It’s early afternoon, and you’re sliding out of your tennis outfit in what Virginia calls the Playhouse (the Pool Pavilion). You think back to a few moments ago on the Robinsons' tennis court and silently reprimand yourself for forgetting to practice your backhand more. Charlie (referring, of course, to Charlie Chaplin), was much better than you remembered. Shrugging, you slip on your lunch attire (your swimsuit lay next to you ready for use this afternoon) and head out for a delicious luncheon overlooking the tennis court.
This scenario might sound like a complete fantasy, but it read like a typical … Read More
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
- Anatole France, French Poet
Harry and Virginia Robinson were both animal lovers for their entire lives. Their 16 acre estate made the perfect home for their menagerie of pets who could roam freely and enjoy the grounds. Stories of the many pets who have lived at 1008 Elden Way are legendary at Robinson Gardens.
Harry and Virginia always had several dogs at one time. Some were purebred while others were mixed breeds. One of their most beloved pets was a black French Poodle named “Bravo.” There … Read More
Virginia Robinson came to this area as a small child. Because Los Angeles was at a pivotal growth moment ready to burst into a bustling city, she had a tremendous opportunity to help shape the development of this nascent area into a major metropolis with a rich cultural climate. What she did growing up was reported frequently in the newspaper in large part because of her family’s position in the community. Virginia’s two most important early influences were her father, Nathanial Dryden, and her uncle, Leslie Brand. Her father was an architectural designer and builder who had a significant influence on her sense of style. Her uncle, a colorful man who gained great success in his many business pursuits and much notoriety for his glamorous lifestyle, played an influential role in her own business interests as well as her love of living grandly.
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we were unable to hold our annual Garden Tour & Showcase Estate this past spring. While it was heartbreaking to have to postpone one of our largest events and fundraisers of the year, we were given the opportunity to get creative and bring you all something special in its place. Hosted by Friend Maralee Beck, join David Silverman of LA House Histories and Robinson Gardens' Superintendent Timothy Lindsay for a lecture on the garden feature comparisons at Mille Fleur and the Goetz house, both former VRG Garden Tour gardens. While David gives … Read More
Virginia Robinson bought her new car in 1906. The Los Angeles Times heralded the event on April 8 describing the car as, “…a twenty-four-cylinder Columbia Stanhope-Victoria…”. Since there was no model with that name at the time, it was likely to have been an extremely popular model among the East Coast society ladies, a “Victoria-Phaeton.” This model of the Columbia electric cars was considered an expensive automobile. People could purchase the much more affordable gasoline internal combustion engine cars as well. Nonetheless, the electric cars had many advantages over the gasoline version. Electric cars were odorless, quiet and simple to … Read More
Updates on the Ducks and Their New Home in the Wildlife Pond
Congratulations to all who have assisted in the creation of the Virginia Robinson Gardens’ “Wildlife Habitat,” conceived and designed by Superintendent Timothy Lindsay. The Gardens have recently been honored with the designation by the National Wildlife Federation as an official “Certified Wildlife Habitat Site.” This certifies that Robinson Gardens will provide a home for all the wild creatures that make our lives whole!
The Gardens’ new addition will bring all of us, both young and old, years of enjoyment and educational opportunities.… Read More
On January 16, 2020, our amazing Superintendent Timothy Lindsay gave a presentation on the rich history of Virginia Robinson Gardens. Before the talk, the guests mingled with each other while enjoying scrumptious tea sandwiches and desserts in the Pool Pavilion. Betty Goldstein, Chair of the Membership Committee who organized this special event, pointed out that the miniature chocolate muffins are from one of the recipes Virginia used for entertaining. The recipe came from the Ideal Cookery Book by M.A. Fairclough, published in 1911. (Betty added that the muffins need a little more flavor. Elaine Stein, who is also on the … Read More
A unique toy in Virginia and Harry Robinson’s home is a gilt-metal 19th century birdcage which contains four taxidermied iridescent hummingbirds who sit on branches and move their heads while they sing. Virginia and Harry must have thought that the automaton was sufficiently entertaining as it still occupies a place of honor in their home. This toy for the well-appointed home reflects the Robinsons’ elevated social placement in Los Angeles’ cultural hierarchy. Harry and Virginia’s pedigrees show that both came from important families who moved to Los Angeles and left their mark on their nascent community.
The automaton reflects Virginia … Read More