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Who built this award-winning Del Mar seaside mansion?

We've got a clear view of the Pacific running to the edge of the earth

“Arch” you envious of people who get to live like this?
“Arch” you envious of people who get to live like this?

Del Mar — it’s where the turf meets the surf, where horses are somewhat regularly sacrificed as a consequence of people being entertained by watching them run in circles on said turf, and where, ever since Hollywood was a thing, stars and celebrities have day-tripped from LA to enjoy sunny beach days, lavish resorts, and haute cuisine in some of the county’s most well-regarded restaurants.

Del Mar was a standout luxury outpost even before the hoi polloi were effectively priced out of virtually every SoCal beach town, and it remains one of the most exclusive — and expensive — addresses along the coast. So it’s maybe a surprise to find that it’s been nearly six months since we’ve stopped in to gawk at a local seaside mansion. Let’s rectify that now.

Because nothing says “cozy sleeping space” like a long stone bench! Nice views, though.

Built in 1995, the 4600-square-foot residence at 117 6th Street boasts “over 160 feet of ocean frontage on an extra wide lot with breathtaking 180 degree views from La Jolla to San Clemente,” according to the opening salvo from Zillow’s listing remarks, making for “the ultimate indoor/outdoor lifestyle.” We’re then told that the “award winning property has been recognized for its noteworthy craftsmanship and use of material,” though we’re not told by whom. I think we should take a look and see if we can recognize it for ourselves.

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Sponsored

The first photo on our tour shows primarily water and sky. A swimming pool (which, along with its jacuzzi, is said to wrap around a detached office and/or guest bedroom) runs along a patio to a glass wall. There are a few plants on the other side of that wall, but after that, we’ve got a clear view of the Pacific running to the edge of the earth, with the sun just beginning its nightly dive into the sea. There are certainly worse ways to start off a tour.

Our next shots are of a dining room, which is separated by a dual-sided fireplace from a living area. There are of course plenty of west-facing windows, and some of the contrasting materials on the walls — along with the fireplace and what the listing calls “a copper-clad arch” that “rests partly inside and partly outside of this special home” — do a lot to break up the space and avoid the monotony of design I sometimes complain about with newer homes. But because this home is 27 years old, instead of walls of glass that completely retract and disappear, we’ve got to settle for an older design, in which plates of glass simply pivot on an axis to open the home to the outside, one three- or four-foot section at a time. How old-fashioned. Still, once the plates are pivoted, you still get excellent airflow, which is a real consolation.

Now we’re headed to a bedroom that features plenty of windows and its own patio door, but is outfitted with a ceiling fan that looks far too small to be useful in a space this large. There’s also an imposing stone bench that protrudes from two of the walls, taking up space where I might put a dresser and looking too much like, well, a stone bench to make me want to sit down and relax. The listing says there are three en-suite bedrooms upstairs in addition to the main suite, but it looks like we’re still on the lower level, so maybe this is just a guest room. Once we get upstairs, we see some bedroom shots that look similar to — if not as large as — the first. One of them boasts a chunk of that copper arch running through the wall, rising up from where it disappeared into the vaulted ceiling of the living room.

We then head back outside and get a different view of the pool, such that we can see it partially surrounding the detached room we were told about earlier. This would certainly lend the occupants of that room a unique feeling, as if they’re surrounded by a moat. But I can’t see how the pool is very practical for recreational purposes. Moving on: some backyard shots show us a grassy lawn flanked by meticulously-maintained flower and succulent gardens, along with a pair of towering palms. We see the yard first at night, then during the day, then at night again, but this time with at least a hundred lights ablaze.

And now we’re done. That seemed to go fast: we never saw the “spectacular entry with soaring ceilings and doors,” and we don’t see a single bathroom, or even get to peek at the kitchen. One of the first things we’re told as young agents is how important the bathrooms and kitchen are to selling a home, so this omission is particularly confusing to me. Are these spaces just horribly outdated, even though the rest of the home seems very well-kept? Is there flooding or a fire going on? The choice to only use two dozen photos when listing services today will allow many more is a bit concerning.

Anyway, the listing also notes that the home includes a two-car garage and a massive solar system with not one but two backup batteries, and that it’s close to Del Mar’s ritzy entertainment district. Public records list a Mercaldo family trust as the current owner; patriarch Edward was an investment banker who passed away in 2013. The 6th Street property was first listed in mid-August and briefly went offline before being offered again in mid-November. The original asking price of $19,950,000 has been reduced to $16,900,000.

  • 117 6th street | del mar, 92014
  • Current owner: Mercaldo Family | Listing price: $16,900,000 | Beds: 5 | Baths: 6 | House size: 4600 sq ft
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“Arch” you envious of people who get to live like this?
“Arch” you envious of people who get to live like this?

Del Mar — it’s where the turf meets the surf, where horses are somewhat regularly sacrificed as a consequence of people being entertained by watching them run in circles on said turf, and where, ever since Hollywood was a thing, stars and celebrities have day-tripped from LA to enjoy sunny beach days, lavish resorts, and haute cuisine in some of the county’s most well-regarded restaurants.

Del Mar was a standout luxury outpost even before the hoi polloi were effectively priced out of virtually every SoCal beach town, and it remains one of the most exclusive — and expensive — addresses along the coast. So it’s maybe a surprise to find that it’s been nearly six months since we’ve stopped in to gawk at a local seaside mansion. Let’s rectify that now.

Because nothing says “cozy sleeping space” like a long stone bench! Nice views, though.

Built in 1995, the 4600-square-foot residence at 117 6th Street boasts “over 160 feet of ocean frontage on an extra wide lot with breathtaking 180 degree views from La Jolla to San Clemente,” according to the opening salvo from Zillow’s listing remarks, making for “the ultimate indoor/outdoor lifestyle.” We’re then told that the “award winning property has been recognized for its noteworthy craftsmanship and use of material,” though we’re not told by whom. I think we should take a look and see if we can recognize it for ourselves.

Sponsored
Sponsored

The first photo on our tour shows primarily water and sky. A swimming pool (which, along with its jacuzzi, is said to wrap around a detached office and/or guest bedroom) runs along a patio to a glass wall. There are a few plants on the other side of that wall, but after that, we’ve got a clear view of the Pacific running to the edge of the earth, with the sun just beginning its nightly dive into the sea. There are certainly worse ways to start off a tour.

Our next shots are of a dining room, which is separated by a dual-sided fireplace from a living area. There are of course plenty of west-facing windows, and some of the contrasting materials on the walls — along with the fireplace and what the listing calls “a copper-clad arch” that “rests partly inside and partly outside of this special home” — do a lot to break up the space and avoid the monotony of design I sometimes complain about with newer homes. But because this home is 27 years old, instead of walls of glass that completely retract and disappear, we’ve got to settle for an older design, in which plates of glass simply pivot on an axis to open the home to the outside, one three- or four-foot section at a time. How old-fashioned. Still, once the plates are pivoted, you still get excellent airflow, which is a real consolation.

Now we’re headed to a bedroom that features plenty of windows and its own patio door, but is outfitted with a ceiling fan that looks far too small to be useful in a space this large. There’s also an imposing stone bench that protrudes from two of the walls, taking up space where I might put a dresser and looking too much like, well, a stone bench to make me want to sit down and relax. The listing says there are three en-suite bedrooms upstairs in addition to the main suite, but it looks like we’re still on the lower level, so maybe this is just a guest room. Once we get upstairs, we see some bedroom shots that look similar to — if not as large as — the first. One of them boasts a chunk of that copper arch running through the wall, rising up from where it disappeared into the vaulted ceiling of the living room.

We then head back outside and get a different view of the pool, such that we can see it partially surrounding the detached room we were told about earlier. This would certainly lend the occupants of that room a unique feeling, as if they’re surrounded by a moat. But I can’t see how the pool is very practical for recreational purposes. Moving on: some backyard shots show us a grassy lawn flanked by meticulously-maintained flower and succulent gardens, along with a pair of towering palms. We see the yard first at night, then during the day, then at night again, but this time with at least a hundred lights ablaze.

And now we’re done. That seemed to go fast: we never saw the “spectacular entry with soaring ceilings and doors,” and we don’t see a single bathroom, or even get to peek at the kitchen. One of the first things we’re told as young agents is how important the bathrooms and kitchen are to selling a home, so this omission is particularly confusing to me. Are these spaces just horribly outdated, even though the rest of the home seems very well-kept? Is there flooding or a fire going on? The choice to only use two dozen photos when listing services today will allow many more is a bit concerning.

Anyway, the listing also notes that the home includes a two-car garage and a massive solar system with not one but two backup batteries, and that it’s close to Del Mar’s ritzy entertainment district. Public records list a Mercaldo family trust as the current owner; patriarch Edward was an investment banker who passed away in 2013. The 6th Street property was first listed in mid-August and briefly went offline before being offered again in mid-November. The original asking price of $19,950,000 has been reduced to $16,900,000.

  • 117 6th street | del mar, 92014
  • Current owner: Mercaldo Family | Listing price: $16,900,000 | Beds: 5 | Baths: 6 | House size: 4600 sq ft
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