Getting Around Malibu: Latigo Shore

One of the buildings in the Tivili Cove Condominiums complex along Latigo Shore Drive.Copyright
One of the buildings in the Tivili Cove Condominiums complex along Latigo Shore Drive.

Latigo Shore Neighborhood

Latigo Shore drive branches off from PCH just west of Corral Canyon and then parallels the shoreline while PCH ascends to the bluff top, travelling westward. Originally the Roosevelt Highway (now PCH), opened in June 1929, followed today's Latigo Shore Drive where Frederick Rindge Jr. built a two-story home at what is now 26652 Latigo Shore Drive. Warner Bros. filmed Mildred Pierce at that house during December 1944.

When PCH was rerouted over the bluff in the 1940s, Latigo Shore Drive and Malibu Cove Colony Drive were made into private streets from the old roadbed. The two branches no longer connect, separated by the Gull's Way beach at Latigo Point (see below). Unfortunately, the Rindge house is no longer there; it collapsed into the ocean during a storm in late January 1983 (photo on this page about Malibu floods). The first house recorded for Latigo Shore Drive is 26740, built in 1945.

Townhomes line the beach near the entrance to Latigo Shore Drive at PCH.Copyright
Townhomes line the beach near the entrance to Latigo Shore Drive at PCH.

As you enter Latigo Shore Drive from PCH, there are modern town homes along the shoreline with blue and white trim, followed by more townhouses. The road then splits with Seagull Way to the right leading to the upper Tivili Cove condominium buildings while if you stay left on Latigo Shore you pass through Tivili Cove to the Latigo Shore Drive homes beyond the condos. There are homes on the beach as well as landside toward PCH, some on the side street Latigo Shore Place. The road dead-ends near Latigo Point.

In a controversial matter that was in court for years, the homes at 26520 and 26524 Latigo Shore Drive were constructed in excess of the Malibu height limit due to a City inspection error. Malibu issued a variance but Sierra Club filed suit that ultimately failed in court. Other properties on this street have been subject to Coastal Commission action for unpermitted grading and other issues.

On PCH, east of Latigo Shore Drive and west of Corral Canyon Road, a few isolated homes are located on the beach. No additional development is expected in this area.

Gull's Way Property

Gatepost of Gulls Way, 26800 PCHIn 1943 Rick and Luella "Billie" Ulrich bought six acres of the oceanfront property at Latigo Point from Marblehead Land Co. for about $10,000. They added adjacent property bringing the total to eleven and one-half acres, covering most of the high ground above Latigo Shore Drive. The property includes a strip of beach between the ends of Latigo Beach Road and Malibu Cove Colony Road, separating the two neighborhoods.

Two houses were constructed, first an 1,840 square foot guesthouse completed in 1947 and then a grand 6,000 square foot, three-story brick main house completed in 1971, along with a beach house, caretaker's cottage, manicured gardens, statuary, fountains and a waterfall. The compound is known as known as Gulls Way, with its entrance at 26800 Pacific Coast Highway.

Gull's Way has been used as a location for hundreds of films and TV shows, including "Fantasy Island," "Hardcastle & McCormick" and "It's Only Money," starring Jerry Lewis. Rick Ulrich died in 1987 at the age of 86. In 1992 Billie, 91, arranged to donate the property to Pepperdine after her death in 1997. Pepperdine intended to use Gull's Way as a conference center, but could not get approval from City of Malibu for such as center in a residential neighborhood. Pepperdine listed the property for sale at $15 million in 2002. It is reported that Dick Clark bought it as an investment for an undisclosed sum.

Tivili Cove Condominiums

A major feature of this neighborhood is the complex known as Tivili Cove, built in 1973 as the Latigo Bay Villas apartments. In 1976, Pepperdine University acquired the property for off-campus housing, but sold it too investors soon after. In 1989 the property was remodeled and converted to 104 condo units.

These Mediterranean-style condominiums are terraced over four levels, on both Latigo Beach Drive and Seagull Way, well landscaped with palm trees and tropical plants and flowers. The complex includes tennis courts and a private sandy beach, a few steps downhill from the condo units, as well as a pool, hot tub and private clubhouse at the top of the property. The outstanding appearance and amenities of these condos have kept the market for them very strong and prices ever climbing.

Latigo Beach Public Access

Latigo Beach is known for fishing from the beach and surfing. Divers will find a kelp forest. As with all beaches lined by private property, public visitors have to stay "seaward of the mean high tide line". The public access is via a stairway located near the intersection of Latigo Shore Drive and PCH. There are no public facilities.

Sources: Information on this page was compiled from the Malibu Times, especially articles by Rick Wallace.

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