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‘Mausoleum’ among homes destroyed

Los Angeles Times

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. – It sat on an unstable hillside, 6,300 square feet of concrete, stucco and glass overlooking the ocean – an embodiment of the California dream, and to some an oversized symbol of coastal development run amok.

The mansion, built by investors in 2001, never sold and has never been occupied. Defects riddled the property, and the super-sized house insulted the sensibilities of local residents who dubbed it “the mausoleum” and thought it too big for the geologically sensitive area.

The “Sinatra house” – so named by locals based on rumors that relatives of singer Frank Sinatra owned the property – is now a wreck, its once-sleek lines a jumble of obtuse angles. It was destroyed along with 17 other homes in Wednesday’s landslide in Bluebird Canyon, fueling speculation that the structure somehow led to the slope’s failure.

County property records show the house is owned by the 925 Oriole limited liability partnership. They list the president as Barbara A. Sinatra of Laguna Niguel.

Barbara is also the name of singer Frank Sinatra’s widow, which led to the mistaken belief in Laguna that the famous family owned the house.

“I have no idea how that rumor got started,” said Frank Sinatra’s granddaughter, Amanda Erlinger, 29, an artist who lives in Laguna Beach. “The last thing we want is people in this community being upset with us or the family for land we have nothing to do with.”

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