This California Town Is Completely Made Up Of Fairy Tale Style Cottages

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Residents of one California town decided to be a little unconventional when building their homes there.

Founded in 1902 on the Monterey Peninsula, Carmel-by-the-Sea has always had a small population. And, this charming location has been a haven for artists for some time. In the 1920s writers like Jack London and Sinclair Lewis were staying there, in addition to many others. The beautiful landscape and the creative atmosphere drew in a wide variety of people, including dollmaker, Mayotta Browne.

When the atmosphere also drew in Hugh Comstock in 1924, it was love at first sight. Browne and Comstock married quickly and soon the new bride was asking her husband to build them a bigger house in fairytale style so that she could better display her Otsy-Totsies dolls to potential customers.

Via/ Flickr

Via/ Flickr

Comstock was not an architect, but took on the task anyways. He built her a stucco cottage with curly window frames, a gable roof and separate dormer, and a wabi-sabi chimney made of stones. His slightly imperfect way of building gave the house a whimsical, magical, aged look. They named it Hansel.

When people saw how beautiful the little cottage was they asked Comstock if he could build cottages for them as well. Soon many of the shops and streets in Carmel-by-the-Sea were made over in this fairytale style.

The initial asking price for the construction of one of these buildings was $100. By 1954 the company he founded was charging $110,923 for some of these houses (the average price of a home in 1954 was less than $20,000). Today, one of these incredibly detailed homes can cost upwards of $4M, in part because the area has become such a desired place to live. But, the historic nature of Comstock’s buildings also makes them valuable. And, unlike Craftsman fairytale houses, no two were alike.

It only took Comstock five years to erect many of these buildings in the little town. Almost all of them still stand today and have been well maintained over the years!