paris 66, Plum Pan-Asian Kitchen, Sharp Edge Beer Emporium, NaCl, Pamela's, Smiling Banana Leaf, Soba, Spoon, Sushi Too, Tana Ethiopian Cuisine, Thai Place, Union Pig and Chicken, Verde Mexican Kitchen and Cantina, and more)
One of the great things about Pittsburgh is that most places are within a short drive, as the area encompassed within the city limits is less than 60 sq miles. From the house, most other city neighborhoods are within a 10 to 20 minute drive during non-peak travel times... travel during rush hour can unfortunately double your driving time.
BY BUS (not recommended):
Although the home sits a bit off the the beaten path and offers privacy, the bus stop is a quick 10 minute walk away. However, considering the location of the house in relation to the major bus lines, guests staying here usually prefer to have a vehicle with them, and we also strongly recommend this. If you are intending to rely solely on public transportation during your stay, we would suggest you not book our home. Although it's very easy to get from the house to most places in the city by car within a reasonable time, the bus schedules make it difficult and time consuming to travel from the house to those same places.
TRAVEL DURING THE WINTER:
Guests should keep in mind that it is not uncommon for the Pittsburgh area to experience snow accumulation and icy road conditions at various times between November through March. While we do our best to ensure that the property's driveway and sidewalk are passable at our guests' scheduled arrival time, the lane leading to the driveway is a public roadway, and we obviously have no control over the city's street plowing schedule... please consider this if you are interested in booking during the winter months. We personally haven't had any problems getting in and out during the winter when using a 4WD vehicle, and also so far have been able to get in and out using a front wheel drive vehicle (Toyota Prius), but as they say "YMMV."
Driving distances to some of Pittsburgh's many attractions and world class medical facilities are:
-Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium 2.5 miles
-UPMC St. Margaret Hospital 2.5 miles
-UPMC Shadyside Hospital/UPMC Hillman Cancer Center 3 miles
-UPMC Children's Hospital 3.5 miles
-West Penn Hospital 3.5 miles
-Oakland 4 miles (Pitt, CMU, UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, Western Psych, VA Hospital, Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens)
-Waterworks Mall 4 miles (Waterworks Cinema, Wal-Mart, Old Navy, Barnes & Noble, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Bed Bath & Beyond, Giant Eagle, Burgatory, Thai Place, Eat'n Park, Chili's Grill & Bar, Five Guys Famous Burger & Fries, & more)
-Strip District 5 miles (Heinz History Center, the original Primanti Brothers location, Penn Mac, Wholey's Seafood, Stan's Produce, various restaurants & ethnic markets, great street food...a veritable foodie paradise!
-Fox Chapel Racket Club 5.7 miles
-Fox Chapel Golf Club 6.3 miles
-Shady Side Academy Senior School 6.4 miles
-Downtown/Cultural District 6.5 miles
-The Waterfront 6.5 miles (AMC Loews Theatre, The Improv, Costco, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, DSW Shoes, Macy's, Men's Wearhouse, Old Navy, Victoria's Secret, Bar Louie, Bravo Cucina Italiana, Dave & Buster's, Mitchell's Fish Market, P.F. Chang's, Rock Bottom Brewery, Yokoso Japanese Steak House, lots of other shopping & restaurants)
-Hill District/Uptown 6.5 miles (Consul Energy Center, UPMC Mercy, Duquesne University)
-David L. Lawrence Convention Center 6.7 miles
-Sandcastle Water Park 7 miles
-Kennywood Park 8 miles (the world famous Thunderbolt & 5 other roller coasters, Potato Patch Fries, & Kiddie Land for the little ones!)
-Oakmont Country Club 8.5 miles
-North Shore/North Side 9 miles (PNC Park, Heinz Field, Rivers Casino, Allegheny General Hospital, Andy Warhol Museum, Carnegie Science Center, National Aviary, Children's Museum, Stage AE)
-Pittsburgh International Airport 27 miles
DAY TRIP IDEAS:
While in town, you may want to consider visiting Fayette County to tour Fallingwater &/or Kentuck Knob, both designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The drive to Fallingwater is a little over 60 miles, and Kentuck Knob is about 6 miles from there. While in Fayette County, you may also enjoy visiting Ohiopyle State Park (waterfalls, white water rafting, kayaking, biking, hiking, picnic area, natural water slide), Laurel Caverns, or Fort Necessity National Battlefield and Jumonville Glen (French & Indian War sites).
Other Things to Note
Additional fees may apply for any the following:
- requests for early check in or late check out (please note that these are rarely available, due to the home's availability and our schedule)
- failure to depart by the scheduled check out time
- failure to notify us of check out (via text, email, or the Airbnb messaging system) within 15 minutes of the actual time of departure.
Although we sometimes accept bookings for 2 night stays, we prefer stays of 3 nights or longer during certain high-demand dates. During weekends/holidays/special event periods we may require longer minimum stays or may agree to a short stay for an additional surcharge.
To avoid misunderstandings and disappointment RE: pricing, please note that:
- our posted nightly rates vary (see calendar for pricing, those amounts are the base rates for up to 2 guests)
- there are additional nightly charges for each extra guest (regardless of age)
- there is also a cleaning fee
- Airbnb charges the guest a service fee
- our weekly rates also vary
- rates can be seen when you enter your dates and the number of guests in your traveling party (keep in mind that if you are requesting a stay of less than 3 nights, in some cases there may be a surcharge, as mentioned above, and the Airbnb system does not give us the option to have them display the surcharge... in such a case, we will send a Special Offer that will reflect the added surcharge amount)
If you have any questions about the rate (for stays of less than a month) displayed once you have entered the dates and the correct number of guests, contact us for clarification BEFORE you submit a booking request. Once we have accepted a booking request, no pricing adjustments will be made.
Although our "No Pets" policy isn't negotiable, there are several boarding kennels within a 1.5 to 2 mile drive from the house: 2 that accept dogs only are on Washington Blvd (The Dog Stop and Camp Bow Wow) and 1 that accepts dogs and cats is on Fifth Ave (Golden Bone Pet Resort). Again, under no circumstances do we allow any pets to be brought onto the property.
- We schedule check ins between 4 PM and 8 PM, and we require that you inform us of your expected arrival time at least 7 days prior to arrival date (or immediately upon booking, if reservation starts in less than 7 days); this is to be done via the Airbnb messaging system.
- Unless we agree in advance to a later arrival time, YOU MUST ARRIVE FOR CHECK IN BY 8 PM on the scheduled arrival date. If we agree to a later arrival time, we will send a message to Guestyou via Airbnb's messaging system to document our agreement.
- CHECK OUT TIME IS BY NO LATER THAN 11 AM, unless we agree to allow a later check out. Any request for a late check out must be sent to us via Airbnb and must be made at least 24 hours prior to the already scheduled check out time. If we agree to a later check out time, we will send a message to you via Airbnb's messaging system to document our agreement and any conditions &/or additional charges that will apply.
- Before you book, please make sure your check in and check out dates are firm, fixed, and not subject to change. No refunds will be given for early departures or shortened stays.
- If you cancel your booking, eligibility for any refund will be strictly as specified by the listed cancellation policy.
- ABSOLUTELY NO ACCESS WILL BE PROVIDED TO OTHERS IF YOU (the guest whose account was used to make the booking) ARE NOT PRESENT FOR CHECK IN. We will not provide the keys to anyone else.
- Reservations cannot be made on behalf of another person; the Guest whose account was used to make the reservation must be part of the traveling party and must remain in residence throughout the reserved period.
- ABSOLUTELY NO SMOKING OR OTHER TOBACCO USE IS PERMITTED INSIDE THE HOUSE!
- The "NO PETS" policy is not open to negotiation.
- Guest must obtain advance permission to at any time invite, entertain, or host anywhere on the property more than 4 visitors who are not accounted for in their reservation. Such permission must be received before the additional visitors are permitted to set foot onto the property. If we agree to more than this specified number of visitors, we will send a message to Guest via Airbnb's messaging system to document our agreement and to document the number of additional guests that we are permitting and the time frame for which such permission shall be in effect. Reasonable requests will be considered, but in no case will large gatherings be permitted, nor will overnight occupancy greater than 6 be permitted (this number includes children, regardless of their age). ALL VISITORS NOT INCLUDED IN THE RESERVATION MUST VACATE THE PROPERTY BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 11 PM AND 9 AM.
- Recycling is MANDATORY in the City of Pittsburgh.
- Failure to comply with the House Rules and/or conditions included in the listing and in the House Manual will result in forfeiture of your security deposit. If we discover the violation prior to the end of your reservation period, it will also result in immediate cancellation of the remainder of your stay, and no refund shall be given for any unused nights.
- The House Manual will be fully visible to you after your booking has been accepted (it will be included in your Itinerary). Many of the conditions in the House Manual are easy to follow instructions and other things that should be done as a matter of basic courtesy and common sense... unfortunately we now feel the need to specifically include them as a requirement, due to the lack of consideration and respect that a few prior guests have shown for us and our home. If you would like me to message you a copy of the House Manual before you decide to book, let me know (it will not include a few things that are included in the actual House Manual that shows on the Itinerary that is provided to confirmed guests... things like our phone #'s, the home's full address, WiFi login info, and any other items that would compromise our privacy or the security of the home).
- If you choose to book without first asking for a copy of the House Manual, you do so with the full understanding and acknowledgement that you are still wholly responsible for abiding by the conditions in the House Manual, along with all conditions that are included in the property's listing and these House Rules. As the booking Guest, you are also fully responsible for ensuring that all members of your traveling party and any guests/visitors you have on the property also abide by them, and you are also fully responsible for the actions of and/or any damages caused by yourself or by such individuals while they are on the property.
- You as the booking Guest may be required to sign off on a copy of the House Rules and House Manual when you check in.
- The Guest who made the reservation is responsible for ensuring that all traveling party members and all other guests/visitors adhere to these House Rules and to all conditions specified in the listing and in the House Manual.
The Dome worked out to be a great spot for our weekend visit to Pittsburgh. My fiancé and I love to stay in unique homes and this did not disappoint. The home was pretty much exactly like the pictures, very clean, lots of kitchen appliances which made preparing dinner very easy. As stated in the profile, it is best if you have a car as it is not walking distance to stores or downtown. However the location worked out well for us and it was very easy to get into the downtown area. Lisa was easy to communicate with and met us at the house to let us in on Friday afternoon. After a detailed tour, we were on our own for the weekend with no problems. The things you always look for in a place - cleanliness, hot showers, comfortable bed and unique décor were all there. I would recommend this Dome to anyone looking for a new experience.
We were greeted with a thorough introduction of the Dome and all of our question were answered. This place is very unique and surprisingly peaceful for the populated area it sits in. The kitchen had plenty of equipment to cook full meals on both nights. The downtown area of Pittsburgh is short drive away with beautiful views of the river.
We loved the dome! My only regret is that we couldn't have stayed longer. Lisa was gracious and flexible in meeting us to let us in and went above and beyond to make us feel welcome -- both in the home and in Pittsburgh.
The kitchen was really great, and we especially loved the stove. The beds were super comfortable, too.
Our visit to Pittsburgh coincided with a lot of snow and ice and we were pleasantly surprised to find that the driveway had been plowed on the night we were out late. The roads were a little treacherous because there was so much ice, but we were provided with sufficient salt to be able to get ourselves out of the house with little trouble. The dome house looked spectacular in the snow.
We'd love to come back and visit!
There were six of us that stayed in the Dome Valentines weekend. Despite the higher price, due to it being Valentine's weekend, it was still a great value for what was offered. Upon arrival, the Dome appeared quite small, but once inside, it was actually quite roomy for 6 adults. The beds were very comfortable and the house was stocked with everything that we could have needed. The patio area looked like a great place to take in the views, unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating. We were pleasantly surprised when shortly after the snow began to fall, there were men outside shoveling the driveway and walkways, so we didn't have to brave the cold. Overall, it was a great experience.
Our host greeted us and explained the house to us. We felt welcomed. The Immediate area around the house seemed ok, but some of the neighborhoods adjacent to the location were sketchy with boarded up windows and bars on the windows and tags. The Street may become impassible if there is significant snow or ice. Overall we enjoyed our stay in this unique home that was an architectural adventure a half century ago.
Lisa was easy to communicate and welcoming. The dome was also generally as described.
It seems there are a few negative reviews for the place. If staying in a truly unique space with a lot of bedrooms for the price is your priority, you won't be disappointed. If you want a more traditional and centrally located experience, look elsewhere. Personally, I won't be staying in the dome again but certainly don't regret my decision to spend four nights in it.
This host has 127 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
Hi this is Azhar Leeton, but everyone just calls me Lee. I'm a very easy going and friendly host. Various green development projects are my passion, and my goal is to build the most sustainable house in the country.
I'm on the advisory board of EECO Center (Energy and Environmental Community Out-reach Center) spearheaded by Senator Jim Ferlo. I've also volunteered for many different organizations including UN, UNICEF, Red Cross, local food bank, etc.
I have a 5 bedroom/4 bathroom house (including one room with its own private en suite bathroom), with plenty of off-street parking spaces. My home is conveniently located in the middle of all the amenities Pittsburgh's East End has to offer. You can rent individual or multiple rooms, depending on availability.
I also have a very unique home, a Yaca-Dome (we call it "the Igloo"), that is usually available only as a whole house rental. With 3 bedrooms, the home can accommodate up to 6 guests. The Igloo offers a relaxing, private setting while still being within the city limits and close to all the great amenities and attractions Pittsburgh has to offer. Please note that this home's location is not a good choice for guests who plan to walk or rely on public transportation... I strongly suggest that guests here have access to a vehicle.
I've already added numerous green features to my houses, such as an in-floor radiant heating system (in the 1st floor and basement of the 5 bedroom house), changed all the lighting to LED & CFL bulbs, low flow water fixtures, etc. I plan to use part of my Airbnb earnings to add more green features. Ultimately, a Net-Zero house is my goal. So please consider booking my places for all your needs, and tell your friends about them.
Thank you very much for your time,