Dome Sweet Dome! (Yaca-Dome)

House - Entire home/apt · Olivant Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15206, United States

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! But we just call it "The Igloo."

Your host, Azhar
19 Reviews
Response rate: 100%
Response time: within a few hours

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! But we just call it "The Igloo."

The Space

This unique home was built in 1969 by Pittsburgh native Joseph Yacoboni, who received a US Patent in 1975 for the construction method. Yaca-Domes were mentioned in the January 1975 issue of Popular Science. 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.

Guest Access

Features of the Igloo include:
WiFi throughout the house (works on the patio, too)
Central heat/AC
Bedroom 1- King size bed, nightstand with lamp, chest of drawers, chair, side table with lamp, clock radio, closet, and ceiling fan.
Bedroom 2- Queen size bed, bedside table with lamp, chest of drawers, chair, small side table, floor lamp, clock radio, closet, and ceiling fan.
Bedroom 3- 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, small stool, and a hamper basket for used towels
Living room- 50" Samsung plasma HDTV with Comcast cable, large sectional sofa
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 2 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/conditioner, bath wash, and toilet paper are provided.
Iron and ironing board (stored in Master bedroom 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 closets 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 (1 per night booked) and 2 bath mats. 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 are 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 that are reserved for our personal use
- anything that is locked

Interaction with Guests

Our standard process is to meet guests at the house for check in, Our standard process is to meet guests at the apartment for check in (usually my housemate Lisa is who meets guests, and she is also who usually answers all Airbnb messages on my account and is the primary contact during guest stays), and guest is responsible for contacting us in advance to coordinate a mutually agreeable arrival time. Guests must contact us ASAP if they will be arriving more than 45 minutes after the agreed upon arrival time, as we may in such cases not be able to be at the house then and will reschedule the check in time. Please note that we schedule check in times between 4 PM and 8 PM, and check out time is by no later than 11 AM. PLEASE NOTE that early check in or late check out is rarely available, due to the home's availability and our schedule. Depending on the circumstances and our schedule, check in later than 8 PM may be permitted on a case by case basis. We require that guests inform us of their expected arrival time at least 7 days prior to the arrival date (or immediately upon booking, if the reservation starts in less than 7 days).
We also require that guests complete the check out process by notifying us via text or the Airbnb messaging system within 15 minutes of their actual departure.

Guests 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 guests' stays, 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 the guest 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.

The Neighborhood

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)
-Whole Foods
-Giant Eagle
-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)

Getting around

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.

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 (site of PGA 's 2014 Constellation Senior Tour Championship 6/26-6/29)
-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)
-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

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 very modest cleaning fee
- Airbnb charges the guest a service fee
- our weekly and monthly 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)

If you have any questions about the rate 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.

Disclosure: My hobby is beekeeping, and I do have a small hive on the property. We and our guests have not had any issues with them, as bees tend to leave humans alone unless disturbed.

Room type: Entire home/apt
Accommodates: 6
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 1
Beds: 3
Extra people: $15 / night after 2 guests
Minimum Stay: 2 nights
Weekly Price: $800 /week
Monthly Price: $3000 /month
Security Deposit: $300
Cleaning Fee: $25
Check In: 4:00 PM
Check Out: 11:00 AM
Cancellation: Strict
Overall Guest Satisfaction
Check In
  • Lisa was really sweet and gave us a ton of great pointers for the area and the state. The inside of the house was very clean and is actually a very very cool place to stay, we have 2 young kids so we had to do a tad bit of outdoor clean up but we didnt mind. The street is quiet, almost cottage like, and across the street is another really cool designed house. The neighbourhood just off of Olivant Place seems a bit rough, and may be an acquired taste for some, but it didnt phase our family of 4 too much. Its a bit desolate, and while I wouldnt recommend walking through, it does make for a very interesting drive. Highland park which is VERY close is a beautiful area, with amazing parks for kids, coffee shops, etc. Overall its a very cool house and city to visit. We'd definitely go back and stay in the dome.

    June 2014
  • Lisa was very nice and always responsive when we contacted her. The location is not close to the main attractions of the city, but nothing is a very far drive to get to. The setting almost feels bucolic. I would recommend this to anyone who doesn't need to be right in the middle of the city.

    May 2014
  • Was in Pittsburgh for son's graduation. Lisa met us at the prescribed time and was very helpful in describing the immediate area and amenities. Overall the "Igloo" was as described...unique, spacious, and in a quiet location. It was close to everything that we were looking for.

    Lisa was quick to respond to any inquiry and was a very gracious host. Will stay again if given the opportunity!

    April 2014
  • My family had a wonderful stay in Pittsburgh at the Dome. The hosts were very accommodating to our needs (we needed to arrive earlier than expected to get ready for a wedding) and friendly in all interactions. The home was excellent for a family, allowing for everyone to have some privacy while at the same time providing a great area for family activities. We used the house as a home base to see some great Pittsburgh landmarks like the zoo, the Carnegie Science Center, the Carnegie Natural History Museum, the Andy Warhol Museum, and go to a Pirates game. We were close (a 10 minute drive) to restaurants and grocery shopping so we could switch between meals at home and meals out. My kids are still bragging to their friends how they spent spring break in a dome!

    April 2014
  • This was a unique house and experience. We all enjoyed the stay and would book here again.

    April 2014
  • The dome is a wonderful place! Lisa was a great communicator and very friendly. She was a lovely host and offered tips on fun things for us to do in Pittsburgh. The house is a showstopper and we enjoyed our stay immensely. Also, having a driveway to park my car in the city gave me peace of mind. The dome had everything we needed, was very clean, safe and comfortable. Thank you again, Lisa and Lee!

    February 2014
  • The dome was a home away from home. The accommodations were comfortable especially the beds. It was nice to have access to a well stocked kitchen to have breakfast in and the coffee maker made good coffee! The dome stayed warm even in single digit temperatures. One does need a car and know how to drive in the snow. The dome made for great conversation causing others to look it up on the internet. Liza was a great hostess. We enjoyed our stay and the snow!

    February 2014
  • Place was great! Was in town for the broadway show WICKED! Had a day off so a few friends and I stayed here for two nights. It was exactly what we needed and had everything we needed for cooking and just hanging out! The dome is very cool and made it the day off even more interesting! We were greeted upon check in and got all the info we needed and more! Would totally recommend staying here!

    January 2014
  • We had a GREAT time at the Yaca-Dome! Lisa and Lee were great hosts and the place is wonderfully eclectic. Even though it is in the city, it is very secluded. At the same time, it is really close to some great shopping and eating. It took us just a few minutes to get anywhere. It is tastefully decorated and provided us all with plenty of room (two adults and four kids) to play, relax, and live.

    The big highlight for me was the deer that live in the area. We pulled in one night and saw three right around the house. Beautiful!

    I would definitely recommend the Yaca-Dome to anyone interested in a unique visit to the world's greatest city! Lisa and Lee were helpful, courteous, and offered great information on the house and the city.

    Thanks for a wonderful experience!


    December 2013
  • The dome house was a great place to stay and so interesting and fun. It had everything we needed and was 10 minutes from Shadyside, so an excellent location. You do need a car to get around from there, but it's worth it and you'll generally need a car in Pittsburgh anyway.

    November 2013
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Bengali, English
CUNY John Jay
GreenPitt, Inc.
Hi this is Azhar Leeton, but everyone just calls me Lee. I'm a very easy going and friendly host. I'm a real estate developer, and various green development projects are my passion. 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, Lee
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