$16M View…and Much More

Carmel home by Gregory Ain set at one of California’s most iconic coastal locations
Fridays on the Homefront
Recognized as one of the longest single-span concrete bridges in the world and the longest on a California highway, the famous Bixby Creek Bridge (above) is the
northern gateway to the Big Sur coast and home to the Bixby House (also seen above), which is currently on the market. Photos: courtesy Steve and Noel Beutel
Fridays on the Homefront
Inside the Bixby House.
Fridays on the Homefront
Fridays on the Homefront

How much would you pay—if you had the money—for a cool house with one of the most iconic views in the land, right up there with Yosemite and the Golden Gate. Four mil? Eight?

Try $16 million for the Bixby House, so named for the adjacent creek spanned by a bridge that is, among other things, Instagram's favorite.

"I think they could have asked twice that much, almost," confessed Noel Beutel, who listed the house 12 miles south of Carmel in June with her realtor-son, Steve Beutel.

The 1957 home was designed by Richard Neutra protégé Gregory Ain for Ralph B. Atkinson, an inventor and social activist for whom the Monterey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union named an annual award. A rare Ain project outside Los Angeles, it has four beds and five baths over 5,200 square feet, plus one-and-one in a 19th century guesthouse sitting on the property's 11 pristine acres.

By 1957, the Bixby Creek Bridge was a quarter-century old and already recognized as one of the longest single-span concrete bridges in the world and the longest on a California highway—not to mention northern gateway to the heavenly Big Sur coast, viewable from the house.

"The whole house is glass all around, and you can see the whole peninsula," says Noel Beutel, calling it the best view she has represented in 30 years of selling real estate. "It's like being on a little island."

Furthermore, this idyllic ‘island' comes with delightful design details and a provenance to die for, including that poet Robinson Jeffers lived on the land for a time.

Like much of coastal California, the area was fished by Native Americans before becoming part of a Mexican land grant and then a series of 19th century ranches. One owner, Charles Henry Bixby, built the original Old Coast Road to connect the area that bears his name to the Carmel Mission. Meanwhile, an environmental crisis was afoot.

"In the 1920s and ‘30s, sea otters were practically extinct," notes Steve Beutel of the animal hunted for its pelts. "Below that house in one of the coves…they rediscovered the sea otter.