Oliver H. Hicks (“All View”) Home


The Redlands Area Historical Society, Inc.
Heritage Award 1982

Oliver H. Hicks (“All View”) Home
1321 Knoll Road

Probably the most distinctive features of the residence, built originally for Mr. and Mrs. Oliver H. Hicks and located at 1321 Knoll Road, are its Italianate design and elaborate cast plaster cornice surrounding the home below the eaves. A replica of a home on the Italian Riviera, All View, as it was named by its original owners, stands on a knoll overlooking Crescent and Highland Avenues and is surrounded by formal, mature land­scaping. As the name implies, it commands a breathtaking view of the valley and the San Bernardino Mountains.

Built by Gordon Donald in 1906, the home was constructed for $20,000, in­cluding the secret recessed cupboards designed to hold Mrs. Hicks’ exten­sive jade collection. The fortunes of the original owners were enhanced by Mrs. Hicks’ invention of the pickle container, metal tips for shoelaces, and snap-on clothespins. Mr. Hicks developed corrugated paper and a method of fireproofing it.

The dramatic entrance from Knoll Road is highlighted by twin columns carrying wrought iron lanterns and the nameplate of the residence. Another very striking feature of the mansion is the extensive balustrade of the second floor sun deck, the circular outside dining area, and along the circular drive. East of the home, a walk leads beneath an arbor supported by columns like those used in the port cochere.

On the interior, much of the home remains the same as it did in 1900 in­cluding the Tiffany glazed burlap and silk damask wall coverings. The home is an excellent example of Redlands’ mansion era, featuring silver plated hardware in the living room, tortoise shell and crystal lighting fixtures, and a large reception hall. From this reception hall, guests could enjoy a trio of arched windows and Corinthian colonades that look onto a garden surrounding a marble fountain which still operates on the -system installed in 1906.

Current residents of the home are Dr. and Mrs. Edmund Dombrowski, who purchased the home in 1964 and have raised their family there.  A carport and outside entertainment area were added by other recent owners, but-in an effort to maintain the home as originally constructed, the Dombrowskis have made no structural changes, but have enclosed a second floor porch ­adjacent to the master bedroom. The family has also planted a small nostalgic grove of oranges as well as their fruit and nut trees.

The Redlands Area Historical Society does itself honor in singling out this unique example of our town’s heritage and in commending the stewardship of the owners.