Two weeks ago I visited the Adamson House which is a historic house and gardens
It is part of the Malibu Lagoon State Park.
The estate borders on the famous Surfriders Beach and the Malibu Lagoon which looks
into the equally famous Malibu Colony where so many celebrities have their beach homes.
The garden welcomes the guests...
The house was called the "Taj Mahal of Tile" because of all the tiles created by
The house was built in 1930 by Rhoda Rindge Adamson and Merritt Huntly Adamson.
The style was based on the Colonial Mediterranean Revival design. The architect was
Stiles O. Clements. The house is best known for its extensive use of Malibu Tile. In
1926 the Adamson family established the Malibu Tile Company just east of the well
known Malibu Pier. Artisans were brought over from Europe to create the unique and
It was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1977 and designated as
a California Historical Landmark in 1985.
Mrs. Adamson came from a very wealthy family from Boston that moved to the
Los Angeles area and owned the Rindge Ranch which encompassed all of present day
Malibu and into the Santa Monica Mountains.
Mr. Adamson was captain of the USC football team in 1912 which was the first football
team to be known as the "Trojans". He became a foreman at the Rindge Ranch. He and
Rhoda married in 1915 and founded the Adohr Farm Dairy which was his wife's
name spelled backwards. The dairy had the largest herd of Guernsey cows in the world.
The house was built of steel reinforced concrete which has become known as Spanish
Colonial Revival and Moorish Revival architecture. The house has handpainted ceilings
and several fireplaces, lead glass windows and wrought-iron filligree over several of
The main entrance has a large wood door with Malibu Tile on each side of the entrance...
Malibu Tile also surrounds the upstairs and rear windows...
(You can see from the reflection that they were setting up tents on the estate grounds
for a wedding the day I took these photos)
Every entry has broken tile in the floor to keep away evil spirits...
The main floor has a large living room, guest room with a bath that is tiled from floor
to and across the ceiling, a dining room and a tiled kitchen with one of the first dish-
washers which they called a dish breaker. They did not allow us to photograph the
inside of the house but I found the following pictures online...
Did you notice all the floors were tiled to look like rugs? Here is a picture of the
60 foot Persion Rug that is actually tile. The fringe is also tile...
The upstairs has 4 bedrooms and a small kitchenette. But the best part of the upstairs is
the spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean, Surfrider Beach and the Malibu Lagoon and
Malibu Colony. Also, the Malibu Pier which they built to access their private yacht and
ships with supplies for the Malibu Potteries. In other words, they owned all of Malibu!
And a bench on the upstairs patio to sit and enjoy the view...
The fountains are what is most photographed at the estate. It was difficult to get good
photos that day because they were setting up for a wedding and the tents were
positioned right up against the fountains. But I was able to take a few photos so you
can get an idea of how they extended the use of tiles to the fountains...
Even the outdoor tub where the dogs were bathed was tiled...
The tiled swimming pool is said to feature both fresh and salt water...
The bathhouse was used by the United States Coast Guard to watch over the Malibu
coast during World War II.
In 1948 Mr. Adamson walked past this painting on the front of the poolhouse,
entered the poolhouse and commited suicide.
Mrs. Adamson lived in the house until her death in 1962.
Malibu Potteries were only in operation from 1926-1932. They say if you ever come
across a Malibu Tile you have a real treasure.
I believe Mrs. Adamson stayed at the estate because the grounds and the views are so
And now my thoughts turn to autumn.
I hope you all have a very wonderful week.