Travelers along U.S. Highway 191 in Southwestern Utah are amazed to discover this historic 5,000 square foot home which began taking shape almost a century ago by the Christensen family. What began as a small alcove for the young Christensen boys to sleep in at night grew into a man-made engineering marvel 20 years in the making. A fireplace with a 65′ chimney,14 rooms arranged around huge pillars and a deep bathtub built into the rock delight visitors who visit this most unusual home in the dessert. Original furnishings, Alberta’s paintings, Gladys’s doll collection and many of the tools used to create this home remind you of the past.
In a 12 year period Albert excavated 50,000 cubic feet of sandstone from the rock. During this time he completed his famous painting Sermon on the Mount and his sculpture of Franklin D. Roosevelt on the face of the rock above his home.
When Albert died in 1957, the home was not complete. Gladys’s in keeping with his wishes & lifelong dreams continued to develop the property, opening a gift shop and giving tours of her home until she passed away in 1974. Gladys is laid to rest next to Albert in a small cove within the rock near the home.(*)
This location has been a travelers’ resting place for two centuries. Beginning in 1829, horse teams on the Old Spanish Trail between Santa Fe and California stopped here for the abundant spring water and shade. After the settlement of Mormon Pioneers, stage coaches traveling between Moab and Monticello stayed here overnight.
Early in the 20th century, the Christensen family of Monticello homesteaded 80 acres here. They blasted out a small cave in the rock where cowboys camped as they drove their stock toward the Colorado River. In 1945, brothers Leo and Albert Christensen expanded the cave and opened “American’s most unique dining room.” The Hole N” The Rock Diner was a watering hole for uranium miners and car tourists until 1955.
The Christensens continued to excavate the cave until it reached its current size of 5000 square feet. Take a ten-minute guided tour of this unique and spectacular 14-room home as millions have done since 1957.