Enjoy “unique Indian vernacular architecture with Spanish Eclectic influences” in this La Jolla landmark residence.
“Private and secluded at the end of a cul de sac, the legendary Casa de las Joyas — also known as La Jolla’s Taj Mahal — exudes charm and character rarely experienced,” opens the Realtor.com listing pitch for 7902 Roseland Drive, a 3857-square-foot home constructed in 1928 and perched just above La Jolla Shores at the base of Mount Soledad.
The property was designed by Herbert E. Palmer, recognized as a master architect by the city, as his personal residence. Palmer, an Englishman with reported ties to the royal family, came to California in 1923 after travels to South Africa and India. He had hoped to build a much larger school of architecture in the same style, over which he would have presided, but The Great Depression dashed Palmer’s plans and his chosen school site was instead built out as the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club. He remained in the area and became known for Mediterranean Revival designs that received acclaim throughout La Jolla.
Architect/first resident Herbert E. Palmer was known for his emphasis of outdoor activity areas.
Casa de las Joyas, sited on a secluded quarter-acre lot, “has been beautifully restored to preserve the integrity of [Palmer’s] original 1928 design, including columns, arches, fountain, carved wood, frescoes, and stone mosaics.” It’s also undergone expansion and remodeling “to accommodate today’s comfortable living,” including an updated kitchen and added family room.
According to a city profile, “Palmer became known for emphasizing outdoor activity areas such as garden courtyards and terraces, as well as for adding artistic elements.” Listing materials suggest he sought the same for his residence, noting the “gorgeous ocean and North Shore views from most rooms, most of which open to patios or balconies,” along with “lush gardens with a brick patio, firepit, and a 42’ mosaic tiled pool for al fresco living.”
Interior details include elaborate arched passageways and domed ceilings, custom stonework integrated as detail into the walls, floors, and entry staircase. From the outside, the prominent tri-domed roofline is indeed reminiscent of India’s famous mausoleum. The circular meditation room “has top of the world 360-degree views of the ocean, La Jolla Shores, and hillside,” and could potentially be repurposed as a bedroom.
The home’s “unique Indian vernacular architecture with Spanish Eclectic influences, characterized by the highly visible mogul domes” were sufficient for the city’s historical resources board to declare the home in 2012 “an important, clearly recognizable landmark in the La Jolla community.” The distinction is important because it qualifies the property for reduced taxes under the Mills Act, which encourages the preservation of historic structures.
Public records indicate ownership of the Casa currently lies with Bibi and Mahmoud Ladjevardi, Airbnb “superhosts” who purchased the property in 1999 for a reported $1.2 million and who offer it as a daily vacation rental.
Casa de las Joyas has been on and off the market several times, with sale attempts dating back to 2013 and carrying asking prices as high as $2.8 million. The most recent listing went active in mid-March; the sellers are currently seeking a price of $2,350,000.
- 7902 Roseland Drive | La Jolla, 92037
- Beds: 6 | Baths: 5 | Current Owners: Mahmoud and Bibi Ladjevardi | List Price: $2,350,000