A Rare Frank Lloyd Wright-Designed California Home Sells for $22 Million | Kanebridge News
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A Rare Frank Lloyd Wright-Designed California Home Sells for $22 Million

The ship-like house is the only one of its kind by the architect on the ocean

Wed, Feb 22, 2023 9:29amGrey Clock 3 min

A significant Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif., has sold for its asking price of $22 million, an enormous price per square foot for the area.

The single-storey, roughly 1,400-square-foot property, on a rocky promontory overlooking Carmel Bay, is the only home of its kind completed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in a coastal environment, according to paperwork submitted for its designation on the National Register of Historic Places. Sitting on a triangular site, the house appears like a ship’s prow growing out of the landscape.

According to the historic places report, the home’s most prominent feature is a hexagonal living room framed in glass panels with panoramic views over the coastline. The three bedrooms are located in wings to the rear of the property, which is shaped like an arrow. Mr. Wright had the lot lowered 4 feet to enable the house to melt into the landscape, the report shows. The house made the National Register of Historic Places in 2016, records show.

The sellers are a group of descendants of the home’s original owner Della Walker, an artist and the widow of Minneapolis lumber executive Clinton Walker. The couple relocated to California in 1904, living there for four decades before Mr. Walker’s death in 1944, the historic places report says. The descendants couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

The buyer is Esperanza Carmel LLC, records show. The company’s website describes it as a real-estate investment and development firm. It is headed by Patrice Pastor, a businessman and property developer based in Monaco, and owns other significant properties in the Carmel area. A spokesperson for Esperanza did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ms. Walker originally wrote to Mr. Wright in 1945, asking him to consider the project, according to the historic places report.

“I am a woman living alone—I wish protection from the wind and privacy from the road and a house as enduring as the rocks but as transparent and charming as the waves and delicate as the seashore,” she wrote. “You are the only man who can do this—will you help me?”

Mr. Wright quickly agreed to work on the project, expressing his pleasure that her letter was “brief and to the point.” In later correspondence between the pair, Ms. Walker wrote to the architect that her daughter had sent her a picture of Fallingwater, the architectural house Mr. Wright had designed in Pennsylvania. “If Mr. Wright did this for a stream, what will he do for an ocean,” she said her daughter wrote.

The original construction of the house, constructed from cedar wood, Carmel stone, steel, copper, concrete and glass, was completed in 1952. In 1956, a studio addition was designed by Mr. Wright for Ms. Walker’s craftwork and weaving at the southeast corner of the building. The plans were eventually used to make way for an expanded primary bedroom in 1960, the report says. The total lot size is around 14,000 square feet and includes a small beach, according to the sellers’ agent.

Canning Properties Group of Sotheby’s International Realty represented the sellers in the deal. Jessica Canning said the home was a rare combination of the ideal setting and architectural pedigree. Though she declined to comment on the buyer, she said the property had sold to the buyer with the very first showing.

“They fell in love with it exactly how it is, right down to the pillows and the books,” she said, noting that all the furniture was included in the sale. “The authenticity and character of it was one of the major draws.”

The famous Carmel Butterfly house is named for the shape of its roof. It has an asking price of US$40m

The property is one of a number of architecturally significant homes that have been marketed for sale in Carmel over the past year. Carmel’s Butterfly House, known for its distinctive Midcentury Modern architectural look, is on the market for $40 million. In July, Brad Pitt bought a roughly century-old home designed by Charles Sumner Greene, a prominent early 20th-century architect known for championing the American Arts and Crafts movement, for $40 million.


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In signs that confidence is returning to the Australian property market, the combined capitals recorded their highest preliminary clearance rates since April last year, CoreLogic reports.

More than 2,290 homes went to market across capital cities last weekend with early data revealing a 71 percent clearance rate. This compares with a revised clearance rate of 64.2 percent last week. It marks the second busiest auction week to date this year.

Melbourne led the way, with 1,122 homes taken to auction. Of the 916 results collected so far, 73.5 percent were successful. It was a similar story in Sydney, with 791 homes to go under the hammer. Preliminary results indicate a clearance rate of 71.5 percent.

The smaller capitals including Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra all experienced higher clearance rates week on week, with Adelaide out in front at 78.6 percent. It was a less spectacular result in Canberra, with a 59 percent clearance rate and in Brisbane at 56 percent.

In Perth, just three of the 13 auctions tallied so far were successful.

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