Letter: Continuing Problems

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Letter to the Editor

As a Malibu resident of 67 years, I am dismayed to read about the continuing problems at the Adamson House, the pride of our City. In the 1960s, the State of California condemned the property to construct a parking lot. Members of the Malibu Historical Society and many residents did not like that idea and worked tirelessly to preserve the Spanish Colonial Revival home until, finally, in 1983, it was recognized as a California Historical Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historical Places.

Many docents volunteered and worked tirelessly to preserve the house and gardens — I among them. However, in recent decades, the house has fallen into disrepair due to delayed structural and other maintenance. The roof continually leaks, the front foundation is deteriorating, surfaces are in need of paint, electrical systems are faulty and the furnishings are torn, among many other issues.

As a service to Malibu’s extended community, the house is offered as a showpiece for Malibu Tile. The Adamson House is one of the few locations in the world where visitors may observe the tile in a location of unequaled beauty while accompanied by a knowledgeable docent. The house also serves as a backdrop for lucrative garden weddings, attended by hundreds of guests at a time. Both services are income-producing endeavors for the State, but bring accelerated wear and tear to the grounds and the house. We are at a point where irreparable damage is being done to the property by ongoing maintenance delays.

Unfortunately, California State Parks representatives and the Adamson House Foundation board have not been in agreement on many issues regarding the mission statement. Chief among them seems to be the responsibility for the preservation of the house. 

It would be a great loss to the community and the State if the Adamson House further disintegrated. I hope that all the disagreements will soon be settled and that this treasure can be saved for future generations to enjoy.

Jane Sullivan Hemenez