Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee!

Long Beach Historic Buildings Tour (Self Guided), Long Beach

Long Beach started its historic preservation program in 1980, and added a lot of valuable sights to the National Register of Historic Places, including historic landmarks, historic buildings, historic places and historic objects. The buildings that were recognized by City Council have special architectural and historical value and preserve city’s history. Next self-guided tour will lead you through the most prominent historic buildings in Long Beach.
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Long Beach Historic Buildings Tour Map

Guide Name: Long Beach Historic Buildings Tour
Guide Location: USA » Long Beach (See other walking tours in Long Beach)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Author: leticia
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • The First National Bank of Long Beach
  • Dr. Rowan Building
  • Farmers and Merchants Bank Office Buildings
  • The Willmore
  • First Congregational Church of Long Beach
  • Broadlind Hotel
  • The Cooper Arms Apartments
  • The Villa Riviera
  • St. Regis Building Apartments
  • Lifeguard Station
1
The First National Bank of Long Beach

1) The First National Bank of Long Beach

The First National Bank of Long Beach is located on Pine Avenue, in downtown Long Beach. It is a historical building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The original bank was built in 1906 and was a three-storey building. Designed by Robert F. Train and Robert E. Williams in a French Renaissance Revival style, the current building houses a distinctive clock tower and a restaurant on the ground floor. Over the years the building was home to a number of banks, including First National Bank of Long Beach, Bank of America, and California National Bank of Long Beach, to name a few.
2
Dr. Rowan Building

2) Dr. Rowan Building (must see)

Dr. Rowan Building is another historical sight in Long Beach that is listed as the city’s historic landmark and is one of the city’s prominent architectural jewels. Built by Charles W. Pettifer, the Dr. Rowan Building houses impressive terra cotta tiles, multicolored ornamentation, and naturalistic and geometric designs. The building is an Art Deco commercial structure constructed in 1930 for the Bank of Italy. Its ground floor houses retail stores and offices, where the first tenant, dentist Dr. Rowan, used to work.
3
Farmers and Merchants Bank Office Buildings

3) Farmers and Merchants Bank Office Buildings

Farmers and Merchants Bank Office Buildings is a historic landmark of Long Beach, built in 1923; it was, for awhile, the city's first skyscraper. In terms of architecture, the building is an outstanding example of Italian Renaissance Revival classicism, designed by architects Curlett and Beelman. The main, two-storey portion of the building retains its red Italian marble entrance, decorated with double doors of brass-plated steel. The interior is also carefully preserved. The ten-storey office tower, with an entrance from Pine Avenue, is adorned with relief panels. The building itself is typical of early 1920s bank buildings, that resembling a Greek or Roman temple to impress costumers.
4
The Willmore

4) The Willmore

The Willmore is an 11-storey historic landmark on West 3rd Street, which dates back to the 19th and 20th centuries. The building was constructed in Italian Renaissance Revival style and was originally home to a luxury apartment hotel. Initially known as Stillwell, the building was renamed to honour the man who started the city’s development. Nowadays it houses condominiums, a restaurant situated on the first floor, a solarium, arches and arched windows and balconies on top of the building.
5
First Congregational Church of Long Beach

5) First Congregational Church of Long Beach

First Congregational Church was founded in 1888. The current building was completed in 1914 at a total cost of $210,000. It was designed in the Romanesque style by architect H.M. Patterson of Los Angeles and built of red pressed brick laid in patterns and trimmed with white terra cotta. The large auditorium had the capacity for seating 1,500 persons.

The Los Angeles Times wrote that the "immense auditorium, the roof of which is fifty-five feet above the floor, gives one the impression he is entering one of the cathedrals of Europe." The Times also referred to the church’s art-glass windows as being "among the finest to be seen in the West." The church also featured three great rose windows above the gallery and six picture windows below the gallery. The center window was called the "Light of the World."

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Broadlind Hotel

6) Broadlind Hotel

Situated at 149 Linden Avenue, on the intersection of Broadway and Linden Avenues (hence the name of the building), the Broadlind Hotel is a four-storey historical edifice. This historical landmark is a fine example of Italian Renaissance Architecture. The hotel is home to a penthouse, which features six arched windows and is covered by a tiled, hipped roof. You will also see fine marble columns with Corinthian capitals, ornamental brickwork and other decorative elements.
7
The Cooper Arms Apartments

7) The Cooper Arms Apartments

Cooper Arms is a twelve-story steel-reinforced concrete building with exterior walls of brick finished with stucco. The design of the L-shaped apartment building has been described as Renaissance Revival and "Adam Revival" with neo-classical and neo-Egyptian ornamentation. The building's 12th floor solarium and ballroom, occupying a major portion of the top floor, were among its most notable features. The ballroom included a domed ceiling and ornate moldings and lanterns. Another popular feature was the ground-level garden along Ocean Boulevard which opened onto a Spanish loggia extending through the structure to Linden Avenue.

A promotional brochure published in 1922 noted that the Cooper Arms would have the latest amenities, including steam heating, high-speed elevators, "instantaneous hot water at all times," "Iceless Frigidors," "Disappearing beds," and "Dustless roller screens." Cooper Arms was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. It is currently operated as condominiums.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
The Villa Riviera

8) The Villa Riviera (must see)

Villa Riviera is a registered historic building on Ocean Boulevard in the Alamitos Beach neighborhood of Long Beach. From the time of its completion in 1929 through the mid-1950s, it was the second-tallest building, and the tallest private building, in Southern California. The 16-story French Gothic building has been called the city's "most elegant landmark" and a building that "has helped define the city." The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996 and is currently used as condominiums.

Built from 1927-1929 at a cost of $2.75 million, the Villa Riviera is a 16-story French Gothic Building. The structure is topped with a steeply pitched copper roof with a green patina. The structure features fierce-looking gargoyles perched along the ridges of the higher floors. The building was also equipped with luxurious features, including a ballroom, Italianate roof garden, lounges, high-speed elevators, "vacuum-type heating," and a 100-car garage.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
St. Regis Building Apartments

9) St. Regis Building Apartments

East Ocean Boulevard is home to another prominent and precious historical sight. St. Regis Building represents a luxurious apartment hotel, which dates back to the 1920s and harmoniously combines Greek Revival and Renaissance Revival architectural styles. This elegant sight was recognized as a historical landmark in 1983 and was designed by Joseph H. Roberts. Now the St. Regis Building Apartments serve as condominiums.
10
Lifeguard Station

10) Lifeguard Station

Situated on the seaside at the foot of Cherry Avenue, this lifeguard station represents the most pleasant landmark from the seashore. It was designated and constructed in 1938 and has a rectangular form. This 2 1/2 storey, old city-owned service houses a clock tower and Spanish gable roof. Originally located on Linden Avenue, the station moved to its present location in 1961.

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