In The News

Former Carmel home of Kim Novak on market for $12.5M

The ‘Vertigo’ co-star lived in the home on Spindrift Lane for about 12 years

The property at 170 Spindrift Lane at Yankee Point near Carmel Highlands, which was once owned by "Vertigo" actress Kim Novak, is on the market for $12.5 million. (Compass)
The property at 170 Spindrift Lane at Yankee Point near Carmel Highlands, which was once owned by “Vertigo” actress Kim Novak, is on the market for $12.5 million. (Compass)

By JAMES HERRERA | | Monterey Herald

PUBLISHED: July 11, 2021 at 2:11 p.m. | UPDATED: July 14, 2021 at 3:40 p.m.

CARMEL — The former home of actress Kim Novak sits on a surf-whipped, secluded outcropping of rock at Yankee Point near Carmel Highlands, a seemingly serene sanctuary for any owner, and it is currently on the market for $12.5 million.

“The uniqueness of the property comes from the absolute drama in the experience of being there,” said Jonathan Spencer, the listing agent with Compass. “The proximity of the water, being built right on the granite shelf there, the mist, gulls, sunsets, … you’re on the front row of the Pacific Ocean.”

The house, which Novak named “Gull House” when she lived there from 1961-1973, is located at 170 Spindrift Lane on two acres of oceanfront property with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, Point Lobos, Yankee Point and the Santa Lucia Range.

According to the listing on Compass: “The current configuration includes a one-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bathroom main house and one-bedroom, one-bathroom guest house with an attached one-car garage. Planning approval has been received to construct a new 4,300-square foot, three-bedroom, three-bathroom main house that will allow the next owner to enjoy a front-row seat to the symphony of crashing waves for years to come.”

The house was built in 1957 and Novak added the guest house in 1967. Spencer said the home has provided a refuge for each owner including Hollywood starlet Novak but his research on the property did not turn up the identity of the architect or builder.

Spencer described the building style as being in the Big Sur vein with a “castle on the sea vibe” built directly on the granite shelf.

“Today, they would not let you do it,” said Spencer. “It’s a rare find for any buyer.”

The home has a stacked yellow granite exterior with two towers, one topped with a steeple-type roof, and slate floors, redwood-beamed ceilings and a stone fireplace inside.

The Novak connection has generated a lot of interest from artists, actors and those connected to the entertainment industry but Spencer said the property speaks for itself.

Kim Novak as Madeleine Elster in Vertigo (1958).© 1958 Paramount Pictures Corporation

Novak starred alongside James Stewart in the 1958 Alfred Hitchcock psychological thriller “Vertigo” that includes scenes of the region such as Mission San Juan Bautista and the stand of eucalyptus which provides a canopy along the roadway on Highway 101 between Prunedale and San Juan Bautista, as well as 17 Mile Drive and the Lone Cypress in Pebble Beach.

“Vertigo” is now commonly referred to as one of the greatest movies ever made.

Earlier this year, Novak, 88, told People magazine she left Hollywood first to Carmel then two decades later to Oregon to live her life as an artist.

“I had to leave to survive,” she told People. “It was a survival issue.”

Spindrift Lane is a gated and private road with only four houses within that secure area.

“You literally cannot see this house from the north or south. … It’s completely protected,” said Spencer. “If you want complete privacy and that sensory experience, this is the absolute spot.”

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James Herrera | Reporter

James Herrera has been with The Herald for more than three decades, during which he has been an ad designer, staff artist, newsroom graphic artist, videographer and now a reporter. He covers business and the cities of Seaside, Marina, Sand City and Del Rey Oaks. Herrera can be reached via email at or by phone at Follow James Herrera @jamerra1