Mission Inn~

The historic Mission Inn which occupies several blocks in downtown Riverside California is the largest Mission Revival building in the United States.

The Inn was built in 1902 by an engineer named Christopher Columbus Miller. His son Frank expanded his father’s original efforts, and added wings, rotundas, chapels, museums and galleries.

The building contains a mixture of Spanish Gothic, Moorish and Mediterranean revival architectural styles. There is a Spanish Wing, an Alhambra Wing, and flights of fancy everywhere you look.

Frank Miller traveled the world collecting museum quality treasures to fill the inn, including what some say is the oldest bell in in the new world dating from 1247.

There are two chapels on the property including the one pictured dedicated to St Francis of Assisi.

Louis Tiffany designed two of the mosaics in the chapel.

The Rotunda Wing features a five story open air staircase.

The rotunda tops a suite dedicated to the writer Anne Rice.

Presidents, world leaders, and many famous folk have stayed in the inn over its history and the inn has a presidential lounge dedicated to the many presidents who have stayed here.

The Inn began a period of slow decline in the 1960’s where ownership changed hands multiple times and bankruptcies occurred, eventually forcing the city of Riverside to purchase and close the property for eight and a half years. In 1992, The Historic Mission Inn Corporation purchased the property and reopened it in all its former glory.

I will show you more details and the interiors of this amazing building in my next post. Until then, cheers to you from The Mission Inn in Riverside California~

187 thoughts on “Mission Inn~

  1. Cindy, when your first photo loaded, I tried to figure out where you were this time. I had no idea something this lovely was right here in the U.S.!! You’re right — it looks foreign to me, with all that intriguing architecture, the chapel, mosaics, flowers, and all. I’m eager to see the inside!!

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  2. It is notorious the time and love in each added detail of the building. I recall a comic book writer and penciler, Frank Miller, curiously he has a story with that kind of architecture in his work for Sin City. I suspect this building is so iconic that has to be the inspiration for it. Thank you for share it : )

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    • I think the Inn may have been an inspiration for many things. The actual first building was erected in the late 1800’s. And then it evolved in further buildings and enhancements along with the American West. I found the building, and it’s contents utterly fascinating, and way too much to absorb in one overnight say. I know too little about it so I can’t respond accurately as to whether there was a connection between the artist Frank Miller and the Mission Inn Frank Miller. I will tell you this, I am going back, because I am fascinated and want to know and see more. Anne Rice located two of her books here in the same room Paul Newman actually stayed, The Amistad Suite, under one of the cupolas. So many presidents stayed here, they actually have their portraits and the official seal on the floor to the presidential lounge. The greatest thing is I never knew anything about any of this…..

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    • Do you like Anne Rice? She placed two of her later novels here. I have only read about her first six or so, but I was a follower, and so were my children. I can see why she resonates with this eclectic old inn.

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      • Yep!
        Some pictures remind me a lot of Cuba… Like the Rotunda Wing. I used to go to a place in Havana where they organized concerts and shows that looked a lot like that – except that it was in dire need of some paint and restauration – but that is almost 20 years ago… it may have changed by now… πŸ˜‰

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        • Yes! Interesting isn’t it. It reminds me a lot of Latin America, especially The Colonial Cities. There is such a gorgeous blending of architectural and cultural styles in these cities. There is a hotel named La Casa de la Marquesa in Queretaro Mexico that reminded me of a smaller version of the Inn. Marquesa is the most amazing hotel I have ever stayed in.

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    • How are you cuz? It is awesome to hear from you! Mission and Californio architecture is my personal choice for the home I live in. It is old and it is beautiful, unique to the west, but borrowed from old Spain, Asia, and Arabia. It feels like home to me because it is. Hugs to you cuz and be well my friend.

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  3. Beautiful architecture. Very picturesque. A treasure trove of history to California’s Spanish heritage. It’s great they could finally find a way to preserve and honor it after the financial setbacks.

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