Myron Hunt, a distinguished south land architect whose projects included the Pasadena Rose Bowl and the Huntington Library, was commissioned to design W.K. Kellogg’s new west coast estate. Charles Gibbs Adams, a colorful character whose work was popular among many silent screen stars, was selected to landscape the grounds. One of his more notable commissions was the Hearst Castle garden in San Simeon California. Kellogg purchased his first 377 acres of land from rancher Cecil George in 1925, for $250,000. The main house was built at a cost of $150,000.
Intended as a winter respite for W.K.’s family, the grounds offered an idyllic setting with winding roadways and terrain for walking, riding, or driving. One of Mr. Kellogg’s favorite walks with Rinson, his German Shepherd and constant companion, was a foot path from the main house down through Palm Canyon (designed after a canyon of the same name in Palm Springs), to the stables, to Sycamore Canyon and back. Myron Hunt designed not only the main house and guest cottage you pass as you enter the main gate, but also the Arabian stables and the other ranch buildings, including the Manor House. The Manor House was originally built for Kellogg’s eldest son Karl and his family. Karl was a doctor, and had never fully recovered from an earlier bout of tuberculosis. He agreed to move to California and manage his father’s ranch in hopes the weather would improve his health. Today, the university president and his family occupy the Manor House. Because Kellogg loved the outdoors, his house was set on top of the hill to take full advantage of the Pomona Valley panorama.
The east-facing breakfast room offered lots of morning light and wide, uninterrupted views. Most of the bedrooms had excellent vistas. Both main bedrooms were designed to take advantage of the mild evening climate with their own screened-in sleeping porches. At approximately 8,700 square feet, this house nevertheless feels smaller because of its many rooms. Mr. Kellogg’s doors were always open to relatives and friends in need of a place to stay. The design of the house was also convenient for the Army during W.W.II, and later for the University as a meeting place and training center. The architectural decor is typical of a ranch house; however, the house does feature some finer detailing, such as the ceiling beams above the dining room where Kellogg’s initials WKK are worked into the pattern. Mr. Kellogg loved to have pipe organ music played for his guests on summer nights. The pipes are cleverly built into the built basement, creating a spacious area to store what was heard and not seen.
Even though the Kellogg Mansion was constructed in 1926, it is a credit to the craftsmanship of the architect and builders that only minimal structural repair was required in the renovation. The construction project of 1998 took only five months to complete. The weathered features of the house, such as the plumbing fixtures, wrought iron banisters on both the master bedroom verandas, and the wall light sconces in the living room, were meticulously restored and recreated to precisely match the original item and appear just as they did when the house was first occupied. In fact, the only additions to the original construction are an upgraded electrical system, interior ventilation, and irrigation system, as well as a wheelchair access ramp and restroom. Mr. Kellogg’s original pipe organ from the Skinner Company was replaced by a Wurlitzer Theater Pipe Organ that was originally installed in the Granada Theater, Ontario, CA in 1925, where it was used to provide musical accompaniment for silent movies, as well as for intermissions and occasional concerts. Wurlitzer was the leading world manufacturer of theater organs. These organs are very versatile musically and can be used to play classical as well as popular music of all kinds. The KH Wurlitzer is equipped with a 3- keyboard console with a modern processor-control system with extensive memory to hold preset registrations of pipe voices to accommodate musical pipe organ settings for up to eight organists or very complex settings for the most demanding concert use. But the lush and emotionally moving sounds of the organ are produced by the original Mighty Wurlitzer pipes housed in the basement chamber and communicated to the historic living room of the mansion to envelope the audience in musical pleasure without peer. The organ is available for use as an unforgettable touch for any KH event, including weddings, receptions, concerts, accompaniment to silent films, luncheon and dinners, or other special occasions where the unique combination of the ambience of historic Kellogg House and its magnificent organ will make a lasting impression.
To learn more, please visit the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library at: www.cpp.edu/~library/kellogg-arabian-horse-library/
If you have any event related questions or like to host an event at Kellogg House, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Celebrity Guests of Kellogg House
While in use by the Kellogg family, this house was a resting place for many
celebrities of their day. Loretta Young was a guest of the house, as well as
Rudolph Valentino, silent film star Mary Pickford, Clara Bow, Gary Cooper,
Olivia de Haviland, Tim Mix and Will Rogers, the little rascals and former
president Ronald Regan. Rudolph Valentino appeared in the film, with one of Mr.
Kellogg’s favorite horses, Jordaan. The guests of Mr. Kellogg would enjoy their
time by walking the grounds or going to see the Arabian Horses in the horse
stables. Often they would be there while marveling at the beauty of the house,
grounds and the beautiful horses.