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h i Sto r i c to u r

hollywood riviera historic house tour 2012

Tour Historic Homes Built in the 1920s & 1930s

friday June 1st | Saturday June 2nd | 10am-4pm

Tickets Limited:
$35 advance or $40 tour days Visit: www.rivieragardenclub.com contact: Karen lent 310.375.6539 or mary Varieur 310.375.5037

in the 1920s, a Southern california real estate developer, clifford reid, decided to duplicate the french riviera near hollywood - he chose vacant land on the dividing line between the cities of torrance and redondo Beach - and thus the hollywood riviera was born. an ambitious, successful businessman, reid had discovered hundreds of acres of undeveloped sandy slopes along a beautiful beach near palos Verdes. he went into partnership with henry huntington, who owned the land for railroad purposes, which never materialized. reid plucked mark daniels, a well known city planner and landscape architect, from Beverly hills to turn the gentle rolling land into what was to be an ideal beach town. after many years of planning, hollywood movie types were enticed to visit and buy in the new beach

community. a house lot could be bought for as low as $2,000 and all hollywood riviera property owners were given membership in the hollywood riviera Beach club. unfortunately, reids grand dream was not to be, the 1928 great depression put a reversal on development plans. two homes were built in 1928 and over the next ten years there would be only 35 more. all of these homes were restricted to red tile roofs with a mediterranean style. many sat on double lots or on acreage with ocean vistas. Below the original homes, beyond a stretch of road then called hollywood palos parkway (now palos Verdes Blvd.), was the beautiful, sprawling hollywood riviera Beach club. Sitting on a bluff next to a mile of wide sandy beach, it was an imposing presence. the Beach club became the place to spot celebrities in the

early days and a hot spot for local social events. (the club sadly burned down in the 1950s and the former club site has become mira mar park which sits above a stretch of beach called Burnout by the locals.) in the 1940s the original developed land in lower riviera was subdivided and custom homes were built. the building boom of the 1950s brought several tracts and thousands more homes. original building and art restrictions had long been waived. the original historic, gracious red tiled roofs still exist amongst newer neighbors on curving roads with Spanish names. in honor of the city of torrances centennial, the riviera garden club is sponsoring a historic house tour on friday and Saturday, June 1 and 2. there has not been a tour of this type for almost 35 years. Seven of these gracious historic homes will be open to the public for the clubs historic house tour.


SouthBaydigS.com | 5.18.2012

FROM THE TOP: (LEFT TO RIGHT) (1 ) this is the contemporary and colorful dining room of the walecki home. (2) the reid-rice Home. the developer clifford & wife ella reids own home, built in 1928. the architect was mark Daniels who was a noted Beverly Hills designer. Daniels also helped reid layout the plans for the riviera. (3) arches and colorful spanish art in the oden-martis home. (4) the party room. (5) the stewart-walecki home was built in 1928 and argenbright was the architect. roy stewart was manager of the riviera Beach club. His wife was clifford reids sister. they raised four boys in the home and one of their sons, marshall was the longest living riviera resident before he passed in 2011. ron and shiela walecki are the second owners of this home they have furnished it with contemporary furniture, art, stained glass, and collectibles. a very comfortable, warm home that evokes a bygone era. (6) the original carpet from 1928 still graces the rices large living room. to everyones knowledge this large carpet has never left the living room floor in all these years. (7) 1183 Dr. ellinwood-Dr. Vargas home another very early home, built in 1929. the architect was c. s. argenbright who designed ten early homes in the riviera. (8) this is a walled courtyard off the walecki living room. (9) the Dr. smith-odom home, built in 1929 on Via monte doro. there have been many owners of this home; the original one, Dr. smith supposedly had Hollywood clients visiting for drying out purposes. (10) most of the riviera historic homes had breakfast rooms. this is the Blocks breakfast room. iron gates were another popular feature of the earlier era. (11) marlow-Block Home the second house built in the riviera, in 1928. architect was the noted Beverly Hills designer, Lester scherer. (12) Lcena and robert rice outside the entrance to the castle. (13) the two story foyer of the reid-rice home features a painted ceiling and ribbons of stained glass on the inside of the turret.

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