This post was originally published on ocregister.com
Article By Sandra Barrera | Los Angeles Daily News | Published December 30, 2020
A Laguna Beach estate where unobstructed coastal views wrap around three sides is about to hit the market for $21.9 million.
Influenced by Craftsman and Cape Cod-style architecture, the 4,325-square-foot, three-story residence stands atop a 1-plus acre point jutting out into the ocean. It has five bedrooms, six bathrooms and picture windows throughout — and that’s not all there is to admire about the place.
The white shingled-style house that sits on what is known as Moss Point once hosted President Woodrow Wilson, who was close to the family.
A wealthy Texas landowner named Col. Henry House built the blufftop estate in 1917 as a summer home, according to the Historic Resource Inventory put together by the city in the early 1980s. He was the brother of President Wilson’s trusted adviser, Col. Edward M. House.
The document mentions the 28th U.S. president was a guest at this home, now designated as eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
“It’s like a step back in time being on this property,” said Bryan Gerlach of Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty, the co-listing agent. “When you pass the stone wall and private gate, you don’t hear any of the hustle and bustle of town. You hear waves breaking and feel the ocean breeze. It’s probably one of the most preserved authentic homes along this coastline.”
Moss Cove beachgoers know the house for its towering flag pole where “Old Glory” waves.
Across the grounds are well-manicured gardens and flagstone pathways to separate lookouts. A pair of cliffside staircases descend to sandy coves on opposite sides of the point, including a private one to the south with the remnants of an ocean-fed pool.
Inside the house, the relaxed interior has seen some updates but still maintains its early 20th-century charm.
Highlights include a spacious kitchen with a granite-topped island and a breakfast nook. French doors separate the living and dining rooms.
The seller converted an attached garage into a living space.
Bedrooms occupy all three levels. The top-floor master suite has a walk-in closet, a large bathroom and a covered ocean-facing terrace that runs the bedroom’s length. The basement level opens out onto a patio.
Other features include an elevator, detached garage and motor court for additional parking.
“This is a legacy property,” Gerlach said. “The people we’re marketing to aren’t looking to modernize the home but see it for what it is. This is a piece of Southern California coastal culture and history that will be preserved in its current state indefinitely.”
In 1976, the house faced the possibility of demolition when it came up for auction.
Developers envisioned condos on the site, but Constance and Andrew Morthland, who lived in an older structure on what was then a larger Moss Point estate, sought to save it.
The Morthlands bought, restored and rented out the home year-round.
The house last sold to Webb Automotive owner Lewis Webb in 2005 for $14 million, property records show. At the time, the house came with only a half of an acre, so Webb bought an adjoining parcel for $5.8 million to bring the lot up to its current 1.1-acre size.