One of the most recognizable and frequently photographed features along sinuous, scenic (if sometimes hair-raising) Highway One as it makes its way through Big Sur along the rugged California coastline between Carmel and San Simeon is the Bixby Creek Bridge.
Completed in 1932, the 714-foot-long open-spandrel arch bridge has appeared on hundreds, if not thousands, of postcards and likely millions of Instagram posts. It was commemorated on an express mail postage stamp issued in 2010, and it shows up in the 1971 film Play Misty for Me as well as the opening credits for the 2017 TV series Big Little Lies.
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All but hidden on a wooded mountaintop high above the bridge, where it is sometimes enshrouded in fog and at other times bathed in sunlight reflecting off the Pacific Ocean, an extraordinary compound known as Bixby Creek Ranch has recently been made available for purchase with an asking price of $18.95 million.
The 78-acre spread, which borders a 300-acre private preserve donated by the sellers of Bixby Creek Ranch for the benefit of the conservancy of the condor, comprises four structures with four and up to six bedrooms and two bathrooms, plus a trio of powder rooms, across a total of about 8,500 square feet of living space. The quartet of buildings, along with two additional small structures that are yet to be completed, were designed or adapted by acclaimed local architect Mary Ann Shicketanz using the ancient principles of Vedic architecture.
Tax records show the legacy property has long been owned by L.A.-based concept entertainment moguls Steven and Gillian Foster. The serial entrepreneurs, parents of actor Ben Foster, started in Boston in the late 1970s with roller rinks and billiards venues. And then, in the mid-2000s, the teenage nightclub-like boutique bowling alley trend was ignited when they opened the first Lucky Strike alleys in Hollywood. It was announced earlier this year that Lucky Strike, which has grown to 14 locations in nine states, is to be sold in a roughly $90 million all-cash deal to be consummated sometime this year.
At the heart of the Bixby Creek Ranch, the stone, stucco, and glass main residence is flooded with natural light thanks to a massive skylight that caps the vaulted and beamed ceiling over the vast living and dining area. The multipurpose space—there are several sitting areas and a large dining space—is plenty large enough to, well, roller skate in. A stone fireplace provides a cozy corner in which to curl up when the weather turns damp, while picture windows provide mesmerizing ocean, coastline, and horizon views when the weather clears.
Nearby, the gourmet kitchen is configured around a large island and includes a huge walk-in pantry and premium appliances. The main house’s two ample bedrooms share a spacious Jack-and-Jill-style bathroom with a free-standing tub set against a wall of glass. (There’s an additional powder room for guests.)
Privately set away from the main house, a one-bedroom, one-bath guest cottage offers self-contained comfort with a compact kitchen and a stone fireplace in the living room. Another wood-clad pavilion is positioned amid ancient oak trees and houses a library/office that offers a long wall of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, a convenient half-bath, and an even more convenient kitchenette.
The compound’s oldest structure, a barn, was originally built in Ohio before the Civil War. It was painstakingly dismantled, each of its pieces cataloged and shipped to Big Sur, where it was carefully rebuilt and sensitively updated as a modern-day entertainment pavilion furnished with an eclectic collection of artwork, furniture, and vintage ephemera. In the cavernous main space, enormous windows bring in tons of light and provide dreamy views over the mountains and oceans. Tucked beneath the loft are an eat-in kitchen, a half-bath, and a fitness room.
Trails wind through the property, opening to secluded vistas and broad plateaus with top-of-the-world sunset views.
Tim Allen of Tim Allen Properties holds the listing.
Click here for all the photos of Bixby Creek Ranch.
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