Pyne Castle – $9,995,000

Pyne Castle

Pyne Castle offers a truly rare opportunity to acquire a piece of history and make it part of your life, your family, your company, your legacy. An opportunity that is indeed priceless.  This landmark Estate known as Pyne Castle began construction by E. Walter Pyne in 1927 and is poised on several acres of prime ocean view property.  The grand entrance to this magnificent estate presents a long driveway winding up to the main house motor court with sweeping ocean vistas.  Surrounding the Castle, the grounds are just as stunning as the house itself, with elegant residences or guest cottages in park-like setting of rose gardens, magnificent old trees, manicured sweeping lawns and fountains. It is a masterpiece that is reminiscent of a bygone era.  Originally a 62 room mansion, the residence has been converted to serve as apartments.  There are 12 permitted units and 4 non-conforming units.

Walter Pyne arrived in Los Angeles as a boy of eighteen in the late 1890’s.  He was later employed as a guitar player on a passenger ship that cruised between San Pedro and San Francisco.  In the early 1900’s he owned the Pyne Piano Company in Santa Ana, which had an exclusive agency for Orange County to sell the Player Piano.  He was a good salesman and would take the pianos to his prospective customers in the back of a wagon.


His business soon prospered and he invested in some land to produce oranges.  He purchased property in the Santa Ana Canyon near Yorba Linda and Richfield.  He lived alone on this property among the trees.  He was married for a brief three months, however, his wife left and moved to Colorado.  Thereafter, he remained single.  In the 1920’s oil was discovered in the district of Yorba Linda and Richfield.  He was one of the fortunate ones and soon was receiving $1,100 a day from his leases.  With his wealth, Mr. Pyne begin to search for a spot to build a large home for himself and his family.  He settled on Laguna Beach and bought approximately 100 lots.  He had also purchased some street bonds from the City and due to this investment, which gave him some leverage, he convinced the City to exclude his property from the local tax roll.


Price: Was $15,000,000 – Now $9,995,000
Size: 18,300 Sq. Ft.
Bedrooms: 22
Bathrooms: 24
Speciality Items: Built in 1927, 2.3 Acres, Swimming Pool & Spa, Outdoor Kitchen, Ocean & Catalina Views, Fountains, Private Guest Villas, 9 Garages.
Address: 770 Hillcrest, Laguna Beach, California, United States

In 1927, Mr. Pyne began construction with the assistance of Mary and Homer Foster.  She was his cousin and was to cook for the work crew. Homer was to be the foreman. Mr. Pyne was very frugal and did not pay the going rate for skilled labor.  Perhaps that is why it took seven years to complete the structure .  Upon completion in 1935, the castle was named Broadview Villa.  Mr. Pyne and his mother lived in the estate until their deaths.  She died in 1936 and he in 1945.  In his will, the property went to his housekeeper, Marie Hannon. At her death, the property was to go to the Christian Science Church and to be used as a rest home.  At the passing of Miss Hannon, the church inspected the property and decided it would be too expensive to convert to a rest home.  For several years the property was almost vacant.

David Young, a local contractor, purchased the property in 1960.  He obtained a variance in April 1962 to have rental units in an R-1 zone.  The main residence was converted to ten apartments and, in addition, there were two detached “carriage houses.”  In 1966 the property was sold to Thomas Merrick and operated as an apartment house. Merrick sold it to Calvary Church in 1969.  Richard Massen and Roland Greene acquired it in 1971.  Mr. Greene died in 1987 and Mr. Massen passed on in 2008.

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