Historical Properties: Living In History

Villa Rivera, Historical Long Beach property

You’ve probably heard of the Waldorf Astoria. Everything from Art Deco glamour to music to cuisine have been impacted by it at some point. You might have also heard recently of the plans to turn this historical property into housing, and regardless if you’re for or against it, the decision is part of an increasing desire for real estate with historical value to meet local housing demands as well as prestige.

Modern Conversions to Classics

Downtown-Condos-The-Willmore-Building

The Willmore Building, named after one of the founder’s of Long Beach,  has a history spanning back to 1925.

The Waldorf Astoria doesn’t mark the first historical property to become a residence, but it has caused a stir in the media. Built in the 1930s, the hotel has stood as a landmark of the Art Deco period in New York, and hailed as one of the most revered hotels in American history. Famous for having presidents, musicians, and actors alike live in its rooms from its beginnings to the modern day, it’s a small wonder that the opportunity to live in it full-time is as appealing to the public as it is to the celebrities, and the hotel purchaser and investor Anbang Insurance has looked to move forward with that dream. Long Beach has experienced this, and features its own renovations, such as the conversion of the Lafayette Hotel to apartments,  and the conversion of the Villa Riviera community from apartments to luxury condominiums for buyers looking for a more luxury feeling.

Mill conversion is an increasing phenomena as well, where historical properties like factories and mills are turned into anything from apartments to office space. Los Angeles’ Arts District in downtown has been home to many of these conversions, and is increasingly predominant in downtown and industrial areas of the past. The Kress Lofts in downtown Long Beach is a similar repurposing, using the facade of the Kress 5-10-25 Cent Retail Store that was built in 1925. The Willmore Building, once owned by the Stillwell Hotel Corporation of Los Angeles, has also found new life as an condo building that celebrates downtown living and the Italian Revival style.

 

Living in Long Beach History

Historical properties don't have to be difficult to find: this charming Craftsman-style home has all the hallmarks of its era in the Rose Park neighborhood.

Historical properties don’t have to be difficult to find: this charming Craftsman-style home has all the hallmarks of its era in the Rose Park neighborhood.

It’s not just the Waldorf Astoria that appeals to the American home buyer: living in a historical property is an opportunity that many jump at as a nod to their city’s background, to appreciate the era that the home represents, and as a way to fight back against what many perceive as cookie-cutter housing in new housing developments. You needn’t look so far as New York for an interesting property though. Long Beach and other parts of southern California have homes that share a lot of these qualities, as properties from the turn of the century through the Atomic Age populate multiple neighborhoods to varying degrees. Take for example Rose Park and Rose Park South which are well-known for their Craftsman-style houses that are so iconic of the Art Deco era. The Craftsman style home, popularized by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright and architectural firm Greene and Greene, is appealing to younger and older buyers alike, offering an iconic slice of California history for those interested in unique properties and restoration.

Similarly, Spanish Revival and properties utilizing its aesthetic are coming back into vogue, and are found in abundance in the Wrigley neighborhood (so named for the chewing gum empire of Wrigley’s) and in California Heights, which is the largest historical district in Long Beach. Established in 1905 and 1921 respectively, houses in these neighborhoods are not only accessible for would-be home buyers, but offer the plentiful amenities of a Southern California neighborhood such as easy access to the beach, diverse food and culture, and a new city exploration adventure never more than a road away.

 

Why Buy Historical

Historical properties offer the chance to own a piece of Americana. The thoughts behind their construction were as individual as the families that built them, and that extra love hidden in these homes makes them unlike any new construction.

A few things to look for (or work on):

  • Original Fixtures: the fixtures such as the lighting, built-in furniture, and decorative details represent a lot of the aesthetic that makes a house typical of its era. Sconces, mantles, crown molding, and window details shape a lot of the appearance of the home. These things being missing isn’t a dealbreaker: restoration is easier than ever with online amenities and affordable replicas no more than a Google search away. Websites like Long Beach Historical offer resources and vendors to help you bring the house back to a turn-of-the-century 10.
  • A Strong Entryway: The appearance of historical property is more than half of the appeal. Curb-appeal has always been huge int he housing market, and features like front porches, walkways, and garden plant choices can shape the impression a buyer might have of the house and its sense of history (rather than its age), or simply increase your own enjoyment of the property. The California Garden & Landscape History Society is a good jumping point into California’s gardening history for ideas.
  • An Open Mind: Historical homes are inherently different from new construction in that they follow the values of a different time period in terms of what was important in the home and to the family that built it. They also can have quirky features. A tiny sun room can be a reading nook waiting to happen, or a built in window bench becomes your new favorite breakfast spot. These kinds of individual features are what make historical properties a joy to pursue.

Sold on the idea of historical properties as a home? Check below for some historical homes for sale in Long Beach.

New Listing - 5 hours online
$235,000
Condo For Sale
Active
1
BED
1
TOTAL BATHS
415
SQFT
325 W 3rd Street #109
Long Beach, CA 90802
Willmore District (WM) Subdivision
New Listing - 2 days online
$330,000
Condo For Sale
Active
1
TOTAL BATHS
470
SQFT
455 E Ocean Boulevard #1203
Long Beach, CA 90802
Alamitos Beach (AB) Subdivision
New Listing - 6 days online
$560,000
Condo For Sale
Active
1
BED
1
TOTAL BATHS
841
SQFT
800 E Ocean Boulevard #1405
Long Beach, CA 90802
Villa Riviera (VLR) Subdivision
New Listing - a week online
$499,000
Condo For Sale
Active
1
TOTAL BATHS
1,043
SQFT
115 4th #212
Long Beach, CA 90802
Downtown (DT) Subdivision
New Listing - a week online
$335,000
Condo For Sale
Active
1
TOTAL BATHS
469
SQFT
360 W Ocean Boulevard #204
Long Beach, CA 90802
Other (OTHR) Subdivision
New Listing - 3 weeks online
$368,000
Condo For Sale
Active
1
TOTAL BATHS
580
SQFT
800 E Ocean Boulevard #204
Long Beach, CA 90802
Alamitos Beach (AB) Subdivision
New Listing - 3 weeks online
$265,000
Condo For Sale
Active
1
BED
1
TOTAL BATHS
600
SQFT
333 W 4th Street #13
Long Beach, CA 90802
Downtown (DT) Subdivision
New Listing - 3 weeks online
$570,000
Condo For Sale
Active
1
BED
1
TOTAL BATHS
845
SQFT
800 E Ocean Boulevard #1403
Long Beach, CA 90802
Alamitos Beach (AB) Subdivision
$800,000
Condo For Sale
Active
2
BED
2
TOTAL BATHS
1,250
SQFT
1030 E Ocean Boulevard #210
Long Beach, CA 90802
Saint Regis (SRG) Subdivision
$3,000,000
Condo For Sale
Active
0.1343
ACRES
LOS ANGELES
COUNTY
211 Mira Mar Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90803
Belmont Heights (BH) Subdivision
$270,000
Condo For Sale
Active
1
TOTAL BATHS
369
SQFT
455 E Ocean Boulevard #615
Long Beach, CA 90802
Cooper Arms (CPA) Subdivision
$1,125,000
Condo For Sale
Active
2
BED
2
TOTAL BATHS
1,946
SQFT
115 W 4th Street #PH2
Long Beach, CA 90802
Other (OTHR) Subdivision
$385,000
Condo For Sale
Active
1
BED
1
TOTAL BATHS
599
SQFT
360 W Ocean Boulevard #1002
Long Beach, CA 90802
Downtown (DT) Subdivision
$395,000
Condo For Sale
Active
1
BED
1
TOTAL BATHS
660
SQFT
1030 E Ocean Boulevard #608
Long Beach, CA 90802
Alamitos Beach (AB) Subdivision
$2,650,000
Condo For Sale
Active
0.287
ACRES
LOS ANGELES
COUNTY
928 Long Beach Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90813
Downtown (DT) Subdivision
$740,000
Condo For Sale
Active
3
BED
2
TOTAL BATHS
1,766
SQFT
360 W Ocean Boulevard #507
Long Beach, CA 90802
Other (OTHR) Subdivision
Price Change - 3 weeks ago
$810,000
Condo For Sale
Active
1
BED
1
TOTAL BATHS
1,220
SQFT
207 E Broadway #701
Long Beach, CA 90802
Downtown (DT) Subdivision
Price Change - 6 days ago
$549,900
Condo For Sale
Active
1
BED
1
TOTAL BATHS
1,284
SQFT
315 W 3rd Street #605
Long Beach, CA 90802
Willmore District (WM) Subdivision
$2,100,000
Condo For Sale
Active
2
BED
2
TOTAL BATHS
2,810
SQFT
207 E Broadway #801
Long Beach, CA 90802
Downtown (DT) Subdivision
$2,399,000
Condo For Sale
Active
0.055
ACRES
LOS ANGELES
COUNTY
63 65th Place
Long Beach, CA 90803
Peninsula (PI) Subdivision

About the Author

Shannon Jones has been selling real estate since 1998 and specializes in listing and marketing homes. She has consistently been one of the top Realtors in the Long Beach area. Prior to her award-winning career in real estate with the Shannon jones Team, Shannon has had successful careers in journalism and public relations. She holds a bachelors degree from UC Irvine and a masters degree from UC Berkeley. Shannon holds E-Pro, CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert), and PSC (Pre-Foreclosure Specialist) certifications. Shannon is very personable and maintains a very strong moral compass, always putting the best interest of home buyers/sellers above monetary goals. A California native, Shannon enjoys gardening, travel, reading, cooking and poker when she’s not selling homes MY DESIGNATIONS Lic# 01247705 | CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert) | E-Pro | PSC (Pre-Foreclosure Specialist) MY SERVICE AREAS Anaheim Bellflower Buena Park Carson Cerritos Cypress Downey Fountain Valley Garden Grove Huntington Beach La Palma Lakewood Long Beach Los Alamitos Los Angeles County Norwalk Orange County Rossmoor San Pedro Seal Beach Signal Hill South Bay Westminster

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