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$7 Million Del Mar Midcentury Captures California’s Fun And Sun Vibe

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Frederick Liebhardt believed homes should be both attractive and useful. The Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice and his partner, Eugene Weston III, put that principle to paper in 1961, designing a modernist house for Charles Dupont in the Montecillo neighborhood of Del Mar, California.

The singular home is the embodiment of the style with angled rooflines, walls of glass and high ceilings. Clerestory windows and sliding glass doors seem to bring the outdoors inside.

Yet there’s something else captured in the single-story residence: an exuberance that reflected the times when a young, charismatic John F. Kennedy was president, and the first American went into space.

The ebullience of the residence, completed in 1962, is most evident in the entry hall and sunken living room, which are topped by a folded plate roof. Details include copper fireplaces, built-ins and extensive use of wood.

A formal dining room, center island kitchen, family room, office, six bedrooms and seven bathrooms are included in the 5,786 square feet of living space. “The scale of the home was very substantial when it was built in the 1960s,” says Andrew Appleby of Willis Allen Real Estate. “It is one of the larger homes in the neighborhood.”

The lot is outsized too. “At 3.18 acres, this is the largest lot in the neighborhood,” he says. “Most of the other properties are only 1 acre.”

A mix of eucalyptus, pine, avocado, citrus, olive, royal palm and canary palm trees fill the rolling parklike grounds. The living room looks out on a flowering coral tree.

Unlike the more formal interiors of the main house, the detached pool house is awash in bright colors and playful details. A later addition by the original architects, it features a yellow-fronted fireplace in the open-plan living/dining room, sunken kitchen with red tile counters and bar seating, two bathrooms and a vintage dry sauna.

The pool house looks out on the tennis courts and distant mountains. A brick terrace surrounds the pool, which has a diving board and can be seen from the family room.

Montecillo is part of what is known as Rural Del Mar, about two miles inland from Del Mar and its sandy beaches. There are roughly 65 homes in the neighborhood with prices ranging from $3 million to $8 million, according to Appleby.

“Given the popularity of the neighborhood, homes very rarely come up for sale in Montecillo,” he says. “It is typical to only see one sale a year.”

Maintained by the current owners for the past 58 years, the residence at 4545 North Lane has now come on the market at US $6.995 million. Scott Appleby and Kerry Appleby-Payne of Willis Allen Real Estate are the listing agents.

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