Greene & Greene Virtual Archives
Martin A. Flavin House
Carmel Highlands, California, 1929-30
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Martin A. Flavin House
Carmel Highlands, California

Martin Flavin, a successful playwright, commissioned Charles Greene to design additions and alterations to his English-style house (designed by Charles Gottshalk in 1922) at Yankee Point in the Carmel Highlands. "Spindrift," as the house was called, was a year-round retreat for the Flavin family, whose primary residence was in Los Angeles. The first phase of Charles's work on Spindrift, begun in late 1929 or early 1930, included the design of a perimeter wall and an unbuilt gatehouse. Also in 1930, Charles designed a breakfast-room porch addition to the ocean side of the house, dining room candle sconces, draperies, and an elegant iron stairway and balcony for the living room. He also began to develop plans for a library, the most virtuoso artistic work of the post-James-house phase of Charles Greene's career. Paneled entirely in vertical-grain redwood, the room was designed to contain bookshelves, a stained-glass triptych window, and a paneled ceiling set in a highly complex composition of opposing diagonals. Wrought-iron heat registers, executed by H. C. Steinmetz of Pacific Grove, echo the organic undulations of plant forms carved into the wall and ceiling panels. Charles undertook other alterations for Flavin through 1941, including additional garden walls and minor interior work.