Way, way, way up on my "favorite things in life" list is a truly whimsical building.

If you've read any of the "Wilfair" books this may not come as huge revelation. I like anything that's offbeat, pretty much, but a building is such a major undertaking, requiring the skills and efforts of so many, that to come across one that is truly different is a joy. There's an incorrect theory, in my mind, that if something is hard to do, and takes a long time, then it too often resembles other things in its group or class; the people behind the project choose to play it safe, given the time and cash it has taken to build.

So when a huge building walks its own path? I'm tickled.

I recently wrote about three California buildings that a) are famously spooky and b) inspire me in different ways. They're probably the Golden State's top three most famous houses, Halloween edition. wealhtheow will know about the first, myrandaroyann is a fan of the third, and Erika has likely heard about the second (and has likely visited, if I know her history-loving spirit).

This is the Carson Mansion, in Eureka, a quintessential real-world whimsical building. It's so wonderfully eerie it regularly appears in stock art as "haunted house." It's that tall tower that does it, in my opinion. If ever a house looks like it was built for a movie set, it's this one. Paging the Addams Family!

Do you love the Carson like I do? I think the Finley family should buy a bed-and-breakfast that looks like this, only all the doors are in the ceilings.

cr: Don Forthuber


wealhtheow said...

I DO love the Carson. My father is a club member, so I've gotten the full tour and have hung out in the swimming pool. Not to mention brunch! YUM.

I've never thought of it as spooky, though. It's just such a classic Victorian house, one of the grande dames of the North Coast.

Wilfair Book said...


I may demand a blog post from you. Yes, I said "demand" there. A TOUR! I'm seriously five flavors of jealous, but a good jealous.

This was the comment I needed today! Can you share a further detail or two? Tell me about the swimming pool.

It's definitely a grand dame, for sure.

Wilfair Book said...

Btw, if you like Victorians, take a drive through Angelino Heights next time you're in LA. This neighborhood shows up in all sorts of films/shows (like "Charmed").

I'd love to live in an old Victorian, but I'm sure I'd be tempted to wear a bustle and carry a hand fan, which would make my modern day-to-day doings a little awkward.

wealhtheow said...

OK, go look up pictures of the indoor swimming pool at the Greenbrier in West Virginia.

It's NOTHING like that. At all. It's just a regular little old pool, but with the sweetest and friendliest lifeguards. And free sunscreen for members and guests. It's actually very much what I imagine the Overbove pool to be like. Nothing fancy, nothing special--but the magic of the location just makes it perfect.

The view from that cupola is AMAZEBALLS, though. My parents lobbied really really hard for me to get married there, but the hubster and I wanted an outdoor wedding. But this was definitely my second choice.

Wilfair Book said...

1. You used the word "cupola." I'm in that word's fan club.

2. The Greenbrier! I see that on my cable travel shows. Want to go.

3. You used the word "hubster." I might need to start incorporating that.

4. I pre-like your parents for wanting you to get married at the Carson Mansion.

5. I also like that you have a picture of the Overboves' pool in your mind. I sometimes wonder how the hotel and motel and people look to everyone else. I see them, but I'm just one person.

6. Thanks for checking in. I'm busy stuffing "Stay Awhile" full of tasty things, like some over-sized Thanksgiving turkey, so it is nice to hear from my peeps.

7. Yes, I said "peeps." Apologies.

wealhtheow said...

But check out where I DID get married. Because it can not be beat for gorgeousness.

Wilfair Book said...

Beautiful! Plus "apples" in the URL immediately sold me. Did you have photos taken in the orchard?

Thank you for giving me some happy clicking around time to wake up by.

I do love me some fruit trees. We stayed off an orange grove near the sequoias a few years ago and the breeze blew in that one-of-a-kind blossom smell every morning.

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