The Adamson House, Malibu

Nothing screams Los Angeles more than a beautiful day at the beach!  However, the sun and sand aren’t the only amazing visuals to enjoy if you are going coastal.  Run…don’t walk to The Adamson House in Malibu which, is adjacent to Surfrider Beach, the Malibu Lagoon and the Bird Sanctuary.  Find someone who loves gardens, architecture and amazing tile work as much as you and take them along as I did my friend Alice for some amazing sensory overload.

The Adamson House was built by Rhoda Rindge Adamson and her husband Merritt Adamson in 1930.  It is a Spanish Colonial Screen Shot 2014-05-18 at 11.05.51 PMstyle home that has a very interesting place in Southern California history as Mrs. Adamson was the daughter of the last owners of the Malibu Spanish land grant. The full history of the property and how it passed throughout the generations is actually quite interesting but I’ll leave the details to your tour when you visit.  However, to bring it to modern day, the State of California purchased the property in 1968, intending to raze the buildings to make way for additional parking for beach goers.  But, in 1971, the Chancellor of Pepperdine University moved in to Adamson House as part of an effort to maintain the home until it could be properly restored. The Malibu Historical Society was formed to preserve the house, which became a California Historical Landmark in 1985. The Malibu Lagoon Interpretive Association, now known as Malibu Adamson House Foundation, was formed in 1981 and presided over the opening of the house as a museum in 1983.

The stunning display of decorative tiles dates from ancient history and continues today. It’s hard to imagine a more brilliant pageant than can be enjoyed at Adamson House.

image002California was awash with tile-producing companies in the 1920s. Malibu Potteries, the company founded by May Rindge stands apart as producing the most beautiful work of that era.

May Rindge started the firm after discovering her land was rich in the natural resources needed to manufacture ceramic tile. She hired a ceramist and draftsman named Rufus Keeler whom many considered a ceramic genius for his secret glazes known for their color and clarity as her plant manager. The factory, spanning 1,500 feet of beach just east of the Malibu Pier, opened in 1926. At its height, 125 employees worked there producing up to 30,000 square feet of tile a month, sold mainly to contractors, architects and designers.

I don’t want to spoil your visit but for those of you that may not make it so soon, let me share some photos I took and others that I’ve collected so you too can enjoy the splendor of The Adamson House.


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