Right Here in Laguna – Known as a ‘Landmark of Modern Architecture’ and the inspiration for Ann Rand’s Heller house in Fountain House – The Hangover House – An incredible Laguna Story

When you’re driving south on Coast Hwy and you go past the Montage and you dip down into Aliso Creek look up at the very top house on the steep hill on the left side and you can see the Hangover house. Called the ‘Hangover House’ since it hangs 400 ft. over a sheer cliff with views in all directions.

The following is a summary of this incredible construction feat but with a tragic ending. Also view tons of pictures, a video and read the rest of the story.


  • In the 1930s Richard Halliburton, a travel journalist, was a rock star and as popular as Charles Lindberg and Amelia Earhart. He had swam the Panama Canal, (he paid 38 cents to go through the locks), crossed the Alps on an elephant, retraced the track of Cortez’ conquest of Mexico, went around the world in an open cockpit plane and much, much more.  The people of the time just loved these adventures.
  • Halliburton’s partner and ghost writer, Paul Mooney, decided to build him a home where he could get away from the spotlight. He hired a novice 28 year old architect, William Levy, who designed an ‘all concrete and steel’ house in a remote part of South Laguna which had views up and down the coast and up the canyons to the inland mountains, hence the ‘Hangover’ house which perched 400 feet over the Aliso Creek.
  • There were no roads yet on the hillsides to the location of the house so they had to carve out switch back roads to accommodate the cement trucks. The cement trucks engines were burning out, consequently they had to bring up the raw cement and mix the cement up on the hill and then pour the cement. The whole house (and I mean the whole house including the kitchen and fireplaces) inside and out is poured cement.
  • The tragic part is Richard Halliburton and Paul Mooney hardly spent any time in the house since they both died on a poorly constructed Chinese Junk Halliburton had built and was sailing from Hong Kong to the San Francisco International Expedition in 1939 the same year the house was completed. They were 40 years old. A tragedy.
  • The house has gone through many ups and downs over the years but has been recently brought back to life.


More about the Hangover House on Wikipedia

About Richard Halliburton

Click here to watch the video of the Hangover House Part 1

Click here to watch the video of the Hangover House Part 2

Read A Blog about the Hangover House

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