Of all the Frank Lloyd Wright homes around the world, only one is oceanfront: the Mrs. Clinton Walker House. On Carmel Point near the town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, the extraordinary home just sold for its asking price of $22 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The famed architect designed the home to resemble the prow of a ship cutting through the water, a nod to his signature practice of integrating structures into their natural surroundings. Its standout feature is made possible by the hexagonal floor plan of the triangular living room, giving you a spectacular view of waves crashing on nearby rocks.
The 1,400-square-foot space owes its illustrious provenance to the home’s owner, Della Walker, who wrote a short letter to Wright in 1945 asking him to take on the project. “I am a woman who lives alone,” she said. “I wish for protection from the wind and privacy from the road and a house as durable as the rocks, but as transparent and charming as the waves and delicate as the shore. You are the only man who can do this – will you help me?
Walker—an artist and widow of Minneapolis logging captain Clinton Walker—had seen images of Wright’s Fallingwater home and was fascinated by the simple, one-story Usonian style that made the nearby stream its focal point. She felt Wright could do the same with her uniquely positioned coastal property.
Appreciating the “short and to the point” brief, Wright agreed to take on the project, ultimately designing the single-story, copper-roofed home overlooking Carmel Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Three bedrooms – all with sea views – are located at the back of the house, which Wright has lowered four feet for better assimilation with the environment.
The combined living and dining room is centered around a floor-to-ceiling fireplace with built-in furniture. The window frames are painted Wright’s signature Cherokee Red color with reversed glass windows. “The overall effect is still,” said Wright in 1954, “and the long white surf lines of the sea seem to join the lines of the house to form a natural melody.”
Wright was unwavering about his designs when he started work on the house in 1948, so when it was completed in 1952 it was exactly as he envisioned it. “I hope that this little aristocrat among the Carmel bourgeoisie, so exciting in itself, is not only a homely experience giving you the joy you, his progenitor, deserve, but also a spiritual upliftment,” he wrote to Walker after a visit to the house.
That reports the local newspaper Carmel pine cone, the Mrs. Clinton Walker House sold to Monaco businessman Patrice Pastor, a large landowner in the city, who bought it from the descendants of Della Walker.
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