Stab Magazine | Want Trestles As Your Backyard And One of The Most Historic Houses In Surfing?

Want Trestles As Your Backyard And One of The Most Historic Houses In Surfing?

Got twelve bricks sitting in the bank? Why wouldn’t you buy John Severson’s Trestles home?

style // Aug 22, 2018
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Last weekend, a friend blew in from Northern California to enjoy some warm water and sunshine.

Lowers too packed to deal, Uppers closed out on account of too much south in the swell, so we set up on the beach at Cotton’s, and as is the custom with someone first surfing there, I pointed out President Richard Nixon’s former home, the White House of the West, up on the bluff.

Currently, Nixon’s La Casa Pacifica is up for a paltry $63 million.

Next-door sits the former home of late Surfer magazine founder John Severson, which, it turns out is also for sale, though going for a much more affordable $12 mil… and it has way more soul.

From the stories that float around here in San Clemente, in ’71, Severson, who passed away in 2017, sold both his home and his magazine for an undisclosed amount, and split to Maui to solely pursue art.

But the move was also largely because the tension that existed between himself and Nixon’s henchmen had reached a breaking point. Allegedly, Severson’s sister was dating a secret service agent. At one point the boyfriend told her that they had Severson’s house bugged and knew everything that went on there.

Nixon strolling in front of the White House of the West. Photo from the NY Times/Bettman

The spat famously goes back to some photos that Severson snapped and sold to Life Magazine. White House attorney John Ehrlichman eventually invited Severson over to try and broker a piece between Tricky Dick and the leader of the counterculture surf scene.

“He was one tough cookie,” Severson said in his memoire. “I tough-cookied him right back.”

Anyhow, now little slice of surf history can be yours.

Originally listed at $16 million last year, this 14,700 sq. ft. property—located at 405 is now on the market for a mere $12 mil.

“The mid-century beach house features authentic post and beam ceilings throughout, travertine floors, two outdoor showers, and five bedrooms including a secluded guest quarters,” reads the property description.

“The gourmet chef’s Kitchen is complete with every imaginable appliance from a SubZero refrigerator to a Dynasty oven & gas stove top with griddle, two sinks, a large island, wine fridge, and extensive storage. Step up to the Living Room with a grand fireplace and windows looking over the Pacific Ocean. The Master Retreat is tucked into the side of the cliff and exudes the feeling of being on a boat staring at the waves. The property has over 1,500 sq. ft. of wrap around deck with an in ground jacuzzi and room to entertain a plethora of guests.”

For the well-healed surf history aficionado or Trestles dedicate, how could you refuse?



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