China House in China Cove, Corona del Mar


China House in Corona del Mar's China Cove was a beautiful house atop a cliff overlooking the beach.



China House was built in 1927 by by a Pasadena resident whose wife loved Chinese architecture and culture.  Over 50 years later in the 1980's the house was demolished, despite the protests of many. Its roof was preserved and has been integrated into the architectural design of two other homes in China Cove in Corona del Mar.


Chinese roofs are not only ornate, but sometimes have purpose in design. The curved elements were originally built because Buddhists believed that evil spirits can be found in straight lines. The curve of each roof can be no more than a sweep and the most intricate designs on the roof are almost always pointing south-east. Because the Chinese roof often contains heavy, ceramic tiles, an additional colonnade often supports the weight under the outer edges, reducing the roof's bracket system to mere decorations. The brackets are decorated by elaborately painting them with bright colors and eye-popping designs.


In the Newport Beach community of Corona del Mar, the China House, which sat near the ocean and China Cove bay, is honored with a ceramic plaque.  The plaque (shown above) states: "This is the original roof of the China House restored in memory of Barbara "B" Renard, 1914 - 1996. She was China Cove."



china house corona del mar map


You can find this great roof and China Cove by parking your car at Ocean and Fernleaf in Corona del Mar. Head down the set of stairs and follow the trail to the beach.  Pedestrian access from Shell and Cove streets; stairways at Ocean Blvd. between Fernleaf and Dahlia and at Lookout Point blufftop park. Towering houses may cause you to hardly notice the ornate roof or the plaque mounted on a wall. China Cove beach and the house were easiest to see from the bay and today, it's still true that you get your best views of China Cove from across the bay at West Jetty View Park near the famous Wedge surfing point.