The Crescent House exterior. Photo courtesy of Rancho Photos

The Crescent House exterior. Photo courtesy of Rancho Photos

An Encinitas home designed by famed architect Wallace Cunningham is up for sale, with an asking price of $23.5 million.

The so-called Crescent House is the most expensive house ever listed in Encinitas, according to Kelly Howard and Lisa Waltman of Compass, who listed the house on behalf of its owners, Eileen Quinn and Lance Williams of Miami.


Kelly Howard Sales Director Compass


Lisa Waltman Agent Compass

“It’s timeless,” Howard said. “As you enter the house, you’re completely removed from the outside world.”

Waltman described the house as “a spectacular piece of art.”

“This is a house you don’t touch, it’s like a museum quality piece,” Waltman said. “It will never be dated because it will never be duplicated.”

Fair Price

Made of steel, concrete, titanium and glass, the Crescent House was built in 2003 for developer Bud Fischer, who is credited with being a pioneer in the transformation of the downtown San Diego neighborhood that became the Gaslamp Quarter.

Fisher died in 2013 and Quinn and Williams bought the Crescent House in 2016 as a vacation home for $11.1 million.

Despite the more than doubling in price, “we feel the price is very fair,” Waltman said.

“We just sold a scraper for $6 million,” Howard said.

According to Compass, the average sale price for detached homes in Encinitas was $2.6 million in March.

The Crescent House took three years to build. Built on an 18,872 square-foot lot, the house has 74 feet of ocean frontage on a bluff.

Most lots in the vicinity are a third that of the Crescent House, Howard said.

The house is firmly anchored into steel cables and concrete caissons, Howard added.

“We could have something catastrophic happen and this would be sitting by itself on the street.”

Upside Down

The house takes its name from the tiered design and curved walls, including an infinity pool in the shape of a crescent moon that wraps around part of the house, which is centered around a circular terrace.

The house has 4 ½ bathrooms with three bedrooms in the main house and an additional bedroom in the guest quarters, which has an additional room with pull-down murphy beds.

All the bedrooms have panoramic ocean views.

Because of building restrictions that were added since it was built, the Crescent House could not be duplicated, Howard said.

In describing his design for the Crescent House, Cunningham wrote that it “happens to be upside down with all of the principal rooms located on the top level.”

 “The intention was to create a path to the top without realizing you’re actually ascending,” Cunningham wrote. “There are a series of ramps that can be taken, staircases, and an elevator – it offers multiple journeys. Each journey is designed to shield you from the street and neighboring properties and to open up dramatic views under and through the building.”

Other work by Cunningham include The Razor, a La Jolla home owned by Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz.

Waltman said that the Crescent House has been used as the setting for television shows, such as HBO’s Westworld.

“It’s a very desirable filming location because it’s so unique and it photographs beautifully. There’s so much indoor and outdoor space.”

The house is being marketed internationally but Waltman said, “We wouldn’t be surprised if the buyer is hyper-local, meaning that they’re already in San Diego.”

Howard said the luxury home market in San Diego “is still moving very well.”

“We don’t see any signs of it changing,” she added. “San Diego had 44 sales of $10 million-plus in 2021, which was nearly an 84% increase over 2020.”

The Crescent House in Encinitas is listed for sale at $23.5 million. Photo courtesy of Rancho Photos