Nothing gives a beach community cool, kitsch appeal quite like a giant house shaped like a boat, and the lucky town of Encinitas California has not one, but two! The SS Encinitas and the SS Moonlight sit side by side and were built by retired engineer Miles Kellogg in the late 1920s. And while you might be thinking "oh, another old boat recycled into into a home," the weirdest part is that these particular boat abodes were never actually sea vessels at all. Kellogg built them out of wood salvaged from the demolished Moonlight Beach dance pavilion and old Encinitas Hotel.
While the faux ship homes would most likely sink right away if ever placed on the open sea, the clever way they are positioned at 726-732 Third St. would fool almost anyone. They “sail” right next to one another and even have an (intentional) starboard list to give the feeling that they really are cruising the waves. Both houses are 15 feet tall and 20 feet long with a total space of 2,190 square feet. Each home has ship-like features such as plaster hulls with 19 portholes, two decks, large flat-roofed pilothouses (these are the bedrooms), a galley, dining and living rooms and a bathroom below deck.
Why build houses shaped like boats from scratch instead of using actual boats? Honestly, we have no idea, but that doesn’t make the Encinitas boat homes any less interesting – or any less recycled. Members of the Encinitas Historical Society say that the apartments are among the earliest and best examples of recycled architecture in the area, and we have to admit, it was decidedly more ambitious to erect these structures from the ground up. Miles Kellogg, whose father was a sea captain, built the structures in the 1920s using old timber from a local hotel and the Moonlight Beach dance house, a once-popular local night spot that failed to survive the Prohibition. Today, the Encinitas Preservation Association is the proud owner of both homes and they are currently renting them out as apartments in order to raise funds to turn one into a museum.
Photos © Encinitas Preservation Association