In 1984, the legendary Osterville architect of underground homes, John Barnard Jr., followed his one-of-a-kind 1970s-era Ecology I home in Marstons Mills by building Ecology II, a bermed earth-shelter home with a ceiling of steel-reinforced concrete. A model of energy efficiency inspired by the oil crisis, the home faces south for maximum sun exposure. The home’s geothermal heat/cool pump exchange system draws on the earth and outside air temperatures, and in turn, helps save on energy costs. Located on Wheeler Road off of Race Lane, this popular house set on two acres is known as a local treasure among neighbors. Current homeowners Alex and Doris Bally—the first owners of this eclectic home who are not related to the Barnard family—have enjoyed living in this cozy three-bedroom, two-bath home for the past eight years. The Barnards kept the house within the family for as long as they could before selling it to the town of Barnstable who then sold it to Alex and Doris. John Barnard Jr. died in 1999, but luckily his stunning and unique architectural style remains here on the Cape.
—Whitney Kae Thalheimer