Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mission accomplished

I had always wanted to stay a night at the rambling Mission Inn in Riverside.

The Spanish Courtyard

I got my wish recently and spent a late night hour prowling and poking around this massive yet exuberant old pile of a hotel, which was built over the span of several decades and exhibits a variety of architectural styles and affectations, from Spanish Mission Revival to
Venetian Renaissance. It is reportedly haunted.

The Chapel

I didn't see any ghosts, but the place definitely exudes the spooky aura of a Republican stronghold: Richard and Pat Nixon were married on the premises and and Ronald and Nancy Reagan spent their honeymoon here. A special chair built for the visit of extra-hefty president William Howard Taft is on view in the lobby. The Presidential Suites, in a penthouse atop the chapel (above), are worth finding.

My room was the one on the left.

Don't miss the lovely open-air Rotunda, which is best viewed from topside.

The Rotunda

The east fa├žade (not the main entrance)

There's enough here for at least a few more trips. A 75-minute tour is also available, which I won't fail to take next time.

The Italian trattoria on the northwest corner of the plaza.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Wright stuff

I just about fell out of my chair when these two listings showed up one right after the other on Tuesday evening in my daily email blast of new listings from Coldwell Banker.*

The top listing is for Frank Lloyd Wright's La Miniatura in Pasadena, which is on the market again. Below it, in proper genealogical-chart order, is son Lloyd Wright's neo-Mayan masterpiece on Franklin Avenue in Los Feliz. Alas, I missed the Tuesday open house at the latter. Did anyone go?

The listings are here and here, respectively.

*Your results may vary, since I have my Coldwell Banker search geared to very specific parameters that include pricy looky-loos and more modest dwellings in a limited number of Los Angeles communities.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Crime of the Week

Behold what three-quarters of a million dollars will get you off Laurel Canyon.

2222 Ridgemont Drive.

I should say "off upper Laurel Canyon," lest we forget in which tony neighborhood we are trespassing in search of the exquisitely hideous.

Exuding all the warmth and charm of a Tulsa trailer park, this battleship-gray beauty is listed at $749,000.

Happy weekend.