Imagine a house that would clean itself. Who wouldn't want that? Frances Gabe, an inventive woman tired of housework set out to design and build such a house. 

From left to right: Paul Benson, Bev Benson, Frances Gabe (91 at the time), Lily Benson, Greg Benson. August 2007.

From left to right: Paul Benson, Bev Benson, Frances Gabe (91 at the time), Lily Benson, Greg Benson. August 2007.

In 2007, our family visited her self-cleaning house in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon. The concept of a self-cleaning house is great. The actual house was anything but sparkling clean. Still Gabe deserves credit for seeking a way to free women from the drudgery of cleaning.

Years after our visit, my daughter Lily Benson, created an animated video inspired by Gabe's self-cleaning house.

Today's NY Times has an article telling Gabe's story. One of my photos is part of the article and my daughter Lily Benson is quoted in the story.  

The exterior of Frances Gabe's self-cleaning house.

The exterior of Frances Gabe's self-cleaning house.

Ms. Benson, the artist, recalled her surprise on seeing it a decade ago.“It was really cluttered: newspapers, books, clothes — just general household clutter,” she said. “It was kind of shocking, because I expected to be in the cleanest house of my life.”

Sprinkler head in the ceiling of the living room. A drain is located below and all of the furnishings are plastic covered and waterproof.

Sprinkler head in the ceiling of the living room. A drain is located below and all of the furnishings are plastic covered and waterproof.

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