I Could Live Here: Houses of the Holy

A tale of two Mediterranean-style houses in Marin—one a perfect replica of an old-world villa and the other an implausible makeover of a 19th-century church. 

Here's a dilemma that I wish I had: Would I rather spend $7.5M on a new Spanish-style home, which was customized for every modern convenience?

Or would I rather spend $3.2M plus roughly another $2M to make this very cool (in theory) church renovation into a more livable dream home?

Both of the homes have incredible views of the Bay and both are unique properties, but I'm leaning toward the former.  I have always preferred authenticity (even shabby, falling-down-around me authenticity) to a custom period home, but in the case of 42 San Carlos Ave, I just might take advantage of all that fun custom stuff—a 700+ bottle wine cellar, built-in plasma TV, hot tub. It's like the old country... but better? 

As for the property at 190 Harrison Ave, I have mixed feelings about the fact that it was the former Star of the Sea church. Having grown up Catholic, I might feel the need to kneel whenever I stepped up onto what was formerly the altar and is now a seating area—however the irreverence is also part of the charm. According to a friend who visited the house, it is a cavernous open space that's also underwhelming. "It would be perfect for someone with a huge vision and a lot of money," he said. I took that as an inviting challenge though I have very little money and my vision is a less-than-creative collage of pipe organs, crosses and velvety pews... I'm seeing Madonna's Like a Prayer video right in front of that hearth - minus the burning or  the stigmata. 

Since it's a pretend dilemma, I'll leave it as a toss-up between holy and holy moly. But should you be actually interested in either property, both are listed by Realtor David Grega

Blog Type 

Add a Comment