Located at 800 East Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, California, the
Villa Riviera Hotel was constructed in 1929. At the time, it was the
second-tallest building in Southern California after Los Angeles City
Hall. Architect Richard D. King won a grand prize at an international
contest for the design of the sixteen-story building. Construction
costs exceeded two million dollars. Its architecture savors of the
majestic Tudor Gothic, with a marked resemblance to the Italian and
French Renaissance, all blended into a composite grace of line that
overshadows any single decorative detail.
Groundbreaking began in late 1927, with the opening planned for
December 1928. Due to various delays, the official opening actually
occurred April 1929. The building was not originally planned as a
hotel; rather, it was built as residential stock co-operative (or
“own-your-own”) apartments, and was known only as the Villa Riviera.
It didn't become a residential hotel until after the Great Depression,
when the finance company took it back and sold it to a hotel concern.
It then became known as the Villa Riviera Apartment Hotel.
Later, Joseph M. Schenck of Twentieth Century Fox bought the hotel
for his ex-wife Norma Talmadge to manage. Apparently, they were still
close, on good terms, and one might imagine that he took pity on her
since her silent film career was over and she probably had little else
to do. Various rumours (mostly perpetuated by real estate agents) run
rampant about the Villa having been built for or owned by Talmadge,
however, careful research shows that she had control of it for less
than a year and made few (if any) payments on the loan. Over the next
20 years, the Villa went through several different hotel owners, until
the mid-1950s, when the units were again sold off as stock co-op
residential apartments. The association was converted to condominium
titles in 1991.
In 1996, the Villa Riviera received recognition as a National Historical Landmark.
can travel to any part of Long Beach using the PassPort bus; pickup
points are North or South side of Linden on Ocean. If you are traveling
to Los Angeles, use the Metro link. For a complete venue list and interesting things to do in Long Beach, Visit Long Beach.
Going grocery shopping, I walk right over to Von's, Long Beach one block over and up at the corner of Atlantic and Broadway. If you are a real food connoisseur, visit Whole Foods Market for location or Bristol Farm
an extraordinary food store. If you chose not to drive, use the
PassPort bus (D), pick up point is the south side of Linden on Ocean.
Thinking of seeing a movie? You can walk to the Cinemark Theater at the Pike, Long Beach. Looking to do some reading and have great coffee? Go to Borders at the Pike, Long Beach.
quick cash? We have two (2) ATMS located right on Ocean. CalNational
Bank east of Linden on Ocean and Washington Mutal west of Linden on
Additional Links: Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, Farmer's Market, ABC Weather CAM, Traffic Info, California Lotto Parking & Route Map
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