In between newer and more modern buildings and structures in La Jolla, there’s still a bit of charm and whimsy to be found at 256 Prospect St.
Located here and within the village on this lush property is Redwood Hollow Cottages aka Prospect View. These quaint dwellings have been part of the local scenery for decades and continue to intrigue visitors from far and wide with their rich history.
Redwood Hollow's site was first developed by Walter Scott Lieber circa 1915 and was named Prospect View. At the time there were “wide ocean views from this area since all the surrounding lots were vacant,” the property website states.
At one point, Lieber had a number of these cottage courts around La Jolla used for daily, weekly, and monthly rentals. However, in later years, they were all demolished for large-scale condominiums except for Redwood Hollow. The property now consists of two contiguous parcels linked together in 1998, and again according to the property’s website, “Redwood Hollow is about 400 yards from ‘Whispering Sands Beach.’”
Although nestled in a serene residential neighborhood, the property is only about 4 miles from shops, parks, art galleries, and restaurants.
Today the cottages serve as vacation rentals and some are private residences; some of the cottages include a full kitchen, queen-sized or king-sized bed in the bedroom(s) and a sleep sofa in the living or sitting area. The 12 units range from studios to three-bedroom, two-bath cottages. Some units have fireplaces, and others are lined with redwood or cedar.
The architecture is considered a Craftsman and mountain-style cottage, which was popular at Southern California beach resorts early in the 20th century. Since 2013, the property has been managed by Capital Asset Management Co., which in recent years conducted various renovations including new restrooms, floors, ceilings, and walls.
Redwood Hollow Cottages is not only a popular place to vacation. It was registered as San Diego Historic Site No. 347 in 1997. Below is an excerpt from the historical nomination report written and prepared by historical consultant Alexander D. Bevil in 1997.
“This is a cluster of five small, rustic, 1 to 2-story Craftsman and Ranch style bungalow cottages. Arranged around a central garden court, they are linked physically and visually by a meandering red brick walkway. Several of the bungalow cottages share common garden and patio areas, which adds to the property's communal sense of place.”
Bevil added in the historical analysis of the property: Although built between 1915 and 1951, and even though they went through many remodels over the years, “they still share similar form, type, style, materials, methods of construction, and use.”
Some of the remodels at the time of his report included, “the use of similar roof styles and shingles, exterior split-redwood shingle, board-and-batten, and clapboard wall cladding, and recessed porch and multi-light window treatments.”
Additionally, he wrote: “The buildings' uniform scale and layout, plus the use of red brick planters and mature plant material, link the entire site together into a unified whole.
The report further confirms the cottages were associated with “noted La Jolla real estate developer and philanthropist Walter R. Lieber, and it is one of at least 30 similar bungalow cottage rentals he developed between 1904 and 1945 …
“While first developed by Lieber ca. 1915 as Prospect View, subsequent owners continued to develop it into a bungalow cottage garden court by retaining the use of similar style, type, and building materials. Grouped as parts of a whole, each building contributes to the property's overall sense of scale, feeling, and place,” Bevil wrote.
The feeling can apparently still be felt as is.
“People from all over the world come and stay at Redwood; they’re all different themes, and the interior design is the creative genius of Mariela DeStout, operations director for CAM. Popularity varies and there isn’t one that is more popular than the others,” according to Sheridan Cucurillo, property manager at Redwood Hollow Cottages.
And even though improvements have been made “aesthetically and mechanically, it is still the same in most ways,” she added. “The property is whimsical, magical and peaceful; one of the most beautiful places to come and rest and relax.”
Throughout the years, Redwood Hollow Cottages has not only been a place for vacationers but also a location visited by famous surfers, artisans, writers, and other professionals.
It looks like time continues to stand still at 256 Prospect St., La Jolla — much to many people’s delight.