When we first move to Carmel, I know very little about the history of the homes and cottages I walk by every day. But I do know that they enchant me. No two are alike and the variety and character of the homes attract my eye, my camera and my curiosity.
One day while browsing the books at The Pilgrim’s Way Bookstore, I spot a new book in the “local interest” section. It is a book by Linda Leigh Paul called
“Cottages by the Sea”
The handmade homes of Carmel, America’s First Artist community”.
I buy my copy and immediately I am knee-deep in a study of Carmel’s architecture. I use this book as a reference and try to find the 34 homes described within. My curiosity is no longer restricted by gates and walls and I adventure with Ms. Paul.
The book starts with the Carmel Mission
and explores the Spanish influence in Carmel homes.
In 1900 Frank Devendorf and Frank Powers formed the Carmel Development Co. They targeted school teachers with their first marketing pamphlets. They also enticed artists, poets, and actors and attracted “Bohmemians” who have defined much of Carmel’s character.
After the San Francisco earthquake,
photograph by Arnold Genthe
and Arnold Genthe
among others, settled in Carmel and built their homes.
In 1919 poet Robinson Jeffers built Tor House with the help of M.J. Murphy and later he built Hawk Tower with his sons.
Ms. Paul has some wonderful interior photos. These are hard to come by . Interior photos are only allowed once a year during the Garden Party.
Carmel’s beautiful natural setting and bohemian atmosphere attracted many unconventional men and women and the homes reflect this .
Edward Kuster , Una Jeffers’ first husband, arrived and built his beautiful castle so close to theirs and of such similar stone that to this day a sign in the front yard directs tourists down the hill to Tor House.
Bark House was designed by the owner, Mary Cone , a talented amateur designer and built by Lee Gottfried in 1922. Redwood bark from Big Sur forms the exterior. The interior shots by Radek Kurzaj show a refined interior of untreated redwood that glows in the natural light.
Hob Nob is a Tudor-style stucco, thought to have been designed and built by one of Carmel’s early craftsmen, Ernest Bixler.
Ms. Paul features four of Hugh Comstock’s cottages.
And a tiny Cape Cod called “Edith’s House”
She shows M.J. Murphy’s masterpiece, Hasenyager House.
Gate House is one of my favorites shown in the book. It took me ages to find it and it’s origins are still somewhat mysterious.
I have often walked by Whitecaps and Nightcaps on Scenic Dr. Built in the 1980’s, Whitecaps was built first and Nightcaps followed as a getaway for the children and grandchildren of the owners of Whitecaps.
image by Google Earth
Read about all the wonderful planning that went into Stone House built in 1990. The interior photos are stunning.
Placed last is the Charles S. Greene House and Studio built by the Charles Greene of the Arts and Crafts Movement. The interior shows the attention to detail for which he is famous. Almost demolished, the home was saved by Charles’ children and repaired by his son Did.
Ms. Paul features 34 homes in this wonderful book.