Sharpen your No. 2 pencil, because we’re testing your ability to spot a bargain. The restored and remodeled Albion Schoolhouse in California’s Mendocino County isn’t just a cool place to live; it also comes with a county permit allowing the owner to rent it out for events.
Given its reputation for hosting area parties—weddings, receptions, bar mitzvahs—those events could cover the cost of a monthly mortgage payment. On the market for $1.5 million, it offers plenty of potential. And if you pencil in vacation rentals, the place could even clear a profit!
The Albion Schoolhouse had a humble beginning in 1924: The one-room schoolhouse was built for the children of Albion’s redwood logging community. It was expanded and used as a schoolhouse until 1967, when the logging boom petered out. The building later served as a community center, grocery store, and experimental elementary school.
In 1995, record producer Bill Bottrell purchased the crumbling schoolhouse. He proceeded to restore and repurpose the 5,000-square-foot building into a three-bedroom, three-bath residence and recording studio, where he’d eventually record the likes of Tom Petty, Van Morrison, and Sheryl Crow.
Bottrell restored much of the building’s original architecture, including the wide front stairs, tall ceilings, large vertical and horizontal windows, fir hardwood flooring, redwood-paneled wainscoting, and wraparound decks. He covered the walls with paneling where chalkboards used to hang.
You can even see where the shuffleboard court was painted on the floor of the old gym, which you’d enter and exit through doors with push bars—just like the ones in your old elementary school. But our favorite renovations are the large “Girls” and “Boys” bathrooms redone in circa 1920s tile and claw-foot bathtubs.
There are also contemporary additions, including skylights, a metal roof, glass-and-steel fireplace, chef’s kitchen, and raised stage with sound system in the library.
In 2014, Bottrell sold the place to Rabbi Sydney Mintz, of Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco, and Justine Shapiro. The couple were initially looking for a weekend retreat, but wound up buying the house, the 2 acres it sits on, and most of the furnishings for $1,125,000.
“When I first stepped foot into the Albion Schoolhouse, I nearly fell down,” says Shapiro, an Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker. “I was stunned. Never before has a space triggered such an immediate and visceral sensation of uplift, peace and, well, love. Bill created a home much like he created music. There is harmony, joy, philosophy, and both visible and invisible lines of connection.”
The duo didn’t change much, although they added a Murphy bed behind the performance stage. Shapiro says the children who stay there love kayaking and canoeing on the nearby Big River Beach. They often play board games, spend time on the stage, or enjoy the great outdoors, instead of staying glued to their mobile phones.
But all good things usually come to an end. “It is with great sadness that we are parting ways with the Albion Schoolhouse,” says Mintz. “The writing project we are working on is taking us more often to Los Angeles than it is to Mendocino.”
Their loss could be your gain, however. As you can imagine, the offers are coming in fast and furious. Even if you can’t swing a purchase, you can always go there and stay for the weekend, or throw your next big anniversary party.
The post No More Teacher’s Dirty Looks, Albion Schoolhouse Is an A-Plus Conversion appeared first on Real Estate News & Advice | realtor.com®.
Author: Lisa Johnson Mandell
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