Return of the 'Forgotten Frey' - Page 2

Much-ballyhooed desert restoration is back on the market with a $500K price tag slash
Fridays on the Homefront
The Cree's bright yellow, corrugated fiberglass patio siding (as above) stands out for miles—the only thing most people saw of the home for four decades before the 2019 tour.

Frey also drew designs for a small tract Cree planned to build down the hill from his home, but it never came to fruition before he sold the house to restaurateur Milton Kreis in 1965. When Kreis died in '72, the home was sold to another local restaurateur, Sherman Harris, and it was Harris's heirs who restored it in 2018.

The restoration, presided over by Sherman's son, Sam Harris, and local craftsman John Virgrin, is described by Linsky as "very meticulous, hands-on" and one of the property's strongest assets, particularly because of its unusual materials.

"I've never seen them on any house before," he said of the asbestos-cement exterior paneling of the home. Another unusual feature is the central fireplace made from stones found on-site by Cree.

The most high-profile material, however, is the bright yellow, corrugated fiberglass siding of the 600-square-foot deck atop the carport. From its promontory in the Santa Rosa Mountain foothills, the patio siding was all most people saw of the place for four decades.

Fridays on the Homefront

One thing people couldn't see was a vintage, three-door refrigerator by General Electric mounted on a kitchen wall and now painstakingly restored by Harris, including fabricating replacement parts.

"It's an amazing saga about how it was put back together," says the realtor, speaking of both the refrigerator and the house in general, including finding and reclaiming the original glass shower door in San Diego County.

That said, MCM home collectors found the initial asking price too high, even after being highly publicized for Modernism Week 2019, when Linsky said "it was the item to see." This time around, he expects someone to do more than look.

"It's worth that price because it's on 8.28 acres of unbuildable, totally unobstructable land," he said of the listing's sizeable hillside lot and current asking price. That's important because, he noted, "The view is amazing."

Fridays on the Homefront

"It certainly is an historic property, but it's not designated," said the realtor, who is showing it to "financially pre-qualified parties" only.

"The systems are excellent," Linsky said of the home's condition, adding, "It just needs a new caretaker, a new steward."

For more information about the Cree House, click here.