Pair of SoCal Hilltop Pearls - Page 2

Bundling two MCM prizes into one—plus remarkable backstories and rich legacies
Fridays on the Homefront
Prize #2: Aerial view of the Jones house.

There's a good-news/bad-news aspect to this three-bed, five-house bath that stems from its unusual backstory. On the plus side, it's never really been inhabited or sold to anyone before.

Ladd sold the older house in the '60s to Pasadena philanthropist Adelaide Finkbine Hixon and her husband, Alex. Adelaide was heiress to an Iowa lumber fortune, and the couple supported myriad schools, causes, and political candidates. They lived in the Ladd house and commissioned the Jones house strictly to host fundraisers and parties in the late century.

Then, in 2015, Adelaide helped found the Hixon Center for Sustainable Design at Harvey Mudd College in nearby Claremont. The Iowa native bequeathed the entire 3.3-acre property to the design center effective upon her death, in November 2019, after living all but one of her 101 years in Pasadena.

  Fridays on the Homefront
Jones house front elevation.

The 'bad news' side of the college's listing is its offering 'as is,' with no inspections having been done on either house.

"We just don't know," Ruelas replied when asked what repairs or maintenance is needed on the property. Rather than be legally obligated to a specified quality level of the property's condition, Ruelas said the college leaders "don't want to make any declarations."

"It's 'as is' condition, and it's up to the buyer to see what's going on with it," said the realtor, conceding that the college declined his recommendations to do some inspections and wait until after the holidays before listing the property.

  Fridays on the Homefront
Jones house interior.

Ruelas said these factors and the price tag may have extended its stay on the market, noting of the valley, "You don't see very many homes in this price range. It's going to be a limited number of potential buyers."

He also bemoaned not getting to host any open houses to market the unique listing during the pandemic, pointing out, "This was just begging for something like that; and at The Agency, that's what we do!"

Nonetheless, he said last week that two potential buyers remain interested, with one being a well-known but unnamed musician, and the other planning to bring an architect and other professionals along for a third visit to the architecturally rich property.

Architect A. Quincy Jones. Photo: Dale Healy - courtesy A. Quincy Jones Papers (Special Collections - Young Research Library, UCLA)

"I believe whoever buys this [will be] somebody who's going to care about that [pedigree]," he said of the sparkling design, adding, "Otherwise they're not paying $12 million for a property like this."

For more information or to schedule a visit to 1100 Paso Alto Road, click here.