La Venta Inn, Palos Verdes Estates, California

Abstract/Description: Image shows view of Miss Reba Willis and Jay Lawyer standing behind automobile in parking lot outside courtyard of La Venta Inn, where they luncheoned, located at 796 Via del Monte on lots 4, 5, and 6, block 1536. Visible behind Miss Wallis, who is wearing a floral-print, sleeveless dress, and Mr. Lawyer, dressed in a hat and three-piece suit, are a vine-covered pergola and observation tower. Miss Willis was hostess and manager of La Venta for 17 years, from October 1924 until July 1941. Jay Lawyer was General Manager of the Palos Verdes Project and one of the builders of La Venta. 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
Lawyer, Jay
La Venta Inn (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.)
Date Created: 1928-07-05