The Villa Riviera
at 800 East Ocean
Boulevard, was first called the Villa Riviera Hotel when it was
constructed in 1929, second in height at that time only to the Los
Angeles City Hall.
Richard D. King won a grand prize at an international contest for
the design of the sixteen-story building. Its costs of construction
were over two million dollars, at that time a large sum in building
expenditures. 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
At one time,
Joseph M. Schenck of Twentieth Century-Fox and Norma Talmadge, then
his wife, owned the hotel. It survived the earthquake with only
plaster cracks which were easily repaired. With its height and
its command of a view over the ocean to Catalina and over the city,
the Villa Riviera is an eye-catching object for Long Beach.
and Standards for any Changes. The following guidelines and
standards recommended by the cultural heritage committee are
exterior of this building should be maintained at any cost! The
gargoyles, intricate art stone carvings and other outer decorations
should be reinforced should they show signs of weakening. Any
exterior painting or reroofing should be done only after Committee
approval as to color and material. We would encourage the present
color tones and would discourage a change of color for this towering
pillar which stands as a gateway to the Ocean Boulevard scenic route
currently in the planning process. Since the apartments are
privately owned, the Committee will not make any recommendations
beyond preserving the lobby, its fixtures and decorations.
The Villa Riviera is one of over 100 Long Beach buildings
and structures declared a city landmark.
Source: City of Long Beach