By John Thomas, Co-Author of Long Beach Art Deco

The term "Art Deco" designates a popular style during the 1920s and 30s, but was not actually coined until the late 1960s.

The 1925 Paris Exposition International des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes launched the new decorative elements in architecture. The discovery of King Tut's Tomb in 1922 also opened the door for the use of bold colors, chevrons and zig-zags. The Art Deco style immediately appealed to designers in America in the "roaring 20s."

Today we see it as a symbol of decadence and extravagance, qualities their generation embraced. Architecture, jewelry, the movie industry and fashion were all heavily influenced by the "new" style.

Because of the unique factors that shaped the history of Long Beach, the city has many commercial buildings from the 1920s and 1930s.

The Zigzag Moderne was the style that grew out of the 1925 Paris Exposition and it can still be seen in buildings in downtown Long Beach. Large or small, many of the buildings have decorative towers and setbacks, ornamented with motifs and reliefs of the period.

Another factor that shaped Long Beach architecture was the 1933 earthquake. The Streamline Moderne of the 30s featured sleekly simplified lines and nautical styling influenced by steamships.

Many buildings in our city once had Streamlined Moderne façades added to their brick walls after the earthquake. In many cases, only the front of the building crumbled when the earthquake hit, leaving the sides and rear intact and the façade ripe for "modernization."

By Stan Poe

New research by Stan Poe has uncovered some very interesting information about the development of the Alamitos Bay peninsula. Development of the peninsula was the precursor to the settlement of Naples.

The first "interest" meeting of the principal players took place on January 13, 1903. J. W. Hellman hosted a party at the Del Mar Hotel which was the finest in town prior to the construction of the Virginia Hotel. The party included Henry Huntington, A. Borel, Chas. de Guigne, William Kerckhoff, Mr. Randolph,the general manager of the Pacific Electric Co.,Chief Engineer Pillsbury, and Jotham and George Bixby. They arrived by Pacific Electic trolley and took the tally-ho to tour Alamitos Bay. They returned to Del Mar, lunched and left.

On September 28, 1903 Peninsula Avenue (now Ocean Blvd.) was vacated by the Board of Supervisors to provide a railroad right-of-way. In May of 1904 the Alamitos Bay tract was sold by George Bixby and W.W. Lowe to George Hart, the pre-eminent attorney at the time in Long Beach, who represented a "syndicate of prominent citizens of Los Angeles whose names cannot as yet be made public." The purchase included one and three-quarters miles of frontage at Alamitos Bay including the entire spit of land now known as the "peninsula" for $150,000. According to the Evening Tribune of 1904, "The Alamitos Bay Company made a pretty