A River Runs Through Point Loma House Designed by Rob Quigley

by on September 9, 2021 · 1 comment

in Ocean Beach

By Dave Rice / San Diego Reader / September 8, 2021

Sefton Place is a tiny cul-de-sac tucked into the hills of Point Loma, home to perhaps a half-dozen residences and accessible only by making several turns off any road significant enough to be considered a major thoroughfare. You could live in the neighborhood for a decade or more, walking several miles a day up and down the winding streets, without ever knowing it exists. I did just that, and don’t remember ever encountering it.

So it’s fun to discover that housewise, there’s something unique hiding at the end of the road: 1876 Sefton. Though you’d never know it from the street. From the street, it’s thoroughly unremarkable. There’s a detached two-car garage and an arched passageway adorned with the street address leading down a flight of stairs to the three-bedroom, four-bath residence — situated well below street level.

And yet: “If you love nature, arts, fashion, and family fun time, check this one-of-a-kind home out,” the Zillow listing beckons.

Built in 1980, the home was designed by local architect Rob Quigley, a man known for his unorthodox sensibilities. Some of his notable local projects include Downtown’s New Children’s Museum and the silver-domed Central Library, along with the Pacifica condo complex — of a similar vintage and location as our Sefton house — which was panned by the Reader’s own Matt Potter in the late ’80s [editordude: and the first multilevel, apartment house that fit into the then-brand new OB Community Plan back in the mid-70s}.

Okay, back to the house; let’s go inside. It seems we enter on the top floor, with a circular dining area looking down on a living/game area below. The ceiling is lined with triangular-framed windows, with some irregular-shaped lights (skylights?) on the angled ceiling below. Per the listing, they “showcase captivating, sunny, and open spaces.” More curiously, there’s a rock formation with some tropical plants (are they real?) off to the left of the shot – and also, for some reason, a pair of penguin statues?

There’s a galley-style kitchen off the dining area. While not as fancy as some other kitchens we’ve seen, it’s just fine. The space is wide enough for a center prep island, and the vaulted ceilings keep the dark cabinetry from closing in on the space too much.

Next we encounter a nondescript room with some leafy wallpaper, followed by a bathroom that is remarkably large if not exceptionally luxurious. Oddly, there appears to be a light fixture that seems like it belongs in a hallway sticking right out of the tiled bathtub wall – hopefully, it’s waterproof.

Getting out of the smaller rooms: now, we’re back on the balcony, overlooking the great room. We can see from here that there are a couple of other seating areas lining the upper floor, and below, there’s room for a bar, pool table, and a section of room that looks like it’s set up as a stage with karaoke machine. Checking the listing…yes, that is a stage, one that’s “perfect for a grand piano.”

The next photo reveals that there’s even more goodness beneath this main living area. Are those more indoor rock piles, and a staircase leading down into them?

Okay, yes. The rocks we saw when we first arrived are part of a multi-story waterfall that ends up in a swimming pool. A winding staircase (scarily bereft of handrail) leads down to the lower level, flanking a wall with an exterior window opening into, not out from, the space. There is also a stuffed frog hiding among the plants along the waterfall, a nice Easter egg among the photos.

“Enjoy the open, loft-like living style with the serenity of a private tropical resort!” our listing invites.

Indeed. There’s also a deck off the back of the house that we would expect to offer a westward view toward the ocean, given the home’s placement on its lot. But alas, there are no photos showing the sea, which is about a mile distant. A guest house reportedly occupies 300 of the nearly 4000 square feet of living space, but we don’t see photos of it, either.

The Sefton estate has been sold several times since the turn of the century, for as little as $450,000 in 2003 and, more recently, for $1.29 million in 2017, a reduction of $160,000 off its original asking price. It was re-listed in late July with an asking price of $1,999,000 that remains unchanged to date.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tyler September 9, 2021 at 11:36 am

That whole cul-de-sac has some very unique homes!


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