Located in an unincorporated corner of Mendocino County, Elk has a population of 208, and is roughly three hours north of San Francisco. The town motto—"Where the forests and the meadows meet the sea"—does not suggest that it’s going to become a hotspot of Mendocino metropolitan living anytime soon.
Given that, you’d have to be dealing with a pretty remarkable home for most of us to consider taking the drive (picturesque though it may be) up to a place like 5450 South Highway 1.
As it turns out, this is just such a home, a two-bed, two-bath midcentury joint built in 1960 right on the edge of a seaside cliff. It’s most recent asking price: $2.25 million.
At first glance, the facade of the place is nothing short of baffling, with seemingly more extreme roof angles than there is roof to support them all. Things perhaps make a bit more sense until you look at the floor plan and realize that this house is actually two houses, each one a virtual mirror image of the other and joined in the center.
The layout resembles a winged fighter craft from a Star Wars movie more than anything else, and it perhaps defies the power of mere photography. On the inside you’ll find a stunning assembly of spaces, with seemingly acres of timber interiors, high windows and skylights, exposed beams, floor to ceiling windows, and brick fireplaces.
But if you look closely, there are some downright Mystery House-like angles here too. It’s a home of nested surprises that may well be worth the drive up to check out.
5450 South Highway 1 [Pamela Hudson]
Elk, California [Elk Web]