big surOne of California’s best scenic drives is Highway 1 through Big Sur — and this week’s historical shelter is not only boasting a Highway 1 address, but it was built by one of the foundational members of the Big Sur community.

Back in the day, Big Sur was quite the hotbed of artistic talent, from sculptor Harry Dick Ross, to novelist Henry Miller, collage artist Jean Varda, painter Emil White, poet Robinson Jeffers, writer George Sterling, poet Eric Barker, painter Ephraim Doner, Jack Kerouac, and photographer Ansel Adams.

Big Sur’s pioneer era began sometime between 1821 and 1846 and ended in 1937, with the opening of Highway 1. In the years in between, families that still call Big Sur home today took root —  Pfeiffer, Bixby, Post, Trotter, Dani, Notley, Partington, and Harlan.

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west hollywoodThe site where the Cherokee Studios in West Hollywood sat for years, where some of the most indelible music in history was recorded, looks a lot different from when Ringo Starr induced his former bandmates to come record with him, and where Sinatra and Bowie headed to record. 

And while the building is now a Green LEED Platinum work/live complex known as the Lofts at Cherokee Studios, you can still see where the developers have paid homage to the artists that called the studios their workspace while recording some of the most important albums of their lives. 

Founded in 1972, the studios quickly became the go-to place for artists who wanted the expertise of Joe and Bruce Robb. At its heyday, five studios were in use at the studios at Fairfax Avenue (where the lofts are now), as well as three studios at another location. The first big hit recorded there was Steely Dan’s “Pretzel Logic,” and more hits followed. Cherokee shuttered for good in 2007. (more…)

buckinghamNo word on where Fleetwood Mac rocker Lindsey Buckingham is heading to next, but he and his wife have turned into quite the real estate investors — and their latest home, a true celebrity compound in Brentwood, California, is now up for grabs.

Realtor.com reports that Buckingham and his interior designer wife Kristen bought a 1.2-acre double lot for $6.6 million in 2004, and have listed the custom home they built and decorated for $29.5 million. Several years ago, the two bought a $5.8 million lot and built a spec home, and eventually sold it for $19 million.

This latest listing is very private, sitting behind double gates and tons of lush landscaping. Inside, the main home is full of Old-World, European touches, without feeling stuffy. (more…)

mansionAnne Rice’s former New Orleans mansion got another price haircut, you can’t get in or out of Bali right now, we’re ogling a gorgeous abode on Manhattan Beach, California, and we also find out what cities are tops when it comes to summer destinations.

This is what we’ve been reading. What are you reading?

Anne Rice’s Former NOLA Mansion Gets Another Price Reduction

We’ve written about the New Orleans mansion that author Anne Rice once called home — it was first listed in 2017 at $5 million, and the price was reduced to $4.5 million last year. (more…)

tahoeWe found two luxe properties —  a waterfront estate in the woods, and a Sonoma wine country property — that you should definitely check out, plus an Encino Midcentury Modern flew off the market in seven days, and we found a gorgeous destination in Mexico that is grounded in history.

What are YOU reading?

Waterfront Digs in Lake Tahoe Back On the Market

It was briefly off the market, but a nearly $47 million waterfront estate at Zephyr Cove in Lake Tahoe is back on the market, The Sacramento Bee reported.

The property is being sold by Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty and is located on the lake’s east shore. There’s an additional equestrian property available for another $7 million or so. (more…)

Thousand Oaks

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Editor’s Note: Recently, MoneyWise revealed its list of the 40 most frugal and friendly places to retire. In a bid to provide an idea of what housing inventory is available in these cities and towns, we’re taking a look at listings in each of the cities on the list.

Not everyone can spend $1 million or more on a second home, even if it’s with the idea that eventually you’ll retire there. So when MoneyWise’s list of 40 places to retire that are more budget-friendly came out, we were curious — what kind of homes could you find in these towns?

Last week, we looked at the 24th city on the list — Las Cruces, New Mexico. This week, we look at Thousand Oaks, California, and found in California “frugal” is relative, but still found three great homes — all for less than $500,000.

“The cost of living in Thousand Oaks is on the higher side, but for those with an income of about $100,000, this can be an amazing choice for California living,” MoneyWise said. “This city is green and home to many parks and outdoor activities.”

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

“It’s located near Malibu and not far from Los Angeles,” the article continues. “Good healthcare is found in surrounding areas, so be prepared to travel to your doctor.”

Want to see examples of what you can find in Thousand Oaks? Let’s jump! (more…)

NeutraWhen shipbuilder John Rados purchased a large, hillside lot overlooking the Port of Los Angeles in the 50s, he turned to a fellow Austro-Hungarian to create a home that would put those views to best use — Richard Neutra.

Rados fled the Austro-Hungarian Empire with his family 50 years prior to the purchase of that land, and by then his family had built the Harbor Boat Building Company into one of the country’s most prolific shipbuilding firms.

Neutra was a wise choice for the Rancho Palos Verdes, California, land, as he was known for his unfussy post-war design that showcased the phenomenal views available in Southern California.

And this 1957 home, which is believed to be his biggest, showcases Neutra’s design philosophy, which emphasized a “ready-for-anything” plan that relied on open living spaces that were flexible and easily transformed for any need.

A long, private drive leads to a home that, from the front elevation, is unassuming. Behind those walls, however, is a 4,000 square foot home that has been carved from the hillside, using terrazzo floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, sliding glass doors, and marine-grade wood beams to make open spaces that still feel cozy, with 270-degree views of the LA basin, the San Gabriel Mountains, the San Jacinto Mountains, and Dana Point.

“Three bedrooms, four bathrooms, living room, television room, two dining rooms, and a downstairs family room with a full bar add to the laissez-faire informalities of the idealized postwar housing experience,” said listing agent Matthew Berkley with Deasy/Penner and Partners.

An oversized swimming pool and deck incorporate a nod to the Rados family business — a repurposed porthole window and door from a ship the company was building.

The home is listed for $4.1 million. To see more of 2209 Daladier Drive, click here.

gold rushAlways a hotel, this week’s gold-rush era historical shelter in California also has its place in history as the location for an office and stage stop for an express company that ran mail across the country.

The site of the current Hotel Sutter, located in Sutter Creek, California, was first home to the American House Hotel, built in 1851. It served as a stop for Adams & Co., later Adams Express Company, which pre-dated Wells Fargo.

Sutters Mill

Sutter Creek is named after a local creek, which in turn got its name from a local prospector, John Sutter, who discovered gold nearby in 1848, triggering the California Gold Rush.  Sutter owned a sawmill where the mother lode was found, and after fortune hunters began trampling his land, he decided to prospect, too, moving to Sutter Creek to begin his own mining operation, using his servants to mine, something that drew the disapproval of the miners also working to find gold. Eventually, he returned to Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento and never mined again.

By 1852, Sutter Creek had a post office. Two years later, it was a town. In 1913, it incorporated.

Over time, the town became a boomtown, moving from gold mining to quartz mining until 1942, when most of the gold mines were closed during the war.

In 1865, disaster struck the town of Sutter Creek when fire ravaged the business district, burning the American House Hotel to the ground. It was rebuilt, and went through several name changes — the American Exchange Hotel, the Belotti Inn, and now the Hotel Sutter.

And while gold mining doesn’t happen in Sutters Creek anymore, there are plenty of nearby wineries and breweries, restaurants, and shopping. And the area that was once known for gold is now known for having land perfect for growing grapes, making Amador County a go-to place for a more dressed-down wine country. (more…)