As much a work of sculpture as a house, "The Razor" sits hollowed into a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla. From its perch above Black's Beach -- reputed to be the largest nude beach in the world -- it also offers uninterrupted panoramas of the ocean and the craggy, pine-blanketed mountains of California's Torrey Pines State Reserve. The home is named for one of the natural sandstone monuments that rises along the coast.
The original owner commissioned architect Wallace Cunningham to build the home and gave him an unrestricted budget more than 10 years ago. That free rein, exercised over eight years until construction was halted three years ago, brought the home's building cost alone to $34 million. So the minimum bid of $16 million required to purchase the place in an upcoming auction -- down from an initial ask of $45 million -- could be seen as something of a bargain.