Richard Garriott has done a lot of things in his life, and along the way, he has collected a lot of stuff. Loot, actually, as Polygon’s Brian Crecente put it to the legendary video game developer. Known as Lord British from his Ultima days, Garriott has also made a name for himself for spending his accrued designer/programmer fortune on eccentric oddities like automatons, trips to space, and absolutely bonkers homes, the latest of which Crecente took a video tour of.
His last home was called Britannia Manor II and it featured secret passages, a museum’s worth of ancient mathematical texts and scientific instruments, and a fully functional astronomical observatory. It was massive, and had every right to be seeing as how it had a whole bunch of North Austin, Texas land to fill. Stuck in the sprawling hills around Lake Travis, Garriott had all the room he wanted to do whatever crazy thing he thought worth doing, including throwing an incredibly lavish and nonsensical preview event for Tabula Rasa.
That, however, was sold in 2011 and Garriott has since moved on to New York City. It is mostly and recently finished, so Garriott took Crecente of Polygon on a tour of his humble abode. As you probably know, Manhattan, the new location for the storied game creator, is not famous for large expanses of open land. That didn’t, however, stop him from expanding and filling every bit of space he could upwards, downwards, and sideways. He lowered the floor in the basement, inserted more secret passageways, and even took over a sidewalk vault for his wine cellar.
There’s a shelf chronicling the history of the universe full of fossils, mummy remains, and space paraphernalia. There’s a lot of space artifacts, actually, including one of two remaining, unlaunched Sputnik-2s that can still broadcast and an original Sputnik-1 hanging in his skylight. I guess he’s getting for when he moves onto his little patch of Moon property.
Basically, what I’m saying is that Garriott really knows how to design a house.