Adios to a Cool Spanish

By Dave Fratello | November 20th, 2013

The Sand Section just got a little less cool and old-timey.

3116 Alma is no more.

This unique property, with its unbelievably huge views from the top-floor master, sold twice in the past year-plus.

No one was going to keep it the same. You could understand that.

It was a 1927 original, undoubtedly added onto here and there, but with an inspired, throwback Spanish feel to it that kept a flavor of "old Manhattan Beach" in the neighborhood.

Way back in MBC's olden days, 2007, we produced a fairly balanced love note to the house ("Old's Cool"). An excerpt:

[This is] a genuine Spanish-style home that instantly conjures old-time California.

Think of the original homes in places like Pasadena, Miracle Mile, old Long Beach. Strutting through Alma, you're somewhere else.

You could not forget that master bath if you ever saw it. (Here's a pic for old time's sake.)

The home never traded in 2007, its asking price of $2.275M a bit too rich even in those days.

But it did sell in May 2012 for $1.875M, and again this year, in February, for $1.925M.

That first buyer had worked up extensive remodeling plans – it really looked like a rebuild, but kept some of the basic frame still in place. Then there was a change in work plans and they had to resell.

Meantime, the next-door neighbor at 32nd/Alma began to really take shape – a squared-off modern that will have floor-to-ceiling windows and just drink in Pacific views in a rare, true, breathtaking panorama.

The old-school Spanish next door might have stood permanently for the contrast between Manhattan of old and the new MB, but no.

It's flat, just sand now. The 'dozer left a couple of weeks ago.

And so did a little bit of the old spirit.

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UPDATE: We got a little more color in response to this story.

First, we learned that the original home was built in 1927 from reclaimed lumber and was the only house on the sand dune for quite a stretch in any direction. The lumber came mainly from the grandstands of a disused airplane racing field in Culver City.

The second floor addition, and much of the Spanish styling, came in a later remodel by a local surfing legend, "Jeep" Schaeffer. The owner from 1999-2012 was TV/movie actor Matthew Fox.

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