Adamson House Decorated for “The Twelve Days of Christmas”

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The Adamson House is festively decorated for the holiday season: “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” If one has relatives who are coming to town, or if a resident has never visited this historic 1930 beach house in Malibu, located along the Pacific Ocean, this is a must stop in December.

The property is situated on 13 acres that face Surfrider Beach, and the home was designed by architect Stiles Clement. The land was a gift from May Knight Rindge to her daughter, Rhoda Adamson. For seven years the Adamson Family spent their summers in the home until 1937 when they moved in permanently.

May Adamson resided there after her husband’s death, until she passed in 1962.

The Spanish Colonial Revival home is filled with original ceramic tiles from Malibu Potteries. The home includes 14-inch-thick stucco walls, sloping triple tiled roofs, arches, courtyards, decorative wrought iron details and a projecting stair tower with lead-framed Rondel glass windows.

The “rug” was designed by William Handly of the Malibu Potteries.

There are hand-painted frescoes, hand-painted molded ceilings and wrought-iron filigrees that delicately fit over the windows. One of the most amazing ceramic pieces is a Persian rug that is made up 674 tiles.

The 5,000-sq.ft, five-bedroom home is still furnished as when the Adamsons lived there.

The grounds are beautifully landscaped and include a swimming pool and three fountains: Neptune, Peacock and Star.

Dog bath

There is even an elaborately tiled-outdoor tub that was used by the Adamsons to bathe their dogs.

It is one of the most exceptional properties on the West Coast and visitors are allowed to view it. Docent-led tours of the house will run Fridays and Saturdays through December 31.

Tours will begin at 10 a.m. and start every half hour, with the final tour of the day at 2:30 p.m.

Walk-ins accepted for parties of less than six people. Refreshments will be served in the museum. Guests can pick up their gift at our Visitor Center.

Tickets: Adults 16 and older: $25. Children under 16: $10. Five-years and under: Free Reservations are required for groups of six or more: (310) 456-9378.

There is a gift shop on the premises that has a treasure trove of unusual books, memorabilia, and unique gifts. There are reproductions of Malibu Potteries tiles, hand-painted pastels of Adamsons House, rare original Malibu Pottereis tiles and other keepsake items with a Malibu Lagoon Museum motif.

The State of California claimed the buildings and property through eminent domain in 1968 in order to raze the buildings to make a parking lot for beach goers.

There was public outcry and in 1971, the Chancellor of Pepperdine University moved into the house in an effort to maintain it. 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 oversaw the house opening as a museum in 1983.

All proceeds from tours as well as sales from the Visitor Center benefit the Malibu Adamson House Foundation, a 501C3 nonprofit that uses the funds for the home’s upkeep.

This is the Peacock Fountain located at the Adamson House.

(Editor’s note: This is the house I wish were mine—unique, functional and perfect in so many ways. If you have never gone on a tour, I cannot recommend it highly enough.)

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3 Responses to Adamson House Decorated for “The Twelve Days of Christmas”

  1. Lyn Gardner says:

    In your article about the Adamson House, you say that “May Adamson resided there after her husband’s death until she passed in 1962.”
    I’m wondering, however, if you mean Rhoda (Rindge) Adamson, daughter of (Rhoda) May and Frederick Rindge? Earlier in your article, you describe Rhoda Adamson as the daughter of May Knight Rindge.
    I recently finished reading “King and Queen of Malibu” which was fascinating. I learned that Frederick came from Cambridge, MA where I am from and that the name of Cambridge’s public high school (where I went) derives from Frederick Rindge: Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.
    My husband and I began living in the Palisades in July of 2021 (but are bi-coastal and frequently return to Cambridge.)
    I love the Adamson House!

  2. Patricia Ann Belcher-Williams says:

    Yes, at times the names are used interchangeably. It was both Rhoda May Knight-Rindge and Rhoda Agatha Rindge -Adamson who resided in the beach residence until they passed in 1941 and 1962 respectively.

    My name is Patricia A. Belcher-wms. , I am a docent at the Adamson House, I am so pleased that you have delved inside the Rindge/Adamson history. Enjoy your holiday season.

    Patricia.

  3. Patricia Ann Belcher-wms. says:

    Yes, Rhoda Agatha Rindge-Adamson is the daughter of Rhoda May Knight Rindge. As an informality the Middle name is, at times alternately used to identify both women. Both women did live at the beach residence until passing. Rhoda May resided there until her passing in 1941 and Rhoda Agatha Rindge-Adamson resided there after both her mother’s and husband’s passing. She passed in 1962, after a stellar career heading up Marblehead Development/Holdings, her father’s corporation and Adhor Farms Creamery, along with numerous holdings allocated to her management. After reading King and Queen of Malibu, you are aware of striking capabilities.
    My name is Patricia Ann Belcher-wms, I am a docent at the Adamson House and I cordially invite you to visit the Adamson House frequently, simply to enjoy the grounds, perhaps an afternoon picnic.

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