Like all the best treasures, Il Pelicano is hidden. But if you follow its small private access road and pass through its wrought-iron gates, you’ll discover one of Malibu’s architectural masterpieces: a stunning European-style estate built on a promontory overlooking the Pacific and named for the pelicans that often perch on its surrounding rocks. Now on the market for $35 million, Il Pelicano is “completely private, with its own beach on either side,” says its listing agent, Shirley Sherman. This makes it unique in the Malibu area; most properties here are surrounded by other homes.
Owners Dale Kinsella, a trial attorney, and Liz Edlich, founder of Radical Skincare, purchased the property—which at the time held a small cinderblock surf shack—in 2000 and spent the next seven years getting permits and building a home around the astounding collection of art and architectural features they collected from around the world. Every doorway was custom built to accommodate pieces like the antique Moroccan doors that separate the family room from the kitchen and the antique Indian doorway that now forms a fireplace mantel. A bath off the family room features a sink made from a colossal, fossilized seashell estimated to be hundreds of thousands of years old.
“It is impossible to take in every detail of this home on a single visit,” Sherman says. “Who thinks to buy Amazonian vines and create a light fixture to place over a kitchen island? The entire home is built around Liz’s incredible vision.”
Still, both Sherman and Daniel Daggers, a Knight Frank agent who specializes in super-prime real estate, are torn as to whether the home’s unique position or its inventive and virtually priceless features constitute its most spectacular asset.
He describes its ideal buyer as an architecture and interior design enthusiast who will appreciate the home’s global influences—as well as its magnificent secluded setting. “You could just lie in the master bedroom and watch the sun rise and set and never see another soul,” says Sherman.
—by Andrea Bennett