Monday, October 31, 2011

Does This Place Qualify?

Laguna Beach: One Of A KindHere's a story in the O.C. Register about our own City Council considering a proposal by members of the Planning Commission to save older homes in Laguna. First it has to be a cottage. I think. You never know with these politicians.

Anyway I'm just kidding about saving the house pictured.


  1. Anonymous1:24 PM

    Why not save it? It's kind of interesting and retro.

  2. You don't drive by it everyday.

  3. Steve S.3:39 PM

    I get your humor John, but this house was built in 1964-65, it won’t qualify with the city’s new ruling anyway.

    This was our old neighbor’s house at Terrace Way and Cerritos Drive promenade. I walked by that house twice a day on my way to the school bus stop.

    I can remember when this was being built, along with many of these other same builder two and three story stucco "box" homes.

    Back then those "arches" were the "cat’s meow" for the mid-century modern look. There was a Roman and Moroccan revival back then.

    I can remember in the 1960's when people in Laguna Beach balked about getting rid of all those board and batten and shingled cottages, because they looked so, well, how do you say it “not modern and ugly”.

    Laguna Beach went through its growing pains of trends and will likely continue do so like all cities. Hopefully, the City's new rule for remodeling will help retain more of the existing cottages.

  4. Cerritos and Terrace Way have many houses that use the same floor plan but use very different roof style. The problem with the flat roof is there is no room for installation. No room for air to go so it sits in the upper rooms and gradually the whole house heats up.

    Using a single plan was OK but they were two-story track homes put on VIEW lots and no consideration was made for the view. Our whole back wall has a south-western view but no real view windows.

    Also with no roof over-hang they really allow a lot of heat to enter the house. Might be OK in the winter but the rest of the year not so.

    Look at this house. The front has a great view to the ocean but you really think those windows are designed to take advantage of that great view?

    Don't even get me going on the wasted space inside the house.

    In short they're a terrible design.

    I've figured out how to maximize for the view and get more space inside but it involves moving the complete stairwell.

    PS: Our kitchen is smaller than the upstairs bathroom.

  5. Steve S.5:50 PM

    You’re describing a lot of features (issues) my parents’ old house on Cerritos Drive had. A couple years ago I drove by and got a good look at the outside and took a couple pictures and noticed they did some extensive outside remodeling and add-on's. Hard to believe since it was roughly 3,000 sq. ft. when it was built in late 1964, but it looked like it was added on mostly on the back where the kitchen and best ocean view were. But you're right about bad use of space in those houses; it had a mezzanine master bedroom w/ bathroom over the garage. There were three more bedrooms and a full bath up at the third floor; this was up from the other half of stairs from the master.
    Just past the entrance to the “L”-shaped Galley Kitchen was a set of stairs with a weirdly placed half-bath that was built in midway down the stairs to the partial underground basement. This house also originally had a tar and gravel flat roof, which not surprisingly was changed to a lean-to pitch by another owner.
    You’re also right about the horrible windows; they are very small, out of scale and were designed and situated without the views in mind. I see in the pictured house that they had replaced them but kept the same dimensions. There’s not much you can do with that house, without overinvesting.
    Your description sounds like my parents’ house, with your stairwell to the right of the front door and running up between the living room and the garage; most of those had that layout.
    Just remember John, small kitchens are easier to cook in, as long as you are the only one in it :-).

  6. Steve your comment about the small kitchen is right on. Every time relatives gather at the house it's a perfect excuse for me to NEVER go into the kitchen. Instead I go down to La Sirena Grill on Mermaid.

  7. Steve S.9:09 PM

    I love your comment, LOL!... I assume you meant you went by yourself?

  8. For Steve: Most times. But I do have a family member from NY who loves this place.