LB architecture tour

August 28, 2011

A Walk to Remember

published in the September “Architecture” issue of City Beat Long Beach

Grab your best pair of walking shoes and take this exclusive CityBeat “Architecture Tour” showcasing a sample of our city’s most eye-catching structures.

1. Lafayette, 140 Linden Ave. (1928)

Hotel Lafayette opened in 1928 as Hotel de Cota and quickly became a downtown Art Deco landmark. Designed by style masters Arthur and Cecil Schilling, it was soon renamed and became home of the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants throughout the 1950s. Now converted to condos, architectural highlights include a frieze of stylized male and female figures and the 11th-floor solarium.

2. Villa Riviera, 800 E. Ocean Blvd. (1929)

When the 16-story Villa Riviera was built in 1929, it was the second-largest building in Southern California. Architect Richard King won an international contest for his Tudor Gothic Revival design that gave the oceanfront structure a steeply pitched roof and 30 gargoyles which stand guard along the outer ledges of its upper floors.

3. Adelaide Tichenor House, 852 E. Ocean Blvd. (1904-1905)

The famous architectural brother duo of Charles and Henry Greene built three homes in Long Beach, only two of which survive. The Adelaide Tichenor House on Ocean Boulevard—commissioned by the influential civic leader in 1904—is the most important of Long Beach’s Greene and Greene houses, but it is also the most hidden. Behind high walls made of clinker bricks lies one of the architects’ early experiments with Japanese designs.

4. Anna Brown Residence, 1205 E. Ocean Blvd. (1901)

This colorful house on the corner of Ocean Boulevard and Orange is the oldest standing building on the shoreline and one of the oldest in the city. Built in 1901 for Anna R. Brown, the wife of a local machinist, this large-scale home’s pitched roof and front porch decoratives make it Long Beach’s most well-preserved example of Victorian architecture.

5. Kress Building, 449 Pine Ave./100 W. 5th St. (1923, 1929)

Once considered a high-rise on the low-slung shopping-district of Pine Avenue, this Renaissance Revival building opened in 1923, part of a nationwide chain of stores started by Samuel Kress. The Kress Dime Store closed in 1981 and the building sat vacant for more than a decade. In 1992, the Kress became Long Beach’s first loft conversion with 49 New York-style lofts. (Sarah Bennett)

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