Among the monotony and lifelessness that’s so often found among homes in suburban neighborhoods, the P.G. Butterfly House serves as a beacon of love and joy for locals as well as visitors from across the U.S.
In addition to its stunningly colorful facade adorned with countless butterflies, passersby love the romantic story of how the eccentric private residence came to be.
The P.G. Butterfly House is the home of J and Sonja Jackson and was built by J for Sonja after she started to lose her sight and could only see bright colors.
In addition to a sign that reads “P.G. Butterfly House” the house also displays the name of J’s muse for creating this spectacular abode, “Sonja.”
The Jacksons met when J was visiting La Jolla where Sonja lived at the time.
They learned that they both were from towns in Massachusetts that were only about 50 miles apart.
J also learned that Sonja had always longed to live in Pacific Grove.
“It just captured my imagination,” she told The Monterey Herald .
The area is known for the swarms of monarch butterflies that migrate there starting in October. Pacific Grove is nicknamed, Butterfly Town U.S.A., according to the City’s website .
J just happened to live in the Monterey Peninsula, where Pacific Grove resides.
The Jacksons eventually married in 1976 and bought their residence in 1977.
Sonja said she knew she was “where I’m meant to be” the very first time she drove down the highway toward Pacific Grove.
Their Pacific Grove cottage was tiny and in disrepair.
J actually fell through the kitchen floor while doing the dishes.
But eventually, J rebuilt the entire structure and made lots of improvements.
He took the entire tiny house down to its studs with a hammer, rebuilt it and painted it a pretty light peach color.
Sonja started going blind in the early 90s due to degenerative eye disease.
But Sonja, who is now legally blind, could still see bright colors then. To be sure, J created one little brightly colored butterfly to test Sonja’s sight.
Sure enough, she could see it and that started his 20-year project of creating what is now the P.G. Butterfly House.
J says he spent six or seven hours a day on the house.
“My mother told me when I was young, ‘One day you will find your calling and when you do, do the best you can,’” J said.
The Butterfly House is his calling. In addition to bright colored paint jobs and painted butterflies, J also crafts butterflies that are affixed to the home in such a way that they look like they are taking flight.
Along the side of the house is the Butterfly Brick Road which is, of course, yellow.
The walls surrounding the Butterfly Brick Road are referred to as the Butterflies of Hope Memorial Wall where monarchs with people’s names on them adorn the wall representing charitable donations made to the Blind & Visually Impaired Center of Monterey County where Sonja works as a secretary.
The house has become an attraction for people all over the country.
“It’s heart-warming to have that kind of support,” J said. “A guy from Mexico City came and took a picture to put up in his butterfly store.”
However, more often than not, most of the home’s visitors are women.
“They appreciate the love story” behind the house, J said.
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