The House of Tiles

Tile from the Famed Malibu Potteries

Today, Martine and I paid a visit to the Adamson House and Malibu Lagoon Museum. Some houses are famous because of their architects; the Adamson House, on the other hand, is known for its lavish use of tiles throughout the house and the beautiful views on all sides. The builders of this 1930 Spanish colonial style house—the Rindges—were also the owners of Malbu Potteries which, for a number of years, produced beautiful floor and wall tiles from 1926 to 1932.

Ideally sited where Malibu Creek meets the Pacific Ocean, the Adamson House has beautiful views on all sides, including the Lagoon, the Santa Monica Mountains, and the California coastline extending many miles south to the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Entryway to Adamson House

The Rindge family at one time owned the entire Rancho Topanga Malibu Sequit with its 13,000 acres of prime coastline. By a string of lawsuits they kept the major railroads from building along the coast, while at the same time building their own twelve miles of track, which were never integrated into the main passenger and freight routes. (Today there is no trace of them.)

It is due to their efforts that the main rail routes go inland to downtown L.A. and then west across the Conejo Valley to Oxnard.

The Peacock Fountain in the Back Yard with View to the Southeast

Today the Adamson House is a prime location for romantic weddings. As we left, there was one setting up for the late afternoon.


Malibu Up My Nose

This Is What I Have Been Breathing for Weeks

Take a deep breath: You will notice a certain burnt flavor to the air, because it is full of ashes … from brush, from houses, from unfortunate pets and wild critters, and from God knows what all. When the devil wind blows in the autumn, it doesn’t take much to turn Malibu into a charnel house. It’s not so much the trees that burn as the underlying brush, which thereupon sends up flaming embers that land on roofs hundreds of feet away. And when one house goes up in smoke, there’s a good chance that surrounding structures will as well.

All evening, I have been blowing my nose constantly, turning several handkerchiefs into soppy messes. There have been times in the past when this constant sneezing and nose-blowing is the prelude to a nasty cold. I hope that this is not one of those instances. I got my flu shot six days ago, and I am not sure it is protecting me just yet.

I often wonder why people want to live in Malibu. There is only one real highway in and out, with a couple of mountain routes that connect California Route 1 to the San Fernando and Conejo Valleys. There is something to be said for a nice ocean view, but the people who could afford to live there get pretty blasé about the view after a few weeks. And there is a near certainty of destruction by fire or flood over a period of several decades. I suppose it is one of the things people do “because they can.” Regardless how stupid it is in the long run.