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December 18, 2012 / Linda Hartong


If you have visited Carmel, I suspect you have admired the building built around this courtyard. It is often photographed as an example of fairytale architecture.

With its warm golden stucco, brick, stone, unusual window boxes.

Statue filled niches,

Rolled shingle roof,

Half-timbering and unusual windows

It is a lovely sight.

Especially in the fall when the Virginia Creeper starts to turn colors.

It is hard to believe that this corner was once the site of this  Union 76 Service Station

and is sorely missed by the Village when in 1973 ,Craig T. McFarland develops the corner into retail stores and apartments.

From my reading at City Hall, I think it was then called Cottage Row. 

As usual, The City of Carmel, pays close attention to every detail of the project.

Work stops when it is noted that these bay and bow windows which project into public property had not received the required approval.

Even the design of the sign brackets require approval.

The building houses many businesses such as 

Simic New Renaissance Galleries Fine Art Galleries Carmel California

Kerry Lee Remarkable Jewelry – Carmel, CA

Where the owner has been making jewelry since his high school days. He has owned this shop since 1974, making him the longest operating jewelry designer in the area.

I love to window shop in Augustina Leathers. I get high on the smell of leather wafting out the door and drool over the purses in the window.

This is a one-of-a-kind boutique.

AUGUSTINA LEATHERS :: Largest representation of Paula Lishman … 

Art Galleries are also represented by classic Art Gallery


The sign for Serena Court appears over what seems to be a dead-end landing at the top the stairs.

I am dubious and so backtrack to Intero Real Estate 

Welcome to Intero Real Estate Services – Carmel, CA

where I ask if this is Serena Court. A puzzled secretary says she has never heard of it.

I persevere up the stairs holding a gorgeous wrought iron railing. 

As I turn to the left a narrow corridor appears. 

Small shops and apartments open along it.

Flowers lead me on and


Serena Court – truly a hidden courtyard.

Jones and Terwillager and

The Classic Art Gallery open to this pleasant space with patio furniture, brick floor, plantings and art.

Whirligigs are featured today

And the door is open.

The last time I came, Japanese lanterns decorated this space.

It was cool February day and the doors closed- showing off the bucolic scene behind the glass panes.

Serena Court is on the NW Corner of San Carlos and 6th Street, just one block north of Ocean Ave. 


Leave a Comment
  1. Judy / Dec 18 2012 12:51 am

    Dear God…looking at these pictures, my breathing actually quickens. I can’t wait to be able to walk around Carmel. It’s as close to Heaven as I’ll ever get in this life. Thank you so much for sharing these photos. I love your commentary too. Aloha

  2. Carolyn / Dec 18 2012 1:01 am

    Hard to believe it was built in 1973.

  3. Michael Bolton / Jun 12 2014 7:32 pm

    My name is Michael Bolton. I designed Cottage Row for Mr. McFarland and it was built in 1984. The building to the north is from the 70″s and the elevation shown is of that building. It would be kind of you to mention my name.

    Thanks for the lovely photos.

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