Bridge Timber Houses in Big Sur


Completed in 1974, the Shaw House can be grouped with what the architectural writer Richard Olsen has called the Big Sur “bridge timber” houses. These were built out of reclaimed redwood timber sourced from local bridges that were demolished and replaced with concrete and steel in the 1960s. (The lumber for the Shaw House came from the old Dolan Creek Bridge, located just south of the Esalen Institute, the storied human potential movement retreat center.) Among the more celebrated bridge timber structures are the 1969 Hill of the Hawk house and the 1971 Staude House, both built by the Carmel Valley architect George Brook-Kothlow, who also did a similar place for Clint Eastwood in nearby Pebble Beach.

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