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From our very own Carolyn Faye Fox at The Improper Bostonian.
Sixty miles east of Los Angeles, in the heart of California’s Inland Empire, the sprawling city of Riverside isn’t exactly a hotbed of tourism…except for one remarkable place. Whether you’re an architecture buff, a spa devotee or a traveler who revels in the uniquely idiosyncratic, the Mission Inn Hotel and Spa will capture your attention and hold it for days on end.
For starters, this National Historic Landmark is the country’s largest Mission Revival-style building, taking up an entire city block. But there’s more than Mission going on here—original owner and developer Frank Miller was unconstrained by consistency, building wings in differing architectural styles and adding whatever details suited his taste. That’s why the row of flying buttresses along one side are merely Gothic decorative elements, instead of serving their usual structural function. Miller built the inn in stages, finishing the final Rotunda Wing in 1931, when Riverside was thriving as the birthplace of the California citrus industry and a destination for Hollywood celebrities and other notables; the Mission Inn was where they unpacked their trunks and stayed for months at a time.