A 3-bedroom house in Olympic Drive, Houston, Texas has just gone on the market for $725,000 (US). So? Well, strategically positioned in the back yard is a substantial, piano-shaped swimming pool, complete with 88 “note” tiled keyboard, and a treble clef motif on the bottom.
There can be few more audacious statements as to one’s love of the instrument, than to have a piano-shaped swimming pool constructed in the middle of your garden .
The Swimming Pools of the Rich and Famous
Probably the most famous such pool was the one Liberace installed at his Sherman Oaks (Los Angeles) home in the mid-1950s.
In fact the world famous pianist had this whole house designed along a musical theme, with staves and notes featuring throughout. Unfortunately, the property directly fronted Valley Vista Boulevard, and was too accessible to his fans (and those less happy with his homosexuality), so he moved to Palm Springs, leaving his mother and brother to live there.
Another Palm Springs resident, a certain Frank Sinatra, also had a piano-shaped pool. Sinatra arrived in 1947 and had a stunning pool constructed to the rear of his purpose-built modernist mansion. This was the first recorded piano-shaped swimming pool.
Today Sinatra’s exclusive Twin Palms Estate is available to rent for weddings, corporate events. etc., as well as a tv/film location.
In 1956, Ray Charles had an 6,500 square foot home built on Southridge Avenue, View Park, Los Angeles. The obligatory pool was not only piano shaped but had an outline of a grand piano engraved on the bottom. Sadly this pool no longer exists.
Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee 1987-built home in Calabasas, California also features a piano-shaped pool, and includes a spa and a waterfall feature. Lee put this house up for sale in 2017 for $5 million.
Probably the largest piano shaped pool can be found at the Disney’s All-Star Music resort at Lake Buena Vista Florida. The 106,000 gallon pool features an 88-note keyboard made from small black and white tiles.
By contrast, the Paboreal Boutique Hotel on Palawan Island in the Philippines has one of the smallest. The hotel provides a beautiful 5-¼ octave (baby?) grand shaped pool for the use of their guests.
Several other hotels and apartment blocks around the world have their own piano-shaped pool. These include two in Malaysia; one in Kuching, and another at the A’ Famosa Resort. But considering the countless pools in existence, their number is surprisingly few.
If you know of others, please add a comment at the bottom of the page, and if you have photos we can include those too.
So, getting back to the stimulus for this piece, if you are looking for a new home in Houston, and are keen to ostentationusly express your love of “the king of instruments”, then $725,000 could make that dream come true.