Well-known Frank Lloyd Wright-Designed Della Walker Home In Carmel Sells for $22 Million
Posted On February 26, 2023
Frank Lloyd Wright’s only oceanfront house, on Carmel Point near the town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, just sold for its asking price of $22 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Despite the high price, the single-story house was originally only 1,200 square feet and was built for $125,000, with an addition of another bedroom and studio in 1956. The famous architect originally designed the house, also known as “the cabin on the rocks,” for Della Walker around 1950.
Esperanza Carmel LLC, a real estate investment and development company, reportedly purchased the property from descendants of Della Walker, according to local paper the Carmel Pine Cone. The company is owned by Patrice Pastor, a Monaco-based businessman and property developer, and it owns several other properties in the Carmel area.
It’s his only oceanfront house, and Wright planned for it to look like a boat cutting through the water. It was also immortalized in the 1959 movie A Summer Place, which is well-known for its musical theme, and even received the federal historic designation by the California State Historic Resources Commission in 2016.
The house features a signature Wright “Usonian” design, which has elements like flat roofs with generous overhangs and cantilevered carports, built-in furniture and shelving, tall windows, and a central hearth.
The ocean-facing property features three rooms that offer unobstructed views of the ocean, while the low roof is adorned with copper shingles.
The living-dining room boasts a floor-to-ceiling fireplace surrounded by built-in furniture. The unique hexagonal floor plan creates a honeycomb-like appearance.
In addition, the window frames are painted with Wright’s signature “Cherokee Red” color, and the glass windows are reverse-stepped.
Wright reportedly designed the house for the home’s owner, Della Walker after she wrote him a short letter in 1945 asking him to take on the project, according to Art News. “I am a woman living alone,” she said. “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. You are the only man who can do this —w ill you help me?”
Frank Lloyd Wright designed the home to resemble a ship’s bow cutting through water.