Sunday, July 26, 2015

Carmel Heritage Society House and Garden Tour 2015 - Part 3 - Frank Lloyd Wright House, The Ship House and Golf House

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For more of my self-guided walks of Carmel

please see GPSmyCity

Walker House
by Frank Lloyd Wright
26336 Scenic Road 

In 1918, Mr. and Mrs. Willis J. Walker, San Francisco socialites, purchased 216 acres of land for $150,000 from John Martin (Mission Ranch).  The Walkers subdivided the land and sold many of the lots. (1)

The ocean front acreage from the Walkers subdivision, was deeded to Mrs. Walker's sister, Della Walker.  

Della asked noted architect Frank Lloyd Wright to design a house that was low to the ground so that her neighbors' views would not be interrupted.  

Wright did exactly what was asked of him, designing a home that appeared to be like an ocean liner, the prow of which would perpetually face the tireless sea off Carmel Point. 

For almost five years octogenarian Frank Lloyd Wright worked on Della Walker's house.  Miles Bain was hired to carry out the construction.  

"In the design, Wright wholly departed from the conventional four-cornered concept of rooms.  There isn't a square corner in the house.  

The culmination of this dynamic approach is in the hexagonal living room...the stepped-out windows, leading up to the wide roof overhang...the home's construction is of Carmel stone, supplemented by cedar plywood on interior walls and ceilings.  This wood came from the mills of Mrs. Walker's son in Susanville...Heating is by radiant floor units...built-in furniture includes...a couch along the living room view windows...Mrs. Walker added only a few pieces...such as the Japanese fish net balls." (2) 

Photography is not allowed on the inside of this home.  The current owner allowed me to take the picture above and below.  The picture above is the same setting for the picture below of Mrs. Della Walker. 

Here are a few more highlights from the grounds around the Walker House. 

The Ship House 
3 NE of Sixth Avenue on Guadalupe 

Allen Knight was born in San Francisco on May 7, 1901.  He spent his childhood summers at the home of his two aunts on Monte Verde and Seventh.  At the age of 17 Allen went to live with his aunts full time, but life in Carmel was too tame for Allen so he joined the crew of the “Falls of Clyde” and sailed around the Horn.

He continued this vagabond lifestyle traveling for years through the Orient and Europe.  While in Prague, Allen fell in love with old European architecture and convinced a hotel owner to give him copies of the blueprints of his hotel. 

In 1929, Allen was back in Carmel.  He had his aunts' house moved by truck up Ocean Avenue to Guadalupe and Sixth.  The adventure Allen had during the moving of this house is a whole other story

Allen hired San Francisco architect Albert Farr to use the blueprints he had obtained in Prague and build what would become the Sundial Court Apartments on the property at Monte Verde and Seventh.  Michael J. Murphy would do the construction.  Today this is the home of L’ Auberge Carmel.

Allen Knight at the wheel in the wheelhouse 

In 1933, Allen married Adele Hawes, he and their three children lived in the house on Guadalupe and Sixth. He would also serve as Mayor of Carmel from 1950 to 1952. 
Inside the Ship House in 1947 

During his lifetime, Allen collected numerous nautical memorabilia.  But his home was not large enough to store the collection. In 1936 he began construction on a stone building just north of his home on Guadalupe. 

“The building was completed in 1939. On the outside, it resembled a “stone lighthouse” in the words of Winsor Josselyn who wrote it up in the February 24, 1939 issue of the Monterey Peninsula Herald.  Allen told Josselyn during an interview for the newspaper article:  “Some people call this my hobby…and some call it my ‘marine mania.’  Call it what you want to, but I love ships and I’m getting a big kick out of doing it.” (3) 

The outside walls of The Ship feature water washed granite boulders surrounding portholes.  Most of the portholes are salvaged from the Aurora, a four-masted ship built in 1901 in Everett, Washington and moored in Monterey Bay in 1932.  On January 18, 1935 the Aurora was caught in a storm, she ran aground on Del Monte Beach and the relentless pounding waves finished her off.  

The current owners of The Ship came across a replica of the Aurora in an antique shop in Pacific Grove.  The replica now sits proudly on a shelf in their home.

The only entrance into The Ship is though a salvaged watertight bulkhead door.  

The interior which resembles the hold (first floor) and wheel house (second floor) of a ship was made from the parts of 57 dismantled ships. 

Planks and knees from the Aurora tie
 together the walls and support the ceiling. 

The knee directly over the porthole near the top of the bed in the picture below came from the Natalie.  The Natalie is thought to have been the ship that was used by Napoleon Bonaparte during his escape from Elba in 1815.  In the 1930's the Natalie, at the time being used by coastal smugglers, met its end on Monterey Beach.   

The 550 square foot ground floor of The Ship has everything the current owners need to be comfortable: living area, bedroom, 

kitchen (with high efficiency dishwasher
and washing machine), dining area 

bathroom (behind the door below)

library, and office. 


 the "wheelhouse"
surrounded by windows 

 acts as a guest room, game room
or sunset cocktail lounge.  

 The Golf House 
SE Corner San Antonio and Fourteenth 

Philip and Laura Wilson married in 1890.  In 1905 they moved to California with their three young children, Grace (who later married James H. Thoburn mayor of Carmel from 1934 - 1936), Philip Jr., and James.  That same year Philip Wilson Sr. constructed the Wilson Building on the NW Corner of Ocean and Dolores.  This anchor of the Camel commercial district served as the first City Hall in 1916. 

In 1912 Philip Wilson Sr. purchased a small writers studio, and the property around it, at Fourteenth and San Antonio from writer John Fleming Wilson. 

Philip Wilson Sr. built a nine hole golf course on Point Loeb (now called Carmel Point). This, the only golf course ever built in Carmel, was operated by Wilson from the Club House (John Fleming Wilson's old writers studio) from 1913 - 1918. The picture below dated 1914 (courtesy of Harrison Memorial History Library) shows Wilson with his daughter Grace and son James. 

The picture below, courtesy of the current owners of Golf House was passed on to them when they purchased the historical club house.  This picture shows Philip Sr. and Philip Jr. in front of the club house. 

At the onset of World War I, Philip Wilson Sr. was called to service and Carmel's first golf course was abandoned.  The land was later sold and subdivided. In 1990 a one bedroom house was built on the property integrating the old Club House into the home as a living room. 

The current owners (also owners of Carmel Cottage Inn) have restored the Club House now known as Golf House. 

Contractors Bell McBride carefully  separated Golf House from its former residence and moved it to the southeast side of the lot. 

Meticulously removing each brick along with some of the dirt and carefully restoring the fireplace in its new location. 

 The Golf House now stands as a separate guest house - the interior still features the original built in wooden lockers. 

Bell McBride built the new main house
pictured to the left below,

to complement the style of The Golf House.

Inside the main house are three charming bedrooms -
each bed covered with a different early American style quilt. 

Bedrooms also feature french doors,
 space saving built-in furniture 

and window seats. 

In the great room, 

 the living and dining room/kitchen 

are separated by a built-in hutch.  

 The kitchen is a classic utilizing the current owners signature style with a Signal Red Big Chill Retro style stove and  


That is the review of the eight homes on the Carmel Heritage Society House and Garden Tour for 2015. 

Many thanks to all the volunteers who gave their time and the home owners who graciously opened their homes for viewing.  And thank you to Carmel Heritage Society for making this happen year after year. 

Part 1 First Murphy, Belle House
Part 2 Stonehaven, Pope House Banyon Hideaway

Google map of location of houses may be viewed here.  
(1) Hale, Sharron Lee. A Tribute to Yesterday. (Valley Publishers, Santa Cruz, 1980) p. 120.
(2) Hall, Thorne. Editor, Publisher, Owner. "Houses of Distinction - Frank Lloyd Wright's Blend of Stone and Sea on Carmel Beach."  Carmel Pacific Spectator Journal, September 1957.
(3) Fremier, Allene. Allen Knight Beloved Eccentric. (The Boxwood Press, Pacific Grove, 1984) p. 61.


Two black and white photographs of the Ship House from What's Doing February 1947 p.36.
Under Golf House the two first black and white pictures of the original Club House is courtesy Harrison Memorial Library Local History Department.
The third black and white picture of the original Club House is courtesy of the current owners.

All the rest of the photography by L. A. Momboisse.

Carmel Heritage Society House and Garden Tour 2015 - Part 2 - Stonehaven, Pope House, and Banyon Hideaway

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6 SE of Thirteenth on Dolores

La Von E. "Lee" Gottfried was born on a farm in Ohio, July 12, 1896.  Educated to the high school level, he began his business career with Pacific Telephone Company.  In June of 1917, Lee Gottfried enlisted in the United States Army serving in the Signal Corps in France where he was in charge of telephone and telegraph construction. In 1919 he was honorably discharged having attained the rank of first lieutenant. 

In 1920 Lee came to Carmel and began work as a general contractor.  One of his first commissions was the construction of Edward Kuster's stone house at the intersection of Ocean View and Bay View on Carmel Point. 

Gottfried and Kuster were familiar with medieval European architecture - it is Lee Gottfried (along with Kuster) who are credited with the transformation of the Ocean Avenue business district from a Western "false front" (Carmel Bakery) to the Old World charm of a European village (Court of the Golden Bough).

After arriving in Carmel, Lee met Miss Bonnie Hale, a native of Berkeley who had lived in Carmel since 1906.  They married and in 1921 Gottfried built his family a home on the east side of Dolores, south of Thirteenth.  The family lived there until 1941. 

Built in an "H" shape, Stonehouse's exterior walls are uncoursed (randomly laid) Carmel stone.  

The roof, a rolled over eave to appear as if thatched.
Windows, diamond pattern with leaded glass. 

  In 1939 a large back bedroom
 was added to the south east elevation. 

In 1996, the current owners reconfigured the front entry into a vestibule. 

Off the spacious living area 

is a cozy room with rounded ceilings and original fireplace. 

The current owners raised the ceiling in the kitchen 

and added leaded windows 

to keep the original style and character of the home. 

Pope House
2981 Franciscan Way 

Julia Morgan was born January 20, 1872.  She was the first woman to receive a degree in engineering at U. C. Berkeley, the first woman to complete course work in architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and the first woman architect licensed in California.  She designed nearly 800 buildings, the most famous being Hearst Castle.

In 1940 Ms. Morgan built this home on Franciscan Way for her friend from U. C. Berkeley, Dr. Emma Whitman Pope. Before retiring to Carmel, Dr. Pope was a general practitioner who had been married to Dr. Saxton Pope, a surgeon at Watsonville Hospital, until his death in 1926. 

While Ms. Morgan built this house, she was staying at her own studio-cottage in Monterey, and she walked the five miles to Carmel and back to supervise the construction, saying that she "needed the practice in walking" after a bout of labyrinthitis. (1)

The Pope House, built in Minimum Traditional style, features a large window in the living area that overlooks the Carmel Mission.

Bleached redwood interior walls 

and beams that give the living space
 a feel of lightness and openness.  

The original house was a two bedroom. 

In 1960 a third bedroom was added to the back of the house.

In 2011 the current owners renovated the 1960's addition, going to great lengths to make the original house and the renovation appear seamless, matching all flooring, wall, and window materials as closely as possible. 

The space from the old third bedroom is now a beautiful and spacious master, 

breakfast nook,


and modern and functional galley kitchen. 

There are two wonderful outdoor spaces.
The first off the laundry room. 

This comfortable sitting area is surrounded by a cooks garden with fruit trees, vegetables, and herbs ready for picking.

The second outdoor space features
a charming stone fire pit.

Banyon Hideaway
28987 Mission Street 

Mark Mills was born in Jerome, Arizona in 1921. After graduating from the University of Colorado with a degree in Architectural Engineering, Mills apprenticed for Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin West from 1944 - 1948.

Mills came to Carmel in the early 1950’s to help contractor Miles Bain with the construction of Mrs. Clinton Walker’s house on Scenic.  Mrs. Walker’s house was the only house in Carmel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

After completion of the Walker House, Mrs. Walker offered Mills the opportunity to plan and build two homes in Carmel for speculation.  Mills accepted the offer and settled in Carmel with his family.

Banyon Hideaway was the first of the two spec houses designed by Mark Mills in Carmel.  The house was sold to Mills’ father for $17,000.  

Not very visible from the street, it was a real treat to go behind the gate and tour this home.  

Throughout the structure, concrete walls and posts feature the "desert-masonry" concept that Mills helped to perfect while he apprenticed at Taliesin West.  

The living area features a steep A-frame
with a dramatic triangular shaped window,

and  a glass skylight which
 runs the length of the roof ridge. 

Mills signature use of "desert-masonry" 

and triangular shapes is seem throughout
the interior living room 

and bedrooms.  The current owner has added 

stained glass to many of the windows. 


the current owner has transformed the property into a tropical oasis

 with ferns, fountains, 


a Koi pond,  

and tranquil lounge areas

for quiet conversation
 tucked around the property - 

even on the roof of the carport! 

In Part 3 of the 2015 Carmel Heritage Society House and Garden Tour we will view three more unique homes of Carmel, Mrs. Della Walker's house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, The Ship House designed by former Mayor of Carmel Allen Knight and the Golf House site of Carmel's first and only golf course. 

Video of highlights of the eight historical homes of the 2015 House and Garden Tour. 

Google map of location of houses may be viewed here.  
(1) Boutelle, Sara Homes, Julia Morgan Architect (Abbeville Press: Revised Edition, August 1, 1995) 

Photos by L. A. Momboisse