40 Mesa Road, Bolinas (Image Source: lmsarch.com)
From the Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects website with respect to 40 Mesa Road, design by William Leddy and part of SFMOMA’s permanent collection (the design not the house):

This private residence for a collector of Asian Art lies at the edge of the Pacific Rim. Located on the Point Reyes Peninsula 40 miles north of San Francisco, the site overlooks Bolinas Lagoon and the costal mountains beyond.

The house was conceived as a sculptural presence harmonizing with the natural landscape. Its sand-colored plaster walls blend with the golden California grasses; its gray metal roof merges with the often-gray skies.

As one moves through the house, the structure selectively frames views of the surrounding natural world.

Last sold for $2,995,000 in April of 2005, the 3,021 square foot home on five acres returned to the market in March of 2009 asking $3,700,000.
40 Mesa’s asking price was reduced to $3,550,000 last May, to $2,975,000 last July, to $2,700,000 last October, and to $2,650,000 as of four days ago.
∙ Listing: 40 Mesa Road, Bolina (4/3) – $2,650,000 [MLS]
Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects [lmsarch.com]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by ex SF-er

    although it’s not my style it is a very nice place and an amazing property. I’d die for that outdoor patio and lap pool
    great RE pron.
    does it have any water views?

  2. Posted by eddy

    Cool house. Not sure what is the inference. Anytime you custom build / design something for a client and then try to sell it down the road you’re almost never going to recoup your investment. This would be a hard home to sell in any market.
    Will we be seeing more Bay Area homes?

  3. Posted by Debtpocalypse

    [i]does it have any water views?[/i]
    Does the lap pool count?
    Nice weekender.

  4. Posted by curmudgeon

    Re: Does it include water views?
    Um, look at the picture?

  5. Posted by bolinasbeach

    It looks like it is in pre foreclosure when you look in the tax records. Hum…. Can you get a better deal on the court house steps?

  6. Posted by michael

    Where can you see the tax records?

  7. Posted by EBGuy

    Here’s what’s happening below the Surface. Also, a NOD was canceled (see it does happen) on Jan 15, 2010 (originally filed on 9/29/09). Financing by BofA.

  8. Posted by EBGuy

    “It’s a showcase house” said … Surface’s publisher and co-owner. “The purpose is to hold events there and to give brands a place to show their products in a living environment.” Last summer Surface held a party co-sponsored by Jaguar at the house; guests were taxied in from San Francisco in the purring beasts.
    The Surface Concept House is a far cry from the weather-beaten shacks seaside cottages and exercises in daffy ’60s and ’70s architecture that dominate the beautiful maritime landscape. Buell’s nearby barn which proudly displays a huge peace sign serves as a startling juxtaposition. (Surface is at work renovating another concept house in the Diamond Heights neighborhood in San Francisco.)
    from “Going coastal / Is the elusive bohemian enclave of Bolinas getting a bit glossier?” at sfgate.com
    The requisite lawsuit on the Ess Eff property mentioned above.

  9. Posted by ex SF-er

    Um, look at the picture?
    (sheepish).
    actually, the map and pic above makes it seem like it’s right on the lake, but then the pics from the unit make it look like it’s got a view of a field and trees.
    but maybe it’s just water that’s covered in brown moss or plant material or swamp or something.

  10. Posted by EBGuy

    Lake? ex, you’ve been away too long. That’s the world famous (how do we save it!?), Bolinas Lagoon.
    Experts say the lagoon, if left untouched, will become a marsh. But partisans on all sides of the issue disagree on what, if anything, should be done.

  11. Posted by SocketSite

    Anytime you custom build / design something for a client and then try to sell it down the road you’re almost never going to recoup your investment.
    We could be wrong, but we believe the sale in 2005 was the “sale down the road” (and at which time it would have been marked to market).

  12. Posted by ex SF-er

    thanks EBGuy! interesting article.
    I don’t think that I have ever been up there in my life. It’s so interesting… only 25 miles away but it might as well have been 1000.

  13. Posted by eddy

    I agree the 2005 sale was probably a market sale, but my point is that any customized home such as this is always going to be a tough sell with a unique buyer. Sort of like the Versailles On Vallejo that will require a unique type of buyer.
    Also, I agree that the home does not seem to have real views of any water.

  14. Posted by Mole Man

    A landmark residence in landmark location for less than one hundred dollars per square foot is an amazing deal. The big black bondage bed is the perfect touch.

  15. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Wow, what an anti-Bolinas sort of home. I guess a faux Tuscan McMansion would be even more against the local grain though.
    The photo set is puzzling too. On one hand, composed and edited by a non professional. On the other hand, HDR methods were used to equalize the exposure (see photo 15/42 for example : no way both indoors and outdoors have the same light). That’s something beyond what a basic snap shooter would have done.

  16. Posted by EBGuy

    It’s so interesting… only 25 miles away but it might as well have been 1000.
    Don’t worry — it’s not your fault; I had forgotten about one of the most endearing attributes of Bolinas (see NYTimes article below).
    BLESSED with a quaint downtown and some of the most impressive scenery on the Pacific coast, this town is largely unknown even in San Francisco, just 20 miles south. To keep that from changing, residents have a habit of tearing down highway signs that so much as mention Bolinas.

  17. Posted by JimBobJones

    “residents have a habit of tearing down highway signs that so much as mention Bolinas.”
    Sounds like the Tiburon folks in terms of the efforts to keep outsiders out. Water meters, wow.
    Slightly different reason for constraining the use of water meters than in the San Joaquin Valley… Just ridiculous there, considering it’s such an arid climate and considering that the average Fresno house uses more water than the average Vegas house.

  18. Posted by exsfer is right

    the fotos seem to go out of their way to ignore the water views

  19. Posted by Jim

    Go on the architects’ website. Three photographs and a plan tell so much more than 42 cheesy real estate broker snapshots. And the realtor who sells it gets as much commission as the architect.

  20. Posted by auden

    I went to the architects web site. I found the 42 photos to be more informative than 3. I guess I’m not special.

  21. Posted by Tweety

    I’ve been there. It’s a gorgeous house. Great natural light throughout. Views are great of hills but don’t think you can see much of the lagoon from any main level areas.

  22. Posted by anon

    Also went to the architect’s website — would agree with auden’s assessment. If you’re trying to throw in a shameless plug for the architect, that’s fine, but the architect’s site isn’t informative in the least, and its purported floor plan is useless.

  23. Posted by Richard Stafursky

    Well, when he states “The house was conceived as a sculptural presence harmonizing with the natural landscape.” that certainly is bogus. The natural landscape is always harmed by any building. In addition, mansionization ( a building and support facility footprint that is out of proportion with the purpose) in this place is hideous. There is no way a building can blend, harmonize or be environmentally friendly to the natural landscape. Look up natural landscape in Wikipedia.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_landscape

  24. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    “…that certainly is bogus. The natural landscape is always harmed by any building.”
    certainly. But it is possible to design a building so that it works with the landscape rather than simply ignoring it. The original low slung houses built in Portola Valley come to mind.
    While not a great example of working with the environment, the Bridge House http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2008/04/from_justquotes_to_justphotos_the_aforementioned_bridge.html is an interesting one to contemplate. Very modern and clearly made of artificial materials, but I think it fits the site much better than any faux Tuscan “stone” farmhouse.
    I don’t really care for this particular Bolinas house, but what would you have rather seen on this site ?

  25. Posted by JimBobJones

    The Chron today had maps and an article about Bolinas:
    Here’s the map:
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2010/01/24/SPO81BLOOE.DTL&o=0
    Here’s the article:
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/01/24/SPO81BLOOE.DTL
    And as you might have guessed, a few whiny residents have been complaining about this article in the comments.

  26. Posted by Paul Bragstad

    There is alot more to see by going to http://www.40mesa.com. More Bolinas and house pictures.
    Bolinas Lagoon and Bolinas videos. Floorplans.
    The home is very private on 5 acres. The water view depends on the tide.

  27. Posted by SocketSite

    The listing for 40 Mesa Road has been withdrawn from the MLS without a sale.
    Scratch that, the listing for 40 Mesa Road is once again active.

  28. Posted by SocketSite

    The sale of 40 Bolinas Road has closed escrow for $2,225,000: A Designer Bolinas Apple Gets Picked At 26% Under It’s 2005 Price.

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