North Coast Highway extends from Broadway Avenue in downtown Laguna through and beyond the northerly city limits. Coast Highway was opened in 1927 with a ceremonial ribbon cutting by Mary Pickford. It is largely a commercial thoroughfare now, but originally consisted of various homes, summer cottages and motel cottages. Today North Coast Highway possesses several of these early houses still largely intact and many more which have had contemporary commercial facades applied over the original structure. The buildings included in North Coast Highway as part of this inventory are primarily those residential structures which date to the 20's. One major commercial structure at 212 North Coast Highway is also included. The houses which remain are largely intact and still used for residential purposes, though some have been re-adapted to commercial use. Overall, North Coast Highway is low-density commercial usage.
Before North Coast Highway was an officially paved road and linked through to Corona del Mar, it functioned as a narrow lane of scattered beach homes. Many were situated on the inland side of the highway so as to offer a panoramic view of the ocean beyond. In recent years, North Coast Highway has been increasingly converted to low-density commercial usage. Many new structures have gone up and many of the original homes have had commercial facades built onto the front. Many of the early summer homes and cottages, however, still exist and are an architectural reminder of the early days along the old coast road. A spectrum of styles and sizes among these early remaining homes exists. The 500 block of North Coast Highway above the retaining wall contains a particularly fine collection of early summer residences.
A very unique eclectic three-story house with Normandy Revival influence. The house features an irregular plan with a multi-gabled and multi-turreted profile. The various wings of the house are defined by individual projections and turrets all staggered at various intervals. The main entry is on a corner angle beneath an angled bay projection and adjacent to a two-story rounded bay with two levels of long rectangular windows of which the upper set have gothic arches. Windows are of varying sizes and heights, but all are multi-paned. The roof is faced with shingles and the ridge highlighted with adobe tiles. Siding is of stucco. The ornamental masonry wall at the curb is a recent addition. The house is in excellent, well-maintained condition.
This eclectic house was designed by local Laguna architect Jean Egasse. He was originally from France but spent the last 10 or so years of his Life designing what have come to be landmark Laguna buildings. These include a home in Crescent Bay nearly identical to this one, the house known as The Ark at 2191 Ocean Way, the old lumber yard building, and the South Coast News (later Eschbach's) building. Egasse's designs, all with strong European influences, imparted what has become a unique and architecturally important part of the Laguna image. This house on North Coast Highway is among the more unique homes in Laguna in addition to being a fine example of a Normandy Revival influenced house. The house is virtually unaltered and has undergone interior restoration. It is in that category of dream houses which lends a delightful fairy tale ambiance to Laguna Beach.