Encinitas Boat House


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For decades, pedestrians and passing motorists have stopped to gawk at the buildings and snap photographs. From the front, the blue-and-white structures look like they've simply been hauled out on dry land for a short spell. In reality, they were never sea-worthy. They're not even real boats — they're rental apartments built to look like boats.
The buildings are prime examples of what's called vernacular architecture, local historians say. That architectural category includes sweet shops shaped like giant ice cream cones and Mexican fast food places in the shape of a taco.
The boathouses also have another claim to fame: They are among the earliest and best examples of recycled architecture, historical society members have said.
Miles Kellogg, an architect whose father was a sea captain, built his ship-shaped structures in the late 1920s using old timber from the Moonlight Beach dance house. That once-famous local night spot failed to survive the dry years of Prohibition.
Various renters have lived aboard the boats over the years. The historical society purchased them last year and plans to eventually turn one into a small museum, but first it has to pay down part of its purchase debt using the rental income, society President Paul Ecke said.

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