02

ABOUT

RICH IN HISTORY

Originally known as the Livingston House; built for the Livingston Family at a cost of $5000 in Sherman Heights in 1887 during San Diego's first real estate boom. Its sister house was built that same year and is now the famous Villa Montezuma Museum, which is still in Sherman Heights--an urban neighborhood near downtown San Diego.

Read below to learn about how the Livingston House became the Baby Del...

 

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Overview

55 feet tall ● Tallest House on the island ● Half Acre Lot ● One of the eight largest home lots on the island ● 7 bedrooms ● 6.5 bathrooms ● 3 guesthouses ● large garage ● basement ● wine cellar ● MLS # PTP2104636

  • Exactly 100 steps to the sands of Coronado’s main beach, the “Baby Del” proudly stands as one of San Diego’s most magnificent Queen Anne Victorian landmarks. Its architecture is reminiscent of the Hotel del Coronado a few blocks away. 

  • Built in 1887, the Livingston House was an news-worthy monumental move on land and barge in 1983 to its majestic location in Coronado – just steps to the romantic white-sands beach – from the Sherman Heights neighborhood of San Diego, and has been lovingly restored and enjoyed by its two owners since.

  • Turrets, stained glass, wrought-iron work, and gold leaf create a bond to an earlier, more gracious time. The home was designated as Historical Landmark No. 58 in San Diego and then designated again as a historical home in Coronado. This home also has qualified and received a Mills Act designation, which makes it eligible for certain property-tax reductions. (Consult with a tax professional for specific information.) 

  • In the midst of the 1880s, during San Diego’s first real estate boom, Mrs. Harriett Livingston built this work of art and it was perched on 24th and J Streets in San Diego’s Sherman Heights neighborhood. It often is referred to as  the Sister house of The Villa Montezuma Mansion, which is now a museum. Legend has it that many of the home’s construction workers put their skills to use the very next year on building the second-largest wooden structure in the United States, the Hotel del Coronado.

  • The late San Diego-based architect Christopher Mortenson, who was a leader in the revitalization of the historic Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego, bought the house in 1979. He moved it to Coronado by truck and a barge in 1983, and lived in it with his family until 1995. The home was acquired by its current owner in 1995. The  home has not been on the market for 26 years and is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 

  • Rare Half-acre lot is one of the eight-largest residential properties in Coronado and comprises two parcels, originally three but two were joined for placement of the home. 

  • The home’s exotic Victorian dragon tree was also relocated by crane to it’s new surroundings in 1984 and was formerly located in the 700 block of C Avenue The tree was in danger of being felled to make room for new development. This particular tree may well have come to Coronado at the same time as the one in front of the Hotel Del. The dragon tree, also known as Dracaena Draco, is native to the Canary Islands and is thought to be the oldest living plant. With its name derived from the Greek expression for “female dragon,” it is known for its reddish sap, said to resemble the blood of a dragon and thought to have medicinal value. The tree has a life expectancy of several hundred years.

  • Located ½ mile walking and biking distance from The Hotel Del Coronado, this special Island has been known as Hollywood’s Playground since the 1920s as well as hosted Presidents Harrison, McKinley, Taft and Wilson. Hollywood Stars and Starlets discovered that The Del was the “in” place to stay and many celebrities made their way south to party during the 1920s and 1930s, specifically during the era of Prohibition. Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Mae West, Joan Crawford, Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis and Ginger Rogers were a few of the many great players (actors) who stayed at The Hotel. 

Interior Features and Amenities

  • A creative blend of classic and modern amenities, the house has 12+-foot-tall ceilings, arched doorways in the main hallway, time period leaded-glass front door and windows in the primary bathroom, and three fireplaces located in the living room, parlor, and primary retreat. The two chimneys were custom-built, with each brick put into place and tediously tuck-pointed by the late Bud Bernhard, a well-known Coronado brick mason of longstanding who loved building chimneys.

  • The “Crown Room,” named after the Hotel Del’s Crown Room, was built by the Mortensen family to look like the famed dining venue. It has 19 doors that open to a wraparound deck to go to and from the gardens. A solid-steel-and-wood spiral staircase with curved wood railing in the middle of the room connects the 4 levels of the house – basement, main floor, bedrooms, and widow’s walk to the top-floor turret with breathtaking views of white water, Point Loma, Mexico, Coronado Islands and San Diego – as well as provides a solid reinforcement to the home. The staircase is a work of art, complementing the home’s beach theme as it resembles a seashell.

  • A brand-new wood-paneled elevator, complete with an emergency phone,  connects the lower three levels of the house, basement, main floor and bedrooms.

  • The dining room offers custom built-in china cabinets, a butler’s closet with original antique built-in cabinetry, plus mood lighting installed on a drop ceiling and cabinetry. 

  • Home chefs will love the kitchen’s walk-in pantry, Wolf commercial gas range with broiler, and broiler, all overlooking the garden’s fountain, and gazebo featuring faux door with knocker and decorative keys.

  • A laundry room and half-bathroom are at the corner of the Crown Room. A clothes chute is built into the wall from the Master Suite Closet to the laundry room.

  • Two of the original doors on the main floor have been preserved, along with the original antique doorknobs, which are low to the ground as they were in 1887.

  • Faux painting on the individual room walls was inspired by the colors in  stained glass windows and  front door.

  • Windows are the original wood dual-hanging sash style, which allow for the top or bottom window to be opened to let in the cool ocean breeze. 

  • The basement is the perfect place for a wine party with arched wine compartments and convenient cabinets with shelves for other storage. One smaller attached room is ideal for a private gy, Art Studio or Humidor and the second room provides shelving for storage. The floor has beautiful Iranian tile.

  • An extra-wide hallway connects the bedrooms on the second level.

  • Under the carpet on the second and third levels are the original hardwood floors.

  • The main level has solid-core oak wood floors which have been fully replaced.

  • Bedroom 1: Kids’ room offers a built-in trundle bed.

  • Bathroom 1: Full bathroom with  jet bath, large separate shower, customs vanity, mood lighting, surround sound speakers and an overhead skylight with remote.

  • Bedroom 2: Can hear the waves and take in the breathtaking view of Pacific Ocean from this large Bedroom.

  • Bedrooms 3 and 4 were combined to make a Royal Primary Suite that is truly spectacular. With double doors, the Study/Retreat is to the right, and the Bedroom and Bathroom is to the right. The Study has a custom built-in desk in the turret with ample locking file drawers underneath the windows overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Hotel Del Coronado, Mexico, Coronado Islands and Point Loma. The soft soothing sounds of waves from windows provide a relaxed feeling. The Study/Retreat has a gas fireplace with an abundance of space to add additional furniture. There is a full-wall glass bookcase to display your library. 

  • The bathroom has stained-glass windows that match the front door’s stained glass. This bathroom also features dual sinks on separate walls, Nautilus shoer with bench and dual showerheads, floor-to-ceiling tri-fold mirrors that last look before leaving, a private water closet and small wall safe, walk around expansive closet, huge shelving are for shoe collection, pull-down upper closet rods, oversized built-in clothes chest with ample shelving above laundry chute to the L, a wraparound shower with bench and dual showers, a walk-around expansive closet, and the clothes drop to the laundry room.

  • From the top floor, one can see Point Loma, the Pacific Ocean, downtown San Diego, the San Diego Bay Bridge, the Hotel Del Coronado, Baja California, Mexico and the Coronado Islands. The floor also has a secret playroom with round, ship-style/nautical windows, 4 storage rooms,  bathroom with shower, kitchenette area with microwave and mini-refrigerator.

  • The turret’s chandelier is original to the time period and has been closely matched with one over the spiral staircase. 

  • Peaking at 55 feet, this is the tallest house in Coronado. The city’s standard residential height is 30 feet and a special decree was voted in to allow for the arrival of the Baby Del. 

  • Custom lighting upgrades are installed throughout the house, as is an indoor/outdoor music system.

  • Comfort features include a water-purification system, forced-air HVAC, and a mud room/pet-wash room/sun room with a separate entrance.

  • The kitchen door, garage, and guest houses have a keyless entry system.

 

Exterior Features and Amenities

  • The exterior house, roof lattice fences and wrought iron was repainted in 2020.

  • The roof has copper gutters, with angels for extra protection and wrought-iron railings around rooftops.

  • A tranquil fountain is located in the garden just outside the kitchen door and the arched walkway leads you to the barbeque entertaining area. Side showers are ideal for washing the sand off after trips to the beach.

  • The Dragon Tree is similar to the one located at The Del is famous and is known for being the oldest living plant and thought to have medicinal value. The particular Dragon Tree has been declared one of the finest in San Diego County.

  • Melaleuca trees line the west side of the property.

  • The home’s grounds have been designed for entertaining large and small gatherings, with a BBQ area just outside the “Crown Room”, rope lights, electrical outlets, seating areas, pathway lighting, and overhead illumination placed throughout the gardens.

  • Around the Olive Tree in the garden near the garage is a hexagonal seating bench. Wood planks can be inserted to create an entertainment area for serving food. Electrical outlets on every pillar may be used to plug in your serving dishes. 

  • Mature Lemon and Hass avocado trees. Podocarpus Trees along the back wall for more privacy and in front of the garage wall for decor. Ficus Trees form a privacy hedge on the east side of property. 

  • Two storage areas are located by the staircase leading to the upper guesthouse, one is convenient for gardening storage. 

  • TheGuesthouse adjacent to the garage called the “Zen Room” has a tiled bedroom and bathroom with shower. Solar panels on the roof provide a nice little reduction in the monthly cost of electricity.

  • The other 2 guest houses, located in a real 1887 Carriage House, are on two levels. The upper level called the “Sky Room '' is a large studio with kitchen, gas stove, full refrigerator/freezer, microwave, laundry closet for a washer/dryer stack, bathroom with shower and remote controlled skylight, walk-in closet plus beach and city skyline views. It has a small balcony perfect for a little table and chair set. The lower level guest house consists of a large tiled room that opens nicely to a brick patio and backyard perfect for hosting events and has a bathroom with shower. This room is perfect for guests that like to visit the beach or bring pets. It is a wheelchair-accessible unit, except for the shower but can easily be modified. 

  • The alley courtyard has a double iron and wood gate that opens to the alley. This area is a nice area for some chairs and benches for your guests to have their own private yard, maybe even a barbeque. A rolling gate at the end of the walkway allows a pet to be contained when you are away.

  • The square glass-enclosed Showroom is a beautiful focal point of the grounds and is an ideal building for displaying favorite works of art, antique vehicle, a greenhouse, yoga studio or hosting a bar - music area. Two glass doors may be opened on the back and the entire front of glass doors accordions back to make the front disappear. The rustic chandelier matches the lights on the outside of the building. 

  • The large 2-car garage has been designed for parties and catering. The garage doors open to the alley with three parking spaces for the caterer and band. Meal preparation assists include 2 large sinks with disposals, 2 microwaves, a fully refrigerator with double doors for sliding in catering trays and a cork board for catering postings. The garage has two fans with lights plus overhead can lighting. An attic the size of the entire garage may be utilized with the help of a pull-down attic ladder. A small room attached to the garage with a locking door provides shelving and a small workbench with cabinet. 

  • The alley is wide and overhead-line free. There are four parking spaces: three within the red line in front of the two garage doors and one perpendicular on the west end. Disposal trucks pick up in the alley so disposal containers do not have to be moved to the front street. 

 

About Coronado

  • Just a short drive over the bridge or ride on the ferry from Downtown San Diego, this lovely little village is known for its superior walkability to dining, boutiques, white sand beaches, entertainment, golfing, sailing or enjoying the custom craftsmanship of its beautiful homes. Silver Strand makes this “Island” a peninsula and creates a beautiful drive to the south surrounded by the Bay to the east and Pacfic Ocean to the west. 


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