Laguna Beach is famous for their sun-kissed, palm tree-lined coastline, but many people don’t know they’re also hiding a slice of Rapunzel. This castle-inspired structure – known as Pirate Tower (or La Tour in French) – stands about 60 feet tall on the base of a cliff overlooking the beautiful Victoria Beach.
It was originally built in 1926 – around the same time as the house at the top of the bluff – and provided easy access to the beach down below. The home (known as the Norman House) and tower were both made for California State Senator William Brown and his family, and were used for vacation when they weren’t in Beverly Hills.
The tower was made using concrete, a foundation made of ocean stones, and a cone-shaped roof made of shingles. They also added in some narrow windows to the wall so light could pass through to the stairway inside.
Inspiration for these structures came from when Mr. Brown and his wife were in France after the end of World War I. They were serving as part of the war relief effort, and upon seeing the majestic chateaus and castles of the region, became inspired to build their own after they returned home to the United States.
Just south of the tower lies another old structure that was believed to be Mr. Brown’s – this partially buried cement wall that once formed a circular pool. It’s partially filled up with sand by now, but water can still puddle up in it when the tide is high enough.
The tower and pool are both secluded past the northern end of Victoria Beach. As amazing as it is, please keep in mind the tower is still privately owned. Visitors are welcome to walk around and get photos, but please do not go inside or try to climb on it.
For a closer look, check out this drone footage from Kevin Cox:
Have you seen this tower in Laguna Beach? Or would you like to check it out someday?