Pleasure Point roadhouse

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The Pleasure Point Roadhouse was a historic building on the Monterey Bay, located at 2-3905 East Cliff Dr., 95062 in Santa Cruz County, California. It was torn down on September 27, 2008.[1] [1]

Roadhouse, front west side.jpg


Setting of the Pleasure Point Roadhouse, Monterey Bay, California (pre-1902).jpg

The house was built between 1902 and 1904 by a former San Francisco saloon owner named John J. Henchy [2]

He bought the land that now spans 38th Ave. to 41st Ave. on the coast of Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz, California. Henchy built his home on the property he bought from N E Neary, thus acquiring a natural view of the cove and Monterey Bay.

Henchy home[edit]

He built his home in a trapezoidal form that aligned with East Cliff Dr. The second story living area and master bedroom have great ocean views. A long, enclosed light-filled gallery wrap around the east and south sides of the main floor and create a sun porch. The front deck affords an expansive ocean view.

The dining room opens off the living room and is adjacent to the kitchen. The kitchen opens into the windowed breakfast area with views to the natural setting and mountain behind.

The wood-panelled attic room with its hardwood floors and windows taking advantage of the natural, wooded ocean setting was used as the reading room.

His large shingle-sided house and drive-through carriage house were the first large impressive buildings in this area.

Carriage house (Pleasure Point Roadhouse, Monterey Bay, California).jpg

Arts and crafts influence[edit]

It has many elements derived from the Early Craftsman Style thinking.[3]

Although the A&C philosophy focused on "revolution through art," its principles were formed by a set a great overarching values:

  • Find joy in work
  • Create objects that are not only well-designed, but affordable to everyone
  • Live simply
  • Stay connected to nature
  • Maintain integrity of "place"

These ideals were expressed in artistic endeavors through hand-crafted objects, an uncluttered style of home decor, landscape art that was actually created on-site outdoors, and homes that were built of local materials and fit the landscape.

Bungalows that best exemplified the Movement's philosophy were well crafted, and used materials left as close as possible to their natural state. Cobblestones were used in foundations and broad chimneys

Side view, Pleasure Point Roadhouse, Monterey Bay, California.jpg

while the rest of the home was constructed of wood or shingles in a natural shade of brown.

The long pitched roof displayed exposed rafters or braces along its wide eaves, and there was an abundance of outdoor space consisting of a broad front porch as well as a rear patio with a pergola.

Living room, Pleasure Point Roadhouse, Monterey Bay, California.jpg

The front door opened directly into the living room, which in turn connected to the dining room. Often, the two rooms were separated only by a half wall.

Fireplace, Pleasure Point Roadhouse, Monterey Bay, California.jpg

As in all Arts and Crafts-style homes, the fireplace was a prominent feature, and special attention was paid to the location and construction of the hearth. Like the rest of the house, the fireplace was to be utilitarian and was built of local stone or clinker brick, but in more affluent homes the fireplace would sometimes be embellished with decorative tiles and mantles.


Ken Lonsinger

Arts and crafts features[edit]

The Roadhouse pre-dated the American Craftsman style, yet contained many of the elements that are found in it.

From the flared "Oriental" eves, to the "clinker" brick fireplace. The use of natural redwood shingles and the windows to take in the light and warmth. The interior wainscoting and the hardwood floors which were covered with oriental rugs. The placement of the house and its longer western wall, took advantage of the natural oceans setting. The placement above a natural cove that was accessed by stairs to the beach below.

The Roadhouse may be the trend setter that led to the Craftsman shingle style Berkeley style made well known by Julia Morgan, Bernard Maybeck and Greene and Greene. It reflects many of the concepts found in The Simple Home, Charles Keeler, 1906 [5], a great influence on the Craftsman School.


This century-old home, with the visual clues and the proximity of this site to Esty/Houghton home, leads historians to believe that is an L D Esty home. (see Ross)

HisPogonip Clubhouse is on the National Register of Historic Places.[6]


His father-in-law A D Houghton [7] was architect and engineer for J D Rockefeller. Houghton's house sat on over 100 acres (0.40 km2) of land at the tip of Soquel Pt. It was noted as a beautiful home when it burned in 1915. The Roadhouse and the Houghton house have many visual similarities.


The Pogonip Clubhouse and the Roadhouse also have many similarities. Both are Brown Shingle construction in Natural settings. Very striking is the visual connection between the back of the Clubhouse and the side of the Roadhouse.


L D Esty went on, in 1931, to work with C J Ryland. A former employee of Julia Morgan. Esty went on to rebuild the Santa Cruz Mission and to build the City Halls in Santa Cruz and Monterey.

Whoever the Architect was, if not L D Esty, the Roadhouse is a great example of the[Arts and Crafts] thinking of its day. A great home for a successful businessman, Henchy, who developed this area of Soquel/Pleasure Point.

History of ownership[edit]

It was owned and occupied by a number of locally successful families.[8]

1908 N Neary

1921 J Menzel

1926 Anton V Peterson Built the gas station, store and Cosy Cottage Resort [9]

Roadhouse gas statsion, Pleasure Point Roadhouse, Monterey Bay, California (circa 1927).jpg

1971 Liela Naslund of Los Gatos bought the property. She removed the gas station and store. She rented the rooms and cottages and kept an apartment on the lower back floor.

Effort for historic listing[edit]

2007 The county in updating historic property inventory had the Roadhouse nominated by the Live Oak History group as one of its highest priorities for listing. Activist Charles Paulden worked with the group.[2] He also started up a group called People for the Preservation of Pleasure Point. The group wanted it preserved as a landmark and Paulden said that it should be restored and used as a museum or community center.[3]

Anthony Kirk was hired by the absentee homeowner to challenge the Historic designation.[4] The tenants were evicted and the property fenced with chain link. Also barbed wire erected around the property.[5] It is rumored that the owner's daughters gave the tenants 60 days to vacate.

The County of Santa Cruz is considering it as a park.

It was torn down on September 27, 2008.

Part of the heavy plastic outdoor furniture was bought by Judith & Buck Hoelscher and is now being used at their Vacation Rental, The Tudor Rose Manor's yard in the flats in Rio del Mar beach area.


  • Ross Gibson HISTORIC SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PLEASURE POINT ROADHOUSE, 2007 2007 DPR for 2-3905 East Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz, Ca 95062
  • Norm Poltevan 2007 research for History Journal
  • Carol Swift 2007 DPR for 2-3905 East Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz, Ca 95062


External links[edit]

Pleasure Point Roadhouse article in National Preservation Trust online

Phil Reader

It has been nominated to be listed as a Cultural Resource.

National Trust Magazine: Santa Cruz Considers Landmarking 1902 Saloon

The County of Santa Cruz is considering it as a park site.[12]

In 2006, it became the focal point in a local debate over property rights, eminent domain and historic preservation. [13]

In 2007, while being consider for listing, the long term renters were evicted by the absentee landlords and the property became off limits to the public. [14]

References to County record at links found on

Craftsman Perspective