YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Home of the Week

A Whimsical Cottage in Historic La Jolla


This quaint English Tudor cottage, in a historic neighborhood called the Barber Tract, has been described as one of the most recognizable homes in La Jolla.

Built in 1929 as a personal residence for Florence B. Palmer, one of the most prominent La Jolla interior designers of her day, this vine-covered home also has been affectionately known, because of its storybook appearance, as "The Little People's Cottage."

Everywhere you look, there are nooks and crannies with whimsical details and doorways opening to hidden garden areas.

About this home: This is the first time this home has been on the market in more than 35 years. The house is owned by Gordon and Gloria Johnson. She is an avid gardener; he is the editor of the Barber Tract Times.

The Barber Tract, which has about 180 homes, including ones owned by Hollywood notables Cliff Robertson and Samuel Goldwyn Jr., was developed primarily between 1920 and 1940, though there are some post-World War II houses in the neighborhood today.

The development was named for its major landowner and developer, Phillip Barber, an heir to the Barber & Co. steamship company in New York. The 16th of 18 children, Barber bought land in La Jolla, then had homes designed in European-revival styles, which he then sold.

A number of those original homes, including the Johnsons', are still standing. The Johnsons raised five children in their house and are now ready for "a simpler lifestyle," they said.

Asking price: $1,375,000

Size: Three bedrooms, three baths, about 1,900 square feet

Features: Original built-ins, leaded-glass windows, hardwood floors. The home is also surrounded by private patios and gardens terraced with flagstone.

Where: La Jolla

Contact: Linda Marrone, Coldwell Banker Previews, La Jolla, (858) 459-3851, Ext. 1855.


To be considered for Home of the Week, please send color interior and exterior photos (copies only; we cannot return the pictures) and a brief description of the house, including what makes the property unusual, to Ruth Ryon, Real Estate Section, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012; or

Los Angeles Times Articles