Architecture Du Jour: The Ventura Inn

Paleo Retiree writes:


In the middle of Ventura, CA’s funky and not at all mall-like Historic Downtown Cultural District is this hardboiled-novel-worthy beauty. Fun tilework, dreamy colors, an excellent job of bringing the building right up to the sidewalk, as well as of dividing it up vertically to promote harmony with its neighbors and to respect the human scale generally … (See, modernists: contributing in a positive way to the urban experience is neither complicated nor hard. Why do you keep trying to make us believe it’s rocket science?) Plus: hey, informal yet classy in an appealingly relaxed-but-tough way. Currently in use as affordable housing for the elderly, it was built in 1926, and was designed by the Pasadena firm of Willard Bell and Clarence Jay, about whom I could turn up all too little on the web.


  • An article about a glamorous if modest Pasadena movie palace that Clarence Jay helped design.
  • A snap and some info from Flickr user Michael Locke about Jay’s elegant and dignified 1935 Altadena Mausoleum.
  • A superb Pinterest collection of pix of old Ventura.
  • An interview I did at my old blog with the down to earth urbanist David Sucher: Part One, Part Two.
  • City Comforts,” David’s great urbanism pattern book. Buy a dozen copies and send them to the people who are in charge of development and planning for your county, town and/or city.

About Paleo Retiree

Onetime media flunky and movie buff and very glad to have left that mess behind. Formerly Michael Blowhard of the cultureblog Now a rootless parasite and bon vivant on a quest to find the perfectly-crafted artisanal cocktail.
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