Heisler Building NOT Tommy Bahama Building

May 12, 2010|By Gene Felder

The Coastline Pilot recently published this "The Tommy Bahama building at the corner of Laguna Avenue and Coast Highway". This is the historic "Heisler Building" across the street from the Hotel Laguna where the Jolly Roger Restaurant was for many years. The building was shrouded in black recently until taken down revealing the restoration and a new paint job. 

Heisler Building is listed in the Historic Resources Inventory which is online at the City's web site at, click "About the City" (while there enjoy the Historical Image Gallery and its past and present Historical Image Map), the Heisler Building is in the SOUTH COAST HIGHWAY #l0 section at 

The Heisler Building located at 400 South Coast Highway was built in 1931. "Known as the Heisler Building for its original owner H.G. Heisler, this Provincial Revival influenced building has graced this corner of Laguna since 1931. The building is distinguished by a box plan with mansard roof and steep-pitched gables with a modified turret on the corner. Faced in stucco. and lined with double-hung windows on the second floor, the building contributes greatly to the village quality of downtown Laguna. 


The building was designed to house two commercial units below and two apartments above. Beginning in 1935, Rawson's Drug Store occupied the corner portion of the building where the Jolly Roger is now located [1981]. Beginning about this same time, Dr. Conover, an osteopath, established his office here and remained for many years. 

Howard Heisler, developer of the building, was an important real estate entrepreneur in the early days of Laguna. Along with L.C. McKnight he acquired most of the land which now compromises north Laguna from the Irvine Company and subdivided it in 1906 under the name Laguna Cliffs. This was the first tract in Laguna to have water directly piped to each lot, quite an achievement for its time. 

This building on South Coast Highway is an important testimony to the memory of an important Laguna pioneer, H.G. Heisler." 

Howard G. Heisler

In 1905 purchased North Laguna from the Irvine Company

1906 subdivision Laguna Cliffs was developed by Howard Heisler, L.C. McKnight and the Thumb Brothers

This was the first neighborhood offering water with every lot.

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