The more I do these Laguna human interest stories the more I’m interested in people and families that have shaped our blessed town by designing the most iconic buildings and landscapes that Laguna is known for.
Fred Briggs is one of those people and is probably one to the best keep secrets in town.
From Main Beach’s design, to the library, to the most outrageous modern homes in Laguna, he did it all.
And he’s one of Architectural Digest’s top 100 architects ever.
Fred Briggs was one of the early, pioneering, modern architects in Southern California. After serving in the Navy during World War two, he settled into Laguna Beach shortly after graduating from the USC school of Architecture in 1948.
He went on to establish what would become an extraordinary and successful architectural practice of 52 years which would impact architectural concepts will beyond California’s borders.
Fred’s innumerable contributions to the field of architecture were not limited to the spectacular and timeless residences for which he is best known.
One of his most successful and memorable contributions was the design of Main Beach in Laguna whose charm and warmth has drawn millions of visitors and residents alike, and the Lifeguard Tower is said to be one of California’s most photographed structures.
Fred also designed the Laguna Beach Library and the Dana Point Library. He sat on numerous boards, was instrumental in the early planning and design of the Master Plans for Laguna Beach and was directly responsible for the sign ordinance which continues to greatly enhance the look of the city today.
A 52 year member of the American Institute of Architects, Orange County Chapter, his work brought him extensive honors and recognition including being named one of the top one hundred residential architects in the world by Architectural Digest , AD100 Issue, professional awards and media attention, but Fred was most taken by the respect and admiration of his peers.
Some of his best well known projects in Laguna Beach are the Jeffries house at Rockledge, the downtown library and the fire station at the Top of the World.
Fred also completed significant projects outside of Laguna Beach, such as the Bornstein residence in Beverly Hills and the Sahm residence on Rancho Santa Fe.
Orange Coast article on Fred