Oceanside Wright House Sells for $22 Million

John Hill
23. February 2023
Photo: Bob Aronson/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

The Clinton Walker Residence is not the only house that sits on the Pacific side of Scenic Drive as it follows the undulating coastline, but it is easily the most prominent. With its stone walls serving as a base, it appears to grow out of a rocky promontory at the southern end of a public beach. 

The 1,400-sf house was designed by Wright in his Usonian style, with a parallelogram design module and hexagonal rooms. The house was built for Della Walker, who was the widow of Minneapolis lumber executive Clinton Walker and a big fan of Wright's Fallingwater, built a decade earlier. 

According to William Allin Storrer's indispensable The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion, the master bedroom was later extended, but by another architect. Otherwise, the house with its stone walls, cantilevered copper roof, corbelled bands of glass, and cedar trim appears as when Wright designed it.

Photo: Greghenderson2006/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

Who bought the magisterial yet small (by today's standards) house for its $22 million asking price, amounting to a whopping $15,700 per square foot? According to the Wall Street Journal, who first reported the sale, Esperanza Carmel LLC, a local real estate investment and development firm, purchased the house from relatives of Della Walker. 

Although the Wright name fetches a higher price tag, location is clearly the key in Carmel-by-the-Sea, considering that a substantially larger Usonian house near Racine, Wisconsin, sold last year for $1.025 million — or only $205 for each of its 5,000 square feet.

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