Old World Craftsmanship in Pacific Grove.
Thursday, May 20, 2004
Laura Reilley grew up in a charming house in Pacific Grove: “The last home-town in America.” It is clear how important family is to Reilley, as she is letting go of this little gem to move out of state to be closer to her loved ones. In fact, it was Reilley’s father, James M. Culp, who built the house in 1933. A local cabinet-maker, Culp started the house in the 1920s and handcrafted the interior woodwork.
“It was built in days of hardship and slow living,” Reilley recalls. “It was during the Depression and my father traded out work he couldn’t do himself. It was built with a lot of care, love and time.”
Guests can sense the inviting family atmosphere at first glance. The simple clean-cut landscaping in front is dotted with shady oaks that elegantly frame the three-bedroom, two-bath cottage. An English Tudor style home, it was remodeled in 1998 to change the upstairs space into two new bedrooms, a bathroom and sewing nook. Reilley remembers how her parents used to come home from ballroom dancing lessons, climb the ladder to the attic and dance on the hardwood floors.
Around each corner seems to be another story. The entrance hall has the original wide-plank pegged hardwood floors, arched doorways, and two closets. To the right is a sunken living room with a wood-burning stove, clear heart redwood ceiling and the original hand-crafted drapery rods and windowsills to match.
“It feels like walking into the hacienda at Santa Lucia
Preserve, which my dad was very familiar with,” Reilley says.
“It has a similar sunken living room with a fireplace to the
side and kitchen
The dining room is light and bright with two walls of windows looking onto the backyard and the guesthouse. The kitchen is separated by a breakfast nook and cabinets with glass doors. With a Bosch dishwasher, water filtration system, trash compactor and several other luxuries, the kitchen represents the dual nature of the house.
“It has all the amenities of a new house,” says Realtor Joan E. DeMers. “It’s new inside and out, but retains the charm of an older home.”
The old world meets the new world again in the master bedroom. With the original gas fireplace and plenty of light, the master bedroom and bath are cozy yet spacious. And Reilley’s great grandparents’ Renaissance Revival bedroom set accents the room with the same artistic craftsmanship seen throughout the house.
Journeying upstairs, visitors find gabled ceilings and plenty of skylights to open up the hall and sewing nook. It is a cozy, light and somewhat secluded place to read, study, or sew quilts. The bathroom is complete with a Jacuzzi tub and tiled shower and the second bedroom is perfect for a playroom or guest room. From the third bedroom window, guests can sneak a peak at the bay.
The legal guest unit in the back is hidden bonus at the end of the tour. With a four-car garage on the bottom floor that Culp originally used as a workshop, there is plenty of room for storage. A one-bedroom, one-bathroom studio unit sits on top of the garages, which adds an additional 804 square feet to the 2301 square feet of the main house.
“It’s a lovely neighborhood, very quiet,” DeMers says. “Considering the size and quality of the house, it’s very well-priced, especially with the additional income possibility.”
Price: $1,850,000. 928 Fountain Ave., Pacific Grove. Contact Joan DeMers of The Mitchell Group Real Estate at 622-4876.