Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, atop a seaside cliff in the famed Laguna Beach area of Orange County, Calif., sits a landmark property known as the Villa Rockledge.
Built in 1918 by developer Frank Miller and designed by architect Arthur Benton, the two-story Villa Rockledge features Mediterranean-inspired elements such as Spanish tile roofs, stone towers, brick exteriors, and casement windows. According to the Laguna Beach Historical Society, Miller was influential in developing Spanish and Mission-themed proper ties in Southern California.
Miller completed the landmark in 1921 as a tribute to his second wife, Marion. Formerly known as the Mariona, the building—which now houses apartments—takes its current name from its beachside setting. The property even captured the eyes of the Hollywood elite. Because of its serene, seaside locale and breathtaking views, legendary celebrities such as Robert Mitchum, Errol Flynn, Betty Davis, and Clifton Webb were known to have frolicked on Villa Rockledge's beach.
As time went on, six different owners possessed the building. The property was severely damaged by a loaded cement truck in 1973. But its current owner, Roger Jones, author of The History of Villa Rockledge, has made significant improvements to the property.
In 1984, Villa Rockledge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.