The Hale family’s classic spanish revival house with four dolphins

This traditional Classic Spanish Revival Home in Lunada Bay is approaching its centenary birthday and it still has its original hardwood floors and other custom characteristics of its 1920’s past well intact.

The Hale family’s Classic Spanish Revival home, with its formidable fireplace and spooky basement was built for storytelling

by Stephanie Cartozian

photos by Jose Amaral

Ann and Clark Hale bought their 1928 Classic Spanish Revival home, designed by architect Allen Kelly Ruoff, in 1960. Ruoff was known for his Mediterranean home designs. He also  designed the Wilshire Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, and the City Hall in Brea.  

“My mom’s father thought $39,000 was way too much money to spend on a house,” the couple’s son Bruce said. The home is now on the market for $2.195 million.

When this residence was originally built in 1928, Palos Verdes Drive West was named Granvia La Costa as it was the vision of Frank Vanderlip to have a coastal roadway that stretched from Redondo Beach to Miraleste to bring commerce and home sales to the Peninsula.

Ann Hale was an artist. She designed the sea-green, and blue tile mosaic of four dolphins over the tub in the downstair’s bathroom. The dolphins represented the couple and sons Bruce and Matthew. 

Clark, whose dolphin has a mustache, was a Los Angeles County Public Defender, and scoutmaster.

Ann Hale designed and built this mosaic of four dolphins (one could not fit into the photo because it’s around the corner) to represent her family of four who lived there.

“My parents liked the peaceful feel of being away from Los Angeles,” Bruce Hale said. “My friends and I played ‘Lord of the Rings’ in the fields behind the house. We had two enormous trees in the backyard — a Camphor and a Jacaranda. Our dad built a classic, two-story treehouse. I would climb down the bluffs and go boogie boarding. There were grills on the sand at RAT beach, and people would go down at sunset and barbeque.”

Casa de Hale’s 8,169 square foot lot is close to parklands crisscrossed with walking trails. The home is within walking distance of the bluffs, above Lunada Bay, and the Lunada Bay Little League baseball field and obstacle course trail. 

Clark Hale, of Casa de Hale, was well known in the community as an attorney and Scoutmaster of Troop 276 where his son Matthew was a boy scout.

The 2,500 square foot house is unusual for the Peninsula in having a basement. 

“The basement was spooky,” Hale said. Neighborhood kids would pay five cents to go down the rickety wooden steps to what they called “Frankenstein’s Galley.” The ceiling was 12 feet high, making the basement feel like a haunted house.

One year, a neighborhood dad built a brewery in the basement.

“From what I recall, his beer was undrinkable,” Hale said. 

A hallmark of the home is its formidable flagstone fireplace in the great room. “My grandfather’s beer stein was showcased on the mantle,” Hale said.

Clark Hale with his wife Ann in front of their prodigious Flagstone fireplace at the home in the 1960’s with their father’s German beer stein displayed on the mantle.

The great room has an arched entryway, and a high domed ceiling. 

“I used to enjoy sitting there, and looking out the windows at all the greenery. On cold evenings, my father would spread out a ‘King’s Feast’ of food in front of the burning fireplace. Then he would recite poetry with immense emotion. He was a born storyteller,” Hale said.

Many memories and stories were shared at the Hale homestead and these tiles commemorate the year 1928 when the home was first erected.

Clark Hale established Troop 267 in 1967. He believed becoming an Eagle Scout led to a boy becoming a capable and compassionate leader.

Bruce Hale is now a prolific children’s book author. He  traces his storytelling career to a story his father told him. 

“My dad used to tell us if you pressed together two stones in the fireplace, a secret passage would open that led down to the cliffs where a pirate ship awaited. My friend Billy, and I begged him to show us, but he always said, ‘When you’re grown up.’ When I turned 21, I asked him to show me the two stones. He said, “You’re still too immature.” ER



comments so far. Comments posted to may be reprinted in the Easy Reader print edition, which is published each Thursday.