Igloo house

IGLOO: The igloo-shaped house on Highway 109 outside of Wahoo was built by Ray and Char Cada, who still ilve there. Over a thousand people have stopped by to visit the unique residence in the nearly 50 years since Ray Cada built the structure. (Staff Photos by Chris Legband)

WAHOO – Travelers on Highway 109 slow down just to get a glimpse.

A glimpse of a house that resembles an igloo but is not like your typical house.

Ray and Char Cada of Wahoo have lived on the property for nearly half of a century but didn’t start out with what they refer to as their ‘dome house.”

Technically a monolithic dome is a structure that is cast in a one piece form. Monolithic is a Greek word that means one stone.

Ray said he was curious about them after seeing one in Salt Lake City.

“I got the plans but they sat on the shelf for a couple months,” he said. “I asked Char if she would live in a house like that and she said she would.”

“I’ll try anything once,” she said.

The first week of October the building began. Snow delayed things a bit and then the holidays came.

Eventually it was ready and they moved in.

“Our house is four thousand square feet,” he said. “It’s more comfortable because there isn’t a ceiling hanging over your head.”

Both Ray and Char agreed that the design possibilities were wide open.

“It might seem strange at first, but the open floor plan allows you to put and move walls nearly anywhere,” he said.

Ray also said that the openings that occur within the construction of the dome allow for large windows to the outside which ultimately brings in a ton of natural light.

High school sweethearts, Ray and Chair moved to the property in 1969 and lived in the existing farm house on the property until they outgrew it which happened five kids later.

Char said initially her young daughter who was in third grade at the time was very embarrassed. She grew to accept it and they thought it was “pretty neat.”

Ray said when his kids were in high school it was definitely the place for the kids to gather.

“It was the party house,” he said.

Over the years Ray said they get an occasional curious traveler who stops to look but when the home was first built it was different.

“In the beginning we had a guest book,” he said. “We’ve had over a thousand people stop to look over the years. Some from as far as New York.”

Ray said he believes the dome homes are very rare not only in Nebraska but across the country.

“I only know of one other house like this that is in Burwell, they use it for a bed and breakfast,” he said. “I recently heard someone in Central City was going to build one. There aren’t very many in the entire country.”

Ray said the dome homes to not even compare to a traditional home when it comes to endurance and safety.

“They not only withstand deterioration, but can survive in the path of Mother Nature’s destructive forces such as earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes.”

Although Ray loves the comfort and safety of his family home, he knows that his lifestyle is one of a kind.

“While you don’t usually see these houses all lined up on a regular city street, however every community that could potentially be hit with natural disasters would be smart to put a large dome structure near their town where they can seek shelter,” he said.

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