A couple years ago, the 1912 Craftsman-style home at 125 Mozart Street — one of Cardiff’s oldest — was spared from demolition after zoning issues caused an office-building development to fall through.
Recently, local architect/developer Brett Farrow received approval from the City of Encinitas to remodel the home and build an additional five residential units on the 28,000-square-foot property.
What makes the home even more valuable is who built it.
In 1911, New York based–music publisher Victor Kremer fell in love with the coastal community. He is credited with adding “by-the-Sea” to Cardiff’s name (borrowed from one of his favorite songs, “By the Beautiful Sea”). Kremer built the Mozart Street house and moved his family out from New York.
J. Frank Cullen, the town’s founder, asked Kremer to develop an artists’ enclave north of Birmingham Drive, where creative types could settle and work. Kremer’s vision still remains today on 12 streets he plotted and named after composers such as Chopin (Way), Haydn (Drive), Schubert (Path), and Vivaldi (Street).
In the early, ’30s Kremer sold his publishing company and invested in Cardiff real estate. He began growing passion fruit on the Mozart Street property and eventually sold jams, jellies, and a soda named Passionola. In 1937, he was in New York securing orders from big department stores when he received a telegram: his Cardiff crop had been wiped out in an unexpected frost.
Kremer lived in the home until his death in 1957. His handwritten initials are still embedded in a concrete porch he built, and original real estate sales signs were found in the walls of a recently demolished shed.
Farrow says once the five other homes are completed, he will begin a complete historical remodel of the Kremer home, which will become Farrow’s residence.