• ‘Flying saucer' house crashes down to earth in demolition

    By: Berndt Petersen


    FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. - The famed "Flying saucer" house of Forsyth county came crashing down to earth Wednesday. 

    A demolition crew is tearing down the Barker House at the top of Sawnee Mountain.

    Channel 2’s Berndt Peterson was at the home along Tower Road where tractors turned the home into 325-ton pile of concrete and steel.

    The home belonged to architect Jim Barker, best known for designing hundreds of churches across the south.

    "It's a marvel. It really is. I'm blessed to have the opportunity to tear it down,” said contractor Newman Smith. 


    Forsyth County bought the house and the 13 acres it sat on in 2003 for nearly $2 million.

    While there was an intent to preserve it, local officials say trespassers, vandals and the high cost of making it “wheelchair accessible” spoiled the plan. 

    “It doesn't seem like the best use of taxpayer's money, to buy that and now just be tearing it down,” Smith said.

    Petersen spoke with the owner's niece, Pam Averso, who said it's one of the hardest things

    It was built by well-known church architect Jim Barker in the 1970s.
    It was built by well-known church architect Jim Barker in the 1970s.
    her family has ever had to deal with.

    "It's just of untold proportions, that something so beautiful and such an incredible work of art, is having to be demolished like this," she said.

    In about 10 days, the pile will be a bare patch of ground to make it part of the county's trail system.

    It's not what Averso hoped for because the Barker house was her family home.

    "Not just because he was my uncle and I had so much fun at this house---but it really was a work of art," she said.



    Next Up: