Bar Harbor ‘origami’ mansion to be auctioned

StarcrestThree years ago, it was offered for sale for $5.3 million.

Now, it is being auctioned off for a minimum price of $2.9 million.

The distinctive Starcrest mansion (the owners’ last name is Starbird) at 30 Strawberry Hill will be sold at auction on Tuesday, August 23.

Described as a “starship-looking architectural home” in a 2013 real estate listing, the James Schildroth-designed dwelling has, according to an updated description, a “unique origami-inspired exterior” which, in my opinion, is fairly accurate. The house has more sharp points than my pocketknife.

The Swan Agency has held open houses the past couple of Saturdays at the home, which has about 10,000 square feet of finished and unfinished living space, and is planning another from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, August 20. I was in Bar Harbor last weekend and, in part because I blogged about the house in 2013, I decided to go check it out.

I may not get a lot of exposure to high-end real estate but, say what you will about the house’s angular exterior (which I think is actually kind of cool), I know a good view when I see one. The scenery from the fourth floor, where the kitchen and living room are located, is some of the best I’ve ever seen on Mount Desert Island with a roof over my head.

You can see the Porcupine Islands to the north, the Schoodic Peninsula to the east, and Cadillac, Champlain and Dorr mountains to the south. The extensive picture windows and exterior decks of the fourth floor are positioned just above the tree canopy. Standing at the tip of the “v”-shaped deck that points to the east, you have the feeling of being at the prow of a ship sailing on a sea of green leaves.

The third floor of the house, where the bedrooms are, is slightly less impressive than the fourth, the main entry or second floor slightly less impressive than the third, and the unfinished walk-out basement is as it sounds. There’s a great fireplace, a pool table, an outdoor hot tub, a wet bar, and five bedrooms. It also has five acres of surrounding land, much of it sporting exposed ledge and blueberry bushes, that has been left relatively untouched.

I won’t go into a whole lot of detail about the house’s other features other than to say that it also has a elevator, which should help with moving the existing furniture out and bringing new furnishings in. Houses this large and distinctive are not easy to find but, by comparison, it is fairly easy to fix up the decor of any home.

So, if you have a few million dollars kicking around and are in the market for a memorable place to stay on MDI, this might be the origami-inspired, spaceship-looking mansion you’re looking for. Detailed information about the house and the upcoming auction can be found here.

Bill Trotter

About Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors. He writes about fisheries, marine-related topics, eastern coastal Maine communities and more for the BDN. He lives in Ellsworth. Follow him on Twitter at @billtrotter.