La Venta Inn, Palos Verdes Estates, California

Abstract/Description: Image shows view of Miss Reba Willis standing in courtyard of La Venta Inn, located at 796 Via del Monte on lots 4, 5, and 6, block 1536. Miss Wallis is wearing a floral-print, sleeveless dress, standing next to circular fountain filled with water lilies and other plants, with vine-covered pergola along west wall visible in background. Miss Willis was hostess and manager of La Venta for 17 years, from October 1924 until July 1941, when Don Lawyer (son of Jay Lawyer, who built La Venta), vice president and general manager of The Estates Mortgage and Building Co., owners of the property, assumed the duties of manager. The Inn, originally built as a club house (named "Clubhouse 764") to entertain realtors and prospective land owners, opened in the summer of 1923 and was the first permanent building constructed by the Palos Verdes Project. The name was soon changed to La Venta (meaning "The Sale" in Spanish) and the inn served as a sales office and architectural prototype for the peninsula. During the 1930s it became a weekend retreat for notable celebrities such as Charles Lindbergh, Erroll Flynn, Betty Grable, Bob Hope, Tyrone Power, Cary Grant, and Gloria Swanson. Briefly in 1942 the Inn became the central observation post of the coastal artillery. From 1944 to 1954 the property was the residence of Commander and Mrs. Stanley Schnetzler, and was re-established as an inn in 1955. On November 11, 1978, La Venta Inn became the first structure designated as an historical landmark by the Rancho de los Palos Verdes Historical Society. In 1992 the New York Food Company took over management of the property.
Subject(s): Willis, Reba (1887-1977)
Historic buildings--California--Palos Verdes Estates
Hotels--California, Southern
Patios--California--Palos Verdes Estates
La Venta Inn (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.)
Date Created: 1928-07-05