Venture capitalist buys Butterfly
House for $16.5M
Published: June 7, 2012
ONE OF Carmel’s most
recognizable homes — named the “Butterfly House” for its
distinctive curved roof — sold last week to venture capitalist
Kevin Comolli for $16.5 million.
Located at 26320 Scenic Road, the three-bedroom, four-bath
residence was designed and built in the early 1950s by architect
Perched on a rocky outcropping overlooking Point Lobos and
Carmel Bay, the 3,041-square-foot home had been listed for $19.2
million by Carmel Realty, which described it as “one of only
five true oceanfront properties in Carmel.”
The construction of the house, which was completed in 1952,
caused quite a stir. Some believed it would fall into the ocean.
Acquiring the steel columns and beams it needed during the
Korean War also proved to be a challenge. Wynkoop eventually
received a letter from President Dwight D. Eisenhower permitting
him to use the steel. But he only owned his dream home for a
brief time before money woes forced him to sell it.
Steven Kahn and his family owned it for more than half a century before Joe Walter bought the house in 2008. Before Walter purchased it for $9.3 million, then Vice President Dick Cheney was rumored to be its buyer.
Walter hired Wynkoop’s sons, Thor and Jay, to renovate the
home. The brothers brought it up to date, adding a rectangular
pool to its interior courtyard and other modern amenities.
Comolli works in the London office of Accel Partners, “a global
venture and growth equity firm” committed to “helping
exceptional entrepreneurs build lasting, category-defining
technology companies.” The company — which also has an office in
Palo Alto — lists Facebook, Spotify, Etsy and Walmart among its
Comolli joined Accel in 2000. According to his biography on the
company’s website, he has been active in “international
startups, general management and venture capital investing for
He is also listed as an active member of the World Economic
Forum, a Swiss nonprofit foundation dedicated to “improving the
state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and
other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry
Comolli graduated from Northwestern University in 1982 with a
BS in Engineering. He received his MBA in 1987 from Harvard
A Google search did not turn up any links between Comolli and
Carmel, although the reasons why he wanted to buy the house are
probably self evident. He did not respond to questions from The
Pine Cone about his new home.