I pen this blog on February 6, 2011, cognizant that it would have been the 100th birthday of one of the best loved of our recent US Presidents, Ronald Reagan. In an effort to honor his memory, we’ll feature the hotel where he and his bride Nancy spent the first night together of their very happy married life.
The Mission Inn is located in Riverside, California, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles, and is that city’s #1 landmark. In addition to the Reagans, who honeymooned there, and the Richard Nixons, who got married there, it has played host to eight additional US Presidents (partial list includes Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, and George W. Bush) and at least one California Governor during his tenure (Arnold Schwarzenegger). A greatly edited list of social leaders and entertainment giants who’ve been there includes Susan B. Anthony, Jack Benny, Andrew Carnegie, Bette Davis (who was married there), Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Clark Gable, Cary Grant, William Randolph Hearst, Bob Hope, Harry Houdini, Helen Keller, Joseph Pulitzer, John D. Rockefeller, Booker T. Washington, James Brolin and Barbra Streisand. It has also drawn its share of artists.
When I view this photo, especially with the bougainvillea in bloom, it seems a bit much. But at a time when so many hotels—like cars—look generic, I find it almost refreshing (in a busy sort of way) that this one doesn’t. And what’s wrong with saying, “It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there”? It is, after all, a hotel. And, no doubt about it, this one is interesting!
The Mission Inn contains narrow passageways, flying buttresses, a Cloister Wing (with catacombs), castle towers, minarets, a medieval-style clock, leaded- and stained-glass windows, a five-story rotunda, Mediterranean domes, a pedestrian skybridge, and two original mosaics by Louis Comfort Tiffany (per Wikipedia).
This shot looks somewhat more subdued and is very reminiscent of the Green Hotel / Castle Green in Pasadena, which was built about the same time.
Las Campanas, probably taken during the Festival of Lights