With its distinctive oxidized-copper roof and regiment of stern stone gargoyles and eagles, the commanding Gothic Tudor-style complex Villa Riviera has been a Long Beach landmark since its completion in 1929.
Designed by architect Richard D. King, whose other projects included Hollywood’s Art Deco-style Red Wine Building and the Moorish-style Sparkletts bottling plant in Eagle Rock, the 16-story structure was for decades the second-tallest building in Southern California after L.A.’s City Hall, and famously made it through the city’s devastating 1933 earthquake with only minor cracks to its plaster.
Sadly, the Villa Riviera’s ability to withstand earthquakes wasn’t much use in defending it against ruthless remuddlers, and the lion’s share of its incredible original interiors have been lost to the ages. Thus, it’s a pleasant surprise to discover a residence in the building that still possesses a fair amount of period charm.
The 1,600-square-foot condo is actually a combination of two previously separate units, #1102 and #1104. It contains one bedroom with walk-in closet, two bathrooms, a living room, a sizable formal dining room, a galley kitchen with stainless appliances, a laundry room, and a couple of petite extra rooms that could suit a number of purposes — office, nursery, breakfast nook?
While the black granite countertops and shiny marble flooring in the foyer and kitchen likely hail from the ’90s, their anachronistic effect is mitigated by period details such as hardwood floors with inlaid marquetry, intricate crown moldings and ceiling medallions, wainscoting, and steel-frame casement windows
Building amenities include a sun deck with unobstructed ocean views, multiple barbecues, and a fire pit, as well as use of the Riviera’s Grand Ballroom with a kitchen for entertaining and a guest suite for overnight guests.
Asking price for the unit is $899,000, while monthly HOA fees (which cover gas, electricity, cable, water, heat, internet, and building maintenance) come to $1,647. On the plus side, thanks to the Villa Riviera’s historic landmark status, the condo comes with a Mills Act contract and attendant property tax breaks.
Dalileh Sajjadi and Dennis Gournias of First Team Real Estate hold the listing.