Bet big on bitcoin? Do you suddenly have the funds to buy that $5 million vacation home you’ve always wanted? Don’t settle for something basic — live like a legend in a one-of-a-kind SoCal landmark!
Towering high above Pacific Coast Highway in what is technically considered Seal Beach — though it also borders Huntington Beach’s Sunset Beach — the Sunset Beach Water Tower was originally built in the 1800s as a pitstop for steam engine trains traveling the California coastline. Today, though, the 2,828-square-foot structure is an idiosyncratic four-bedroom, four-bath home that reaches almost 90 feet in the sky, offering up views as far as the eye can see. And after a recent renovation, this ultimate beach getaway — all three stories of it — is now up for grabs at just under $5 million.
Back in the 1980s, the city council discussed decommissioning and razing the then-dilapidated and abandoned water tower, but crafty local citizens formed a “Save our Water Tower” campaign. Eventually, college professors George Armstrong and Robert Odell purchased the popular landmark via auction for $58,600 in 1984. The pair subsequently removed the 75,000-gallon wooden tank, which once held 300-plus tons of water, and replaced it with a three-story house that replicated the basin’s look, constructing it at ground-level and then hoisting it into its current resting place via crane.
The oddball home’s next owner was retired Pasadena fire chief Gerald Wallace, who purchased the tower in 1995 for $800,000 and attempted to sell it several times, once for as much as $8 million. In 2016, Ontario, Calif.-based real estate investors Scott Ostlund and Barrett Woods acquired the structure for $1.7 million, and set about restoring the structure to its former glory.
Today, the Douglas fir-and-redwood showcase is a cleverly designed, circular house that clearly recalls the tower’s heyday — back when trains would stop to fill up with water. There’s a wall display of tools linemen once used for repairs, trains running throughout the home’s ceiling, and a “Barrels and Burlap” bathroom — named for the two things trains carried besides people, in those days — that holds the only original piece from the 1986 remodel. A teeny space that once held the water pump also opens via a disguised bookshelf to a secret bedroom.
Scott Ostlund of Lee & Associates holds the listing.