Explore the Garage and Service Yard/Private Garden
In the 1930s the Bixby’s guests would drive into the forecourt, the family however, would turn the opposite direction to access the portion of the adobe converted into garage space. Today this space is used as meeting room.
The design intent was to have both the garage and the service yard hedged. No pictures have been found that reflects the hedge around the garage was ever installed.
Just beyond the garage was the service yard, a garden room whose walls consisted of the servant’s wing of the adobe house, the brick wall to the backyard and a living hedge of Ligustrum. This space accommodated a rustic shade house, the incinerator and the gardeners shed. Many of these items can be found in estates of the day but this one also provided the servants with access to a green space. Green space was a concept Cornell promoted most of his professional life. He wrote, “The average apartment dweller, within our cities, has no place where he can put his feet on the ground, sit in the sun and relax.” Cornell took that impassioned theme and implemented the concept within even this modest estate. He created a space that supported the required daily tasks; such as food deliveries and waste removal, storage for garden equipment and propagation of plants, but went beyond to included a place for those who served the Bixby family, ensuring that they too had a green and shady spot to enjoy when it was their time to sit and rest. As a designer he can recommend and champion ideas but it is the owners who decide, it speaks volumes that the Bixby’s provided such accommodations to their servants.
Today the area serves as office space and tool storage and is not generally open to the public.