Behind This Nondescript Facade Is a Very Interesting House

You could pass by 331 E. Canon Perdido without guessing what’s inside—or even noticing the building at all. Designed in 1981 by the owner, it’s a miniature hacienda above a two-car garage.


Bedrooms: Three.
Bathrooms: Three.
Size/Acreage: 2,630 square feet / .09 acre.
Price: $1.7 million.
Last sold: Unknown.
Listing agent:
Joel Butera of Berkshire Hathaway.


After you walk up the flight of stairs on the right side of the building, there are two doors. The one on the left leads to the guest apartment directly over the garage.

The door on the right goes to the main residence, which is set back off the street. The primary feature of the house is the huge atrium, around which the other rooms are gathered.

The light is amazing, but it brings with it considerable heat. I wondered whether the roof had always been there—otherwise, why have that little overhang above the upstairs door?—but the broker said he thought it was indeed original. (If I were buying the house, I’d look into having the atrium be an open courtyard.) In any event, the living room, a sitting room, and two dining rooms are on the Canon Perdido side of the atrium.

And the kitchen is across the way.

There’s a small terrace to the southwest. According to the listing, this is one of three fountains. I don’t recall the others, but it’s possible I missed them; the house is a maze—and totally ripe for a game of hide-and-seek.

The fabulous staircase in the atrium snakes its way to the third-floor master bedroom. That door in the back opens onto a covered balcony, with a spiral metal staircase inside; it goes up to the roof deck and down to the main floor.

The stairwell alsohas a nifty porthole window.

Meanwhile, in the part of the building that’s on the other side of the atrium, another staircase—there are at least four in the entire structure—leads to a guest room. (The fig tree visible through the door is in the atrium.) There’s no en suite bathroom, though; you’d have to use the full bath that’s downstairs, off the entrance.

As hard as I’ve tried to explain the building, you really ought to experience it firsthand—photos just don’t do it justice. Happily, 331 E. Canon Perdido will be open this Sunday, October 6, from 1 to 3 p.m.; you can also contact Joel Butera of Berkshire Hathaway for a private showing. Either way, tell him Siteline sent you.