It is only a happy coincidence that the annual Charm House Tour comes
smack in the middle of Heritage Month, which the city has celebrated for
The tour has been a Village Laguna tradition for 30 years. Five homes
from cottages to castles -- and one bonus carriage house -- will be
opened to the public May 19. An opportunity to see the variety of homes
and lifestyles that make up Laguna’s quirky architectural diversity and
THE SEA CASTLE
Three generations of the Ingwerson family live at Sea Castle,
considered in some circles to be one of the finest residences on the
south coast. Lona and Donald Ingwerson reside in the English Tudor-style
house where America’s Sweetheart Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks once
threw lavish parties.
About 10 feet away, the Ingwerson’s daughter, son-in-law and two
grandchildren live in the contemporary carriage house on the property.
Repeat tour-goers may get a sense of deja vu when they visit the Sea
Castle. The Ingwersons’ first home in Laguna was The Castle. It was
featured on the Charm House Tour three years ago. All the furnishings
went with them when they moved to the Sea Castle.
“We didn’t have to buy a stick of furniture when we moved,” said Lona
Actually, the only problem with The Castle was that it didn’t sit on
an oceanfront bluff, the dream location for the Ingwersons when they
moved to California from Kentucky. They sure weren’t house hunting when
they stumbled on the Sea Castle looking for another address. It took a
few days to get a Realtor to let them inside the place, which they had
already decided to buy.
“This is you,” said their daughter, who was with her parents.
THE KODAK HOUSE
Saul and Patty Pinto own The Kodak home, built in 1936 by the Eastman
Family of Rochester, New York. The Pintos have enhanced the commanding
ocean views by adding a rounded facade and terrace. Wide-plank, pegged
oak floors, iron painted windows, mahogany woodwork and a flagstone
fireplace are cherished vintage features.
Wrought iron and tile roofs are original to the house.
Sixty years ago, two teachers enjoyed life in their tiny hillside
cabin overlooking Aliso Beach. Their first names were Caroline and Ruby,
from which the house was named. When Caruby Corner was built, Coast
Highway was just a dirt road. It passed in front of the Kodak House. A
hiking trail is still there. The home has grown since then into a small
estate, but the hardwood floors, now stained ebony to set off the white
interior, are original. Also original: the gnarled trunk of a rare
eucalyptus, an old Canary Island pine and a stone pond.
Stephen and Sandy Arterburn are the current owners.
Architect Aubrey St. Clair built Old Laguna in 1929 for the Bird
family, original owners of the White House restaurant. Rumor has it that
LSD guru Timothy Leary lived across the street from the Spanish
Revival-style home during the 1960s hippie era. One thing is for sure:
former Laguna Beach Police Chief Neil Purcell, then a rookie in the
Laguna Beach department, busted Leary for possession of marijuana and
made it stick, the only police officer who can make that claim. Old
Laguna owners Mark and Cindy Evans have restored the estate to its
original design. The restoration uncovered French doors and windows
hidden in stucco walls. The garden, including a glass-paneled potting
shed and tool house, have been featured on the Laguna Garden Club Tour
and in International Garden magazine. A Malibu-tile fountain splashes in
the Spanish-style courtyard.
IN MEMORY OF SALLY DUNNE
A small colony of Russian immigrants settled in Laguna Beach in the
1920s. The brother of Ruth St. Denis Dance Company ballerina Tatania
Gnoocheff, Barton built a one-room cottage here. Talented local Laguna
landscape architect Sally Dunne bought the cottage from Tatania’s niece
in the early 1990s and transformed it.
When Dunne was dying last year, she bequeathed the house to her
doctor, Ed Smith.
Village Laguna volunteers serve as hosts and hostesses at the homes
and on the city trams that transport tour-goers. Private transportation
is discouraged due to congestion and difficulty in finding parking.
Comfortable shoes are recommended.
The Festival Grounds at 650 Laguna Canyon Road serve as the depot. The
first bus leaves at 10 a.m., the last bus at 3:30 p.m. Tickets for the
tour are $30 in advance and may be purchased at the Laguna Beach Chamber
of Commerce, 357 Glenneyre St., below the Laguna Beach Library; Hotel
Laguna, 425 South Coast Highway; Fawn Memories, 384 Forest Ave., and
Tickets are limited. The price goes up to $35 on tour day, they will
be available at the grounds. Proceeds fund Village Laguna scholarships
for Laguna Beach High School seniors and charitable and political