Carmel’s iconic Butterfly House sold for $29 million


CARMEL – One of the most recognizable homes along Carmel’s coastline with a profile that mirrors its name – The Butterfly House – has sold for $29 million.

The house was built on an ocean-front promontory in 1951 by Frank Wynkoop and is one of only a handful of residential properties along Scenic Road in Carmel. Wynkoop was a commercial architect and original owner of the home.

“We feel fortunate that we were able to help our clients acquire this iconic coastal property that they, and so many others, have coveted for years,” said Tim Allen of the Tim Allen Properties Team, Coldwell Banker Realty, in a press release, and who represented the buyers. “The Butterfly House is one of the most notable homes along California’s Central Coast with its midcentury modern design and architecture by Frank Wynkoop. The canted roofline that resembles a butterfly spreading its wings just feet from the sea has given it worldwide notoriety as an architectural treasure.”

The Butterfly House is considered one of the best examples of mid-century modern architecture. The home features 3,700 square feet of living space and sits on a little more than half an acre which includes its own private beach and cove. The house has three bedrooms, four bathrooms, a half bathroom, and a one-car garage. Much of the living space looks onto a courtyard featuring a pool, hot tub, and outdoor fireplace, while interiors have sweeping views of the coastline and Pacific Ocean.

The home previously sold in 2014 for $16.5 million and has been featured in Architectural Digests AD100, A Century of Style, ADs, Most Beautiful Rooms in the World, and Thames and Hudsons 50 Most Iconic Architectural Masterworks in America.

Wynkoop resided in his Carmel home for only a few years and after the deaths of his wife Adabelle, and his father in the early 1950s, he was forced to sell the $135,000 house for a mere $15,000, according to the Pacific Coast Architecture Database. By the mid-1950s, he and his second wife Betty, and his daughter Nancy, lived on the west side of Monte Verde Street three houses south of 2nd Avenue in Carmel where he had an office in his residence as principal of Frank Wynkoop and Associates. He later moved to Hawaii and died in 1978 in Honolulu.

The Butterfly House was recently renovated and restored by renowned interior designer Jamie Bush who is known for working on some of the most significant historical residential modernist homes in the United States.


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