Published : Friday, July 12, 2019 | 10:22 AM
The Balian Ice Cream House, home to the ice cream mixing clan of the same name, is open for a liquidation sale that offers opportunities to purchase a piece of a sweet empire and to view the hearth and home of those who forged it.
The Balian family, which plied Los Angeles’ public schools and regional grocers with ice cream for over 50 years, owns a landmark structure, a unique Mediterranean vision built in 1922, which they spangled in Christmas cheer every year starting in 1955.
Taylor Rodiger is general manager of Early Bird Liquidation, which is overseeing the sale of Balian family housewares and objets d’art.
He has lived the Balian history in the same way many Pasadenans and Altadenans have.
“I grew up in L.A. and remember getting their ice cream at lunch,” he recalled. “Usually on Fridays, I think. And so for years they were known for their elaborate Christmas display. A lot of people would go to Christmas Tree Lane and then they would go over to the Balian House as well. So you if you’re from Pasadena/Altadena, it’s more than likely that, one; you had the ice cream, or two; you visited the house around the holidays.”
The last time the house was open to the public was in the 1980′s, according to Rotiger, who said that chances are it won’t be so again for the foreseeable future.
“So if you’re not even interested in shopping, and you just want an opportunity to see a historic home in Altadena, this is the time,” he said.
The mansion is staying in the Balian family, which is conducting the liquidation to finance renovations and deferred maintenance, according to Rotinger.
On sale will be Christmas decorations.”They’re all the old vintage decorations,” he explained. “A lot of them are like wood panels that are painted like figures and stuff like that.”
French and European period furniture, vintage clothing and millinery, “and really cool glassware,” are also part of the sale offering, said Rotinger.
The mansion will be open through Sunday, July 14 from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Shoppers are welcome to peruse the property, though Rotinger noted that not every section of the house will be open to the architecturally curious.
The Balian Ice Cream Estate House 1980 Mendocino Lane, in Altadena.