Blooming Rose

Blooming Rose

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Adamson House in Malibu

Two weeks ago I visited  the Adamson House which is a historic house and gardens
in Malibu.

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 
Malibu Potteries.

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
beautiful tiles. 

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 windows.

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
very beautiful.

And now my thoughts turn to autumn.

I hope you all have a very wonderful week.


once in a blue moon said...

really enjoyed your tour, i could steal a few dozen ideas! gorgeous spot and pics :)

chateau de fleurs said...

This is very interesting and so beautiful! I loved the tile. Thanks for sharing, XO christie

Tybee Dreaming said...

Wow what a great post. I love history lessons. I bet that is a very poplar spot for weddings, the view is beautiful.

Acquired Objects said...

What an amazing house and I really love the idea of the carpets in tile. Looks like a beautiful area to visit. I hope your knee is feeling better Susan!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Amazing! What a fabulous place! Thanks for taking us on a tour! ♥

Privet and Holly said...

Did you know that one
of my most favorite things
to do when I travel {and
also right here in the Twin
Cities} is to tour historic houses
and gardens? Yes, indeeed!
When my mom and I take
my annual b-day trip each
year, we always try to include
a home or two, if we can.
This year, we'll be in Napa for
a few days. I wonder if there
are any historical homes to
visit, there? This was SUCH
an interesting post, Susan.
Loved how Rhoda spelled
backwards is ADORH and how
the romance came about. I
wonder why Mr. A. was so
despondent? I usually leave
these tours wanting to know
MORE about the people whose
lives took place there. Always
enjoy a good story, especially
if it is non-fiction : )

Thanks for sharing this amazing
place and it's background!

xx Suzanne

sherryocala said...

Everything was quite beautiful, but my favorites were the plant pot early in the post, the tiled carpet and, of course, the location. Thanks for an excellent tour.

Velvet and Linen said...

Thank you for the tour of this beautiful home!
Although I've been to the Adamson house several times, I never get tired of seeing the amazing architecture, including all of the beautiful tile work.
The setting in Malibu isn't too shabby either!


French-Kissed said...

Thank you Susan for this wonderful post...while a student at Pepperdine many years ago, I was chosen as part of small group to spend a fabulous afternoon here. We were served an elaborate lunch and were allowed to tour the entire house and linger long in the Malibu sun sipping iced teas. Even at 19 I was completely taken with every detail and especially the tile work. Your fabulous tour has inspired me to visit again. All the best,


Liz said...

What a great post. I love reading about historic homes like this. It is kind of sad though. I wonder why the husband committed suicide?


A Cozy Cottage in the City said...

Amazing! I have always wanted to visit this place - now I have seen it through you! :) I will have to visit it someday too! Love the pics!


la Brocanteuse said...

Thank you Susan for sharing this very interesting tour to the Adamson house..the images really give a wonderful insight and I have learned something I never knew about.
Thank you for your visit and kind comment on my blog. Have a lovely weekend.
Greetings Colette - Afrique du Sud

Pondside said...

What a fabulous house. I love the tile - the kitchen is so vibrant, I just know I'd cook better!
Hearing or reading the name Malibu takes me back to my early teens, when there's no place that I'd rather have visited than Malibu - funny how that sticks in my mind.

La Dolfina said...

That was amazing!!!!!
Can't wait to visit one day...
You always know the best places!!!
Love this post

La Dolfina said...

That was amazing!!!!!
Can't wait to visit one day...
You always know the best places!!!
Love this post

classic • casual • home said...

Sad that he killed himself...even with all the beauty around him. Thanks so much for the lovely tour.

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

I want to go to Malibu! This si an amazing house. the tile work through-out is incredible art. Thanks for sharing. XO, Mona

LaPouyette said...

What an interesting house and story! Just fabulous!

Really a great post, Susan!

Thank you very much for sharing.

And thanks also for your comments, always so pleased to hear from you.

Sorry for late commenting, just back from Germany.

Many greetings,

Hoover Boo said...

Most excellent post. Very informative and interesting, and the photos are beautiful. Thanks for sharing your visit.