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Location: Bar Harbor, Maine
The Skinny: If you're building a home on a wooded lot just outside Maine's Acadia National Park, how do you get to the ocean and mountains views without taking a bulldozer to the vista-blocking trees surrounding your plot? Simple: you build an angular four-level home that towers above the trees, stack the floors in ascending order according to square footage, cover the whole thing in wood shingle siding and call it a day. That's exactly what "organic architect" James Schildroth did with his Starbird house, and while the home gives off an unmistakably dated whiff of the mid-1990s (we direct your attention to the built in dining table surrounding the central stairwell), the stupendous panoramic views from the open-plan top level cannot be denied. The rest of the five-bedroom, six-bathroom, 7,800-square-foot home continues the top floor's theme of plentiful windows, high ceilings, and ample recessed lighting. There's also a faux wood-paneled elevator to serve the stair-averse. The property, which was owned by the late regional watercolor artist Mary Anne Starbird, is listed for $5.3M.