Born in 1917, UC Berkeley-trained architect J. Herbert Brownell practiced architecture in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Pasadena before finally setting up shop in Orange County, where he produced a great number of residential, commercial, and government buildings over the course of five decades.
Among Brownell’s most notable designs is Laguna Beach’s Smoke-Lyster Residence, built in 1974 and now seeking its third-ever owner.
Located within a gated community of just 32 homes, with Laguna Coast Wilderness Park adjoining on two sides, the organic modernist-style property was built for a mathematics professor relocating his family from Berkeley.
Measuring 2,201 square feet, the home is constructed of stone, glass, and three different kinds of wood—redwood, cedar, and Douglas fir.
Designed with an octagonal floor plan, it contains two bedrooms, two baths, and a spacious office. Interior features include pebble-seeded concrete floors, a sculptural fireplace of imperial plaster and concrete block, built-in furniture, and Franciscan tile.
The quarter-acre grounds contain terraced gardens enhanced by excavated sandstone boulders and a swimming pool designed by Brownell’s son. Last but certainly not least, there’s those spectacular ocean views.
Per the listing, the home has been painstakingly restored and updated. Asking price is $4.298 million.
- 611 Allview Place [Unique California Property]