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At Villa Riviera in Long Beach, award-winning restoration work includes a bit of the grotesque

May 6, 2011 |  2:25 pm

Villa-riviera-grotesqueWhen the 16-story Villa Riviera condominium building in Long Beach receives its preservation award from the Los Angeles Conservancy on Thursday, some of the credit will belong to the grotesques -- often called gargoyles -- guarding the landmark's roof line.

Six of the original 30 grotesques -- including a dog, a bear, a griffin and an eagle, each 5 to 6 feet tall -- have been missing since the 1970s, believed to have been removed by penthouse residents improving their ocean view. Spectra Co., contractor on the project, replicated the six missing grotesques by making silicone molds from existing grotesques, then casting new figures with glass fiber concrete.

Writer Jeffrey Head shares the whole story on the grotesques and the revival of Villa Riviera's Tudor Gothic Revival design.

Upper photo credit: Thomas McConville / Spectra Co.

Lower photo credit: Spectra Co.


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