Lafayette

An advertisement for the Lafayette.

The Lafayette at 140 Linden Ave., was built in 1929 featuring Art Deco style architecture. But you probably already knew that.

But what you probably didn’t know was…

• It was originally built as a hotel and was owned by the Hilton family (yes, those Hiltons).

• The hotel became the first condo conversion on the West Coast in 1972.

• The Inn of Long Beach was part of the Lafayette Hotel and was used to house the Miss Universe Pageant contestants when it took place here from 1954-1958.

The hotel was the starting point last week as organizers and collaborators announced the first Long Beach Architecture Week (LBAW) to take place May 31 to June 9 at various venues in downtown Long Beach.

Sal Flores, along with Brian Trimble and Dan O’Brien, are the co-organizers of the event. Flore, founder and publisher of the Long Beach Home + Living magazine, had been thinking about doing an issue on the architecture of Long Beach. But beyond the magazine, the trio discussed how the city was changing — from an architectural perspective.

“We started brainstorming and then we said, ‘let’s do a talk or a couple of programs to support the issue,’” Flores said. “The light bulb went on and Dan (O’Brien) said, ‘how about something like modernism week in Palm Springs’ and we said, ‘let’s just do it.’”

With the support of Mayor Robert Garcia and Arts Council for Long Beach Director Griselda Suarez, among others, LBAW will showcase architectural jewels and landmarks; promote preservation, sustainability, and new ideas; and most importantly, gives back to the community.

“We’ve been working in the community long enough that people knew us and so when we approached people about it almost everyone said, ‘yes, we’re in, put us in, we’re in,’ ” said Trimble, founder of the Modern Architecture Tour of the University Art Museum at Long Beach State.

Partial proceeds of all events benefit Long Beach Heritage, a nonprofit organization that advocates and educates about the integral role of architectural heritage and historic places in the city.

“We have the right resources, the right connections to be able to put something like this together,” Flores said. “We talked to the right people and then it just kind of all got together. Everybody was very supportive and positive about it. It’s time for Long Beach to do something like this.”

There will be 20 architecture tours, events and educational programs in 10 days and it all starts with a Roaring Metropolis party featuring the Satin Doll flappers at 6 p.m. May 31 at Shannon’s At The Top, located at 201 S. Pine Ave.

Event tickets are on sale now. For more information and updates, go to www.LBarchitectureweek.com.

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