Carmel Heritage Society, Fields House, Frank Lloyd Wright,, Walker House

Carmel Heritage Society House and Garden Tour 2014 – The Fields’ Home and Walker House by Frank Lloyd Wright

The Fields’ Home
Hatton Fields

Nastovic a builder to the Russian aristocracy and Nicholas II fled Russia after the Revolution in 1917.

In the early 1920’s Nastovic probably found the newly incorporated village of Carmel-by-the-Sea very attractive. The Carmel Development Company had sold many lots but they were in need of homes.  Michael J. Murphy and Hugh Comstock had already established themselves as master-builders, but there was room for one more.  

On June 15, 1926, the Pine Cone reported, “Six houses to go up in Hatton Fields at once, designed by A. Nastovic the man who was famous for the monument of Alexander III in Moscow.”  

In the aerial photo above taken sometime in the 1940’s, one of those houses, the Fields’ Home can be seen…
to the left of what is said to have been the beginnings of a “fast food” restaurant which never came to be. 

Nastovic’s 1927 construction in French Normandy style remains very authentic to this day.

The Carmel Stone entrance,

all windows and doors (except for one
 in the first floor dining area) are original.

Nastovic incorporated unique architectural features in his home.  Most distinctive are the “Z Doors.” In fact The Fields’ Home has 28 of them.  

These “Z Door’s” were made with Douglas fir planks overlaid with more Douglas fir planks in the shape of a Z.  All held together with metal pegs.  

Another unique element found in this home is the use of the Gothic arch, 
which is found repeated throughout the great room,

 even the 55 inch wide fireplace and
niche above contain this element.

The only significant interior renovation made to Nastovic’s original plan was the removal of a wall between the living area and the kitchen.  (This wall can be seen below in a “before” picture.)

With the wall gone the downstairs living area 

becomes a very inviting great room.  

There many more charming elements to The Fields’ Home, like the third floor turret room. 


which the owners refer
to as Rapunzel’s Room.  

The turret room, decorated with vintage hats and hat boxes does bring to mind those words from the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your hair,  
so that I may climb the golden stair.” 

Mr. Nastovic built at least six homes in the Hatton Fields area of Carmel during the late 1920’s. These homes found in a cluster around Seventh and Hatton are easily identified by their prominent “Z Door.”   Unfortunately the depression brought Nastovic’s building career of these stately homes in Carmel to an end.   

The Cabin on the Rocks
Walker House
by Frank Lloyd Wright 

In 1918, Mr. and Mrs. Willis J. Walker, San Francisco socialites, purchased 216 acres of land for $150,000 from John Martin (Mission Ranch).

The Walkers subdivided the land into what they called the Walker Track, and sold  many of the lots.  But the ocean front acreage was deeded to Mrs. Walker’s sister Clinton Della Walker.

“Della Walker was a childhood friend of Frank Lloyd Wright, and when she asked him to design a seaside house for her, he was 84 years old.  He didn’t know that, so he accepted the challenge (his only ocean house), and personally supervised its construction… 

“Make it low,” said Della, “so my neighbors’ views will not be interrupted.”  He did that, and now the prow of the house, on Scenic Drive near Martin Way, drives ceaselessly into the waves that buffet Carmel Bay. 

It is designed like an ocean liner, facing the tireless sea. 

The living room, slightly sunken, looks across the deck through stepped-down windows, like a Captain’s bridge.” (1)

“I want a house,” Mrs. Clinton Della Walker wrote to her old friend and architect Frank Lloyd Wright, “as durable as the rocks…

and as transparent as the waves.

Her phrase captured Wright’s imagination. For almost five years the octogenarian “dean” of American architects worked on and off on Mrs. Walker’s challenge. 

The result was a home that, since its completion in 1952 has been one of the show places of the Monterey Peninsula.” (2)

“In the design, Wright wholly departed from the conventional four-cornered concept of rooms.  There isn’t a square corner in the house. 

The culmination of this dynamic approach is in the hexagonal living room…the stepped-out windows, leading up to the wide roof overhang…the home’s construction is of Carmel stone, supplemented by cedar plywood on interior walls and ceilings.  This wood came from the mills of Mrs. Walker’s son in Susanville…Heating is by radiant floor units…built-in furniture includes…a couch along the living room view windows…Mrs. Walker added only a few pieces…such as the Japanese fish net balls.” (3) 

Mrs. Walker was also responsible for the Mermaid Sculpture on the deck. 

How much did the house cost?  This is a question Mrs. Walker says she can’t answer because she didn’t really keep track of it.  She says, however that it is insured for $25,000, “which I think is enough.” (4)   

” Della doesn’t live there any more, but the house will last forever.” (5)
Here are a few more highlights. 

Part 3 – Door House and Forge In the Forest
Part 1 – First Murphy House, Los Abuelos, and Studio for Florence Lockwood

(1) Smith, Al. “Carmel Legends.”  Carmel Pine Cone, (June 13 – 19, 2014), Section RE p. 2.
Hall, Thorne. Editor, Publisher, Owner. “Houses of Distinction-Frank Lloyd Wright’s Blend of Stone and Sea on Carmel Beach.” Carmel Pacific Spectator Journal, September 1957.(3) Ibid.
(4) Ibid.
(5) Ibid. Smith, A. “Carmel Legends.”


All photographs by L. A. Momboisse unless otherwise noted below: 

– Black and white areal photo c. 1940 of Fields house, courtesy of the home owners.  
–  Color picture of the Fields living room before renovation courtesy of home owners.  
– First two black and white photos of Walker House – Hall, Thorne. Editor, Publisher, Owner. “Houses of Distinction-Frank Lloyd Wright’s Blend of Stone and Sea on Carmel Beach.” Carmel Pacific Spectator Journal, September 1957.
– Black and white photo of Della Walker, courtesy of Della’s great-grandson. 
Agnes Shorting, Carmel Heritage Society, Cornerstone Cottage, Frank Lloyd Wright, Historical Home,, The Little House, Walker House

Carmel House and Garden Tour 2012 (Frank Lloyd Wright)

Carmel House and Garden Tour 2012
(Frank Lloyd Wright)
Before visiting the Frank Lloyd Wright house on Carmel Point we visit Cornerstone Cottage and The Little House both north of Ocean Avenue.
Cornerstone Cottage
Block 27/Junipero and Third
The Cornerstone Cottage was built for Agnes Shorting in 1927 by the English architect, Frederick Bigland.  This home features a thick outer stucco siding, two kitchens,
two massive Carmel Stone fireplaces, 
  decorative diamond paned windows
 and a spiral staircase inside the turret. 

The current owners of Cornerstone originally met on Carmel Beach in 1961.  At that time this house was known as the Agnes Shorting House, to which one of them was currently living with an aunt.

Subsequently the Agnes Shorting House was sold to another owner.  In 1991 it came back on the market and the current owners jumped at the chance to make it their own once again.  They have lovingly restored this home and named it Cornerstone. 

The Little House
Guadalupe & 3rd
The Little House is a cabin built of logs; full round, half round,
or planed square, with bark or without,
 as siding, fencing, uprights or beams. 

In 1952, The Little House was owned by George C. Brainard.  His home was featured in the March issue of House Beautiful as a “versatile up-to-date log cabin”.  Not too much has changed in 60 years. 

Notice the log fence and log decking has been updated,

but all the doors and windows and roof line
 remain in the same place. 

The current owner Sibyl Sides Johnson grew up in the Bay Area and holds a BA in Education and Fine Art.  After years in the classroom her goal to paint full time and live in her family’s Carmel cottage has become a reality.  As a Plein Air Artist, Sibyl uses their renovated garage as a studio.
The Walker House
“Cabin on the Rocks”
Built by Frank Lloyd Wright
26336 Scenic Road
In 1918, Mr. and Mrs. Willis J. Walker, of San Francisco and Pebble Beach, purchased 216 acres of land for $150,000 from John Martin of Mission Ranch.

The 216 acres were bordered on the north side by Santa Lucia, the east by Hatton Fields, and the south by Carmel River.  The Walkers subdivided the land into what was called the Walker Track, and sold many of the lots. The ocean front acreage was deeded to Mrs. Walker’s sister Clinton Della Walker.

“I want a house,” Mrs. Clinton Della Walker she told architect Frank Lloyd Wright, “as durable as the rocks and as transparent as the waves.”  Inspired by this request, Mr. Wright using an “organic design,” spent five years working on and off on the Walker house, a “cabin on the rocks.”*  It was finally completed in 1952.  
One of Carmel’s most recognized modern homes, located on Carmel Point,
built on granite boulders with a triangular wedge  foundation, with Carmel Stone. From the south side this home looks like a ships prow cutting through the waves. 
Inverse stepped windows framed in “Cherokee-red”
painted steel enclose and surround the living room.
The main room is the large hexagonal shaped living room

with built in seats on three sides,
and tall floor to ceiling fireplace on the fourth wall designed
to burn wood stacked vertically against the back.
Walk around the fireplace to the room designated
as the “workplace”, a Pullman type kitchen
with a view
In fact all rooms have an ocean view,
except the guest baths.
This 1,200 square foot cabin on the rocks (that includes the carport) has three full bathrooms.  Two, one off each of the guest bedroom have showers that can best be described as very tiny and in the shape of a trapezoid. 
For those mathematically inclined the measurement is as follows: 3 inch tiles (9 sq in), make a square out of the usable area at 8 tiles (2 ft) by 9 tiles (2 ft 3 in) or 72 tiles at 9 sq in each, 72 x 9 = 648 sq in divide by 144, number of square inches in a square foot = 4.5 square feet, and no elbow room.

Why this shape? Because, for some reason, Wright designed this house with no right angles.

This home is also the only house in complete public view within Carmel City limits on the ocean side and finally, it is topped with baked-enamel shingles of blue-green color to blend with sea and sky. Wait, it also has its own private beach!

Mrs. Walker was quite pleased with her cabin on the rocks.  When asked in an interview for the Carmel Spectator in 1956, how much the house cost to build, she said that she couldn’t answer that because she didn’t keep track.  But she did insure the house for $25,000 which she thought would be enough. 
Thank you Carmel Heritage Society for this wonderful event.  I look forward to next year and another glorious day touring the spectacular homes of Carmel-by-the-Sea.
*Carmel Pacific Spectator Journal September 1957