A Private Retreat in Pacific Grove.
Thursday, October 30, 2003
Kathleen O''Brien and her husband Richard White have got a reputation in their Pacific Grove neighborhood. For every neighborhood event, the couple is nominated to be hosts.
"All the neighbors say, ''Can we have the party at your house?''" O''Brien says, smiling. It''s not just that the couple knows how to throw a great shindig; the house is uniquely suited for large gatherings.
Set on three lots filled with redwood trees and lush lawns watered by the only private well in town, the Arts and Crafts style home has enormous porches, decks, and gathering areas to comfortably accommodate a happy crowd.
The kitchen, which O''Brien acknowledges is where the guests end up despite the many other options, is actually large enough to hold a whole party inside of it, or on the huge deck leading off of the kitchen. Some of the original wood floors cover the light and airy room.
The redwood-paneled entry room of the house is large enough to set up appetizers and drinks, and leads to a porch known as the smoking lounge.
"You can just sit out here and read, or watch the kids play in the yard," O''Brien says.
The living room, or great room, is centered on a giant river rock fireplace and is literally the size of some PG homes. White jokes that all it''s missing is a stuffed head over the fireplace, to which O''Brien shakes her head. Touches like wood columns, built-in glass fronted storage areas, and wavy glass in many of the windows keep the Craftsman feel.
O''Brien points to a framed set of photos of the original owners in her first floor guest bedroom. Black-and-white photos show William and Maude Wood, who in 1917 took the structure, built as a Methodist retreat in 1912, and had it moved on rollers to its current location. The side of the current home used to be the original front of the building, and over the years the bathrooms, plumbing, and wiring have been redone, but much of the house remains original.
What has been updated retains the style of the period the house was designed in. In bathrooms are new claw-foot tubs and antique-look faucets; in the kitchen, a stove with double ovens and a double broiler looks antique, but isn''t. A gas stove hiding in the shape of a wood stove heats the family area of the kitchen.
Upstairs, one of the bedrooms is used as a media room, and shares a bath with another bedroom. A master suite, giant in size after previous owners knocked down a wall dividing two rooms to make it one, has its own bathroom and porch.
Realtor Maureen Mason says it''s homes like this one, with a sense of community and a hometown feeling, that are selling in today''s market.
"Before September 11, people were looking for a getaway," she says. "Now their language has changed. People say, ''We want a place we can gather together. Couple that with architectural integrity and a nice neighborhood..."
O''Brien chimes in. "We hate leaving. Our neighbors all say, ''We don''t want you to leave.''"
Price: $1,295,000. 923 14th St., Pacific Grove. Contact Maureen Mason of Coldwell Banker Del Monte at 622-2565.