Fred, Dino And The First Amendment
Civic leaders in Hillsborough, California, clearly are not in touch with their inner 7-year-old, judging from their churlish reaction to a collection of dinosaur statues in their community. But their campaign to rein in the “Flintstone House” is likely to fail.
The town sued homeowner Florence Fang in March, alleging that she violated local laws through her landscaping choices. The home itself dates from the 1970s, and its distinctive shape is visible from Interstate 280. Fang, the former publishers of the San Francisco Examiner, purchased the property in 2017. She subsequently added large metal sculptures of dinosaurs and characters from “The Flintstones,” as well as a staircase, a parking strip, a retaining wall, a deck and a sign with Fred Flintstone’s catchphrase marking the driveway.
The Flintstone House was already a Bay Area landmark, notable for its unusual shape and its purple and orange paint job (which predates Fang’s ownership). Fang decided to make the property her own. Besides the aforementioned Flintstones characters and dinosaurs, she installed eye-grabbing lawn decorations including a giraffe, a mammoth and dozens of colorful mushrooms. She uses the property as a “personal retreat,” as well as a venue for hosting parties and charitable events.