Many Carmel houses are a delight to behold due to their fairytale cottage-style architecture. You might even refer to Carmel as the world’s greatest modern-day fairytale village. Hugh Comstock is to thank for this association. In the 1920s, he designed numerous fairytale cottages in Carmel, basing his designs off an English village. No less than 21 of these cottages still stand in Carmel today, and they are a source of great interest for visitors.
While Hugh Comstock and his fairytale cottages form the classic image of Carmel, they aren’t the only Carmel houses of interest. Other renowned abodes include the “First Murphy House” and the Tor House. The First Murphy House dates back to 1846 and is the oldest house in Carmel. Today, it serves as the home of the Carmel Heritage Society.
The Tor House and its affiliated Hawk Tower were built by the notable Carmel poet, Robinson Jeffers. Originally completed in 1919, both were constructed using rocks that Jeffers himself gathered at nearby Carmel Beach. Also interesting to note is that the outside retaining wall at the Tor House contains a piece of the Great Wall of China, lava from Hawaii, and rocks from the Temple of Peking. Tor House visitors can enjoy docent-led tours. This is also a popular site for community functions.
A variety of renowned architects left their marks on Carmel. One such architect was Frank Lloyd Wright. He designed the Clinton Walker House in 1948. A private residence, this Carmel home extends from a rocky promontory and enjoys a splendid beachfront location. You might recognize the Clinton Walker House from the 1959 movie, A Summer Place.
Unfortunately, the Clinton Walker House isn’t available for rent. It would surely make for an excellent Carmel travel base. There are other homes for rent in and around town, however. These rental properties include some very tempting Carmel beach houses for those who wish to stay on the water. As is true of the Carmel hotels, the Carmel home rentals are in high demand and can fill up fast. Thus, booking well in advance is recommended.