The Legendary 'Steel House' by Famed Sculptor Robert Bruno Hits Market for $1.75 Million

Sculptor Robert Bruno standing inside the interior of the home; A photo of the exterior of "The Steel House"
C. Bartosh

In September, the current owners told Inside Edition Digital that they had the opportunity to purchase the property.

There’s a house in Ransom Canyon, Texas, known as “The Steel House,” created by sculptor Robert Bruno. The rust-colored home that stands on four legs and looks like a spaceship or an amoeba is hard to miss.

Bruno built the 2,200-square-foot house in 1974 that was made entirely out of salvaged pieces of Cor-ten steel. It was a lifelong passion and one that started in 1973, when he began sketching out plans on scraps of paper, according to critics.

For 34 years, Bruno worked on the home, located on a ridge in Lubbock, Texas. Some say it was his ‘tour de force.” Bruno said himself that he was in no rush to finish it. 

He did the welding and the stained glass. He had even built his own hydraulic crane for construction, reported.

The interior of the home features many unique twists and turns, like the stairs that lead up and down the three levels. The space features a kitchen, three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, an office, lounge area, and living room that offers majestic views of Lake Ransom Canyon. The entrance of the home is via a second-floor gangplank.

“Nothing in this house is square,” said Henry Martinez, the caretaker of the home who worked with Bruno for more than two decades, Chinews previously reported. 

In 2015, architecture critic Mark Lamster of the  Dallas Morning News published a story on Bruno’s works titled “Unfinished.”

Lamster said that Bruno, who was an accomplished furniture and jewelry designer as well, will  “forever be identified as the designer of the Steel House.”

“He came to architecture by accident and had no formal training in that profession. He was a sculptor by trade and by inclination,” Lamster said.

Lamster, wrote, “the inspiration for the Steel House was a sculpture Bruno had made two years earlier, also of weathering steel but with a burnt orange patina.”

He said that before his death he arranged for majority ownership to pass to Martinez, whom he described as “a loyal employee” who had worked for Bruno’s company since 1986.

“It was a move that friends describe as typical of his generosity,” Lamster wrote as told by Martinez. “He’d give his shirt off his back to you.”

Over the decades, “The Steel House,” has been a fascination with the public. 

Martinez told Lamster that residents used to be “very suspicious of it but now take pride in it,” he explained.

“Lubbock doesn’t have many nice things, except Buddy Holly,” he said.

Martinez said that Bruno, who was also a professor at Texas Tech College of Architecture, loved to do photoshoots in the home and enjoyed showing off the house to his architecture students, and travel writers visiting the home and writing about it.

In 2013, the home was featured on the cover of Vogue, as part of its futuristic issue, the News reported.  

Though “The Steel House,” remained unfinished,  Bruno reportedly moved into the home and lived in it before his death in 2008.

Bruno was once quoted as saying his motivation behind the home was “really to do something that has some aesthetic value,” Lamster wrote. 

“I’m not particularly concerned about having a house,” Bruno said. “I build it because I like doing sculpture.

“The Steel House,” which has been described as “biomorphic,” is estimated to weigh 110 tons, reported. 

Mark Gunderson, architect, student, and friend of the late artist said that the home was Bruno’s “life’s work,” according to the news outlet.

Gunderson explained that Bruno “found it ridiculous that architects conceived of something and drew it and then gave it to somebody else to build,” he said, “and that this all had to be done on a sheet of paper and you never had a chance to revisit it.”

Gunderson said the home needs a special caretaker. 

“This house deserves a benefactor or foundation that will give it the care and attention it needs. A loss for the real estate market would be incomprehensible and tragic.”

Bruno’s daughter, Christina Bruno, who lives out of state and wanted to keep the house in the family, had later reversed her decision,

In September, realtors Blake and Courtney Bartosh of The Bartosh Realty Group told Inside Edition Digital that they had the opportunity to purchase the property.

“It was an investment property for us,” Blake said. 

Earlier this month, the couple placed the house on the market for $1.75 million.

“We want to test the waters,” Blake said. “The ideal buyer is someone who would come in and do exactly what we want to do and turn the property into a vacation rental, and Airbnb, or a museum.”

He added: “We don’t just want to sell it to anyone." 

"We want the house to be able to be open to the public,” he said. “The architecture is so amazing so breathtaking we just want people to experience it.”

According to a report, the $1.75 million prices is higher than any other property in its Ransom Canyon neighborhood.

The taxable value of the house was listed by the Lubbock Central Appraisal District as $110,273, KXAN reported.

Courtney Bartosh said enthusiastically, "It is one of a kind. There is nothing like it out there. Who else can say they live inside a sculpture?”

“The detail inside the house is jaw-dropping. Everything is made out of steel. Everything,” she said. “There is a main view in the living room that is incredible.”

Currently, Blake said the couple is in the process of doing a cash-out refinance. “We want to be able to do all the necessary work the house needs,” Blake said. “When Robert left it was not finished. We are going to finish it.”

Right now the couple spends their free time enjoying the home and discovering new things about it that they share on social media.

In October, they created a Facebook group called “The Robert Bruno Steel House VRBO.” On the site, they share photos and interact with other lovers of art and architecture.

“When we were cleaning the house we found a binder full of early pictures of the house when it was under construction,” Blake said.

Blake said they also found a few plaster sculptures in one of the rooms. One had been encased in glass.

Courtney has also created several TikTok videos showing the interiors of the home with the tagline: “Purchase the coolest house in the world,” and “Watch the Bruno house come to life.” 

When the couple officially became the owners of such an iconic home, the described the feeling to Inside Edition Digital as “surreal.” 

“We tell everyone it is a godsend,” Blake said. “We love the property. It is just breathtaking. We want people to experience it.”

Blake said their two children, ages, 4 and 8, are just as excited as the acquisition, as they are. He said they call the house "the spaceship.”

Blake added: “We love spending time in the house, and daydreaming about what it is going to become.” 

For any information on the home contact Courtney Bartosh from The Bartosh Realty Group at Taylor Reid Realty at 806-781-9476 or email 

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