Saturday, August 18, 2012

The First Estate of Beverly Hills~ Home and Garden Tour ~ Part II

Virginia and Harry's families moved to California in the 1880's to enjoy the mild Southern California winters. 

Virginia Dryden was born into a family of successful builders. Born in Missouri, when she was 3 years  old, her family moved to California. One of the great influences of her life, her Uncle Leslie Brand, was busy building his reputation as the founding father of Glendale.  

At about the same time, Harry Robinson's merchant family prospered as the founders of The Boston Stores, later building the brand under the family name. While their families knew each other, it wasn't until the family put their foot down about college educated Virginia's need to marry, did the couple decide they should become romantically involved. They married very, very shortly thereafter, building their home in the popular Beaux Arts architectural fashion *. 

The  pool pavilion, built in 1924, transitions slightly from the heavier balustrades and ornamentation to the lighter Mediterranean style  known as Renaissance Revival. 

Modeled after Italy's Villa Pisani, the house is separated by a great lawn and the pool smartly trimmed in mosaic tile wainscoting. 

The exquisite detailing continues with windows with mullions trimmed in a rich terra cotta tone, creating the allusion that viewing through is like looking through a richly framed picture which is matted and lined. 

The decorative panels are created by the old world technique of sgraffito, where the underlying base color is etched away, revealing the design by exposing the underlying base color. 

The solarium, which once housed pool parties of the indoor and outdoor variety is now furnished in the modern Victorian interpretations of MacKenzie- Childs.  The small gift selection to commemorate your visit may be perused in the back part of the building.

The MacKenzie-Childs Flower Market Bonnet Chair puts a new spin on the motto "bloom where you are planted." Based in rural Aurora, New York, the firm captures the colors of summer - pink, fuchsia, green, orange, red and blue - and turned them loose with their Flower Market furniture collection. The website describes the collection as "Fancy, fun, and just a touch eccentric, with inset Flower Market enamelware panels and black and white accents, front and back. Sturdy, easy care, and made to withstand the elements. Hand-woven resin wicker, powder-coated metal accents, wrought iron frame. Includes one Flower Market Lumbar Pillow. Bonnet Chair is double-woven for durability." 

The home shows its Beaux Arts roots in the balustrades, flat roof-line and strict symmetry
Looking back to the main house, we will wave good-bye for this post. Next up- we can talk some about Virginia's influence during our serious hike through what the grand dam of Beverly Hills is best known for.  Her beloved gardens.  

Linking up to May Dreams GBBD. 


Anonymous said...


How interesting to see the mansions of the once rich and famous. I would be interested to know if they had children, how many and how the estate became a tourist attraction.

That bonnet chair is a hoot!! Definitely a conversation piece! You described everything very nicely.

Thanks for sharing!

XO Trisha

Anonymous said...

Well this post sure didn't disappoint! Guess I'm just a Victorian at heart. Although, I have seen contemporary type gardens and homes and occassionally I like them, they don't move me the way this one did. And the interior and especially the "bonnet chair" was just lovely!

Thanks for sharing, Lydia.

Judy in Seal Beach.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Such a BEAUTIFUL place, Lydia. Amazing, really. And how beautifully it has been kept up! A lot of love went into the creation of this home and it shows. I look forward to seeing the Gardens....