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Address 3649 MISSION INN AV Year Built 1890
APN 213231001
Name Glenwood Inn Builder
Architect Arthur B. Benton,Myron Hunt,Elmer Grey,Wilson, G.S Style Mission Revival
Original Use Hotel Contemporary Use
City Landmark - #1 - 10/8/1969
District Contributor - Mission Inn Historic District - 10/20/1985
District Contributor - Seventh Street Historic District - 8/20/1980
District Contributor - Seventh Street NR Historic District
National Historic Landmark - 5/14/1971
Survey Results  2003 2003         
Description Significance Theme Period
Area Attributes CHR Status NR Criteria
Permits Citation References Addresses
Survey Description
The Mission Inn is a large six-story complex with red-tile roofs. The two Mission Inn buildings of the hotel itself and the employees' quarters, occupy one entire city block and part of another, more than three acres. The Mission Inn proper is built around three principal courts or patios on the ground level, and with other courts, patios, terraces, roof gardens and sun porches on different floors above the street elevation. The structure is composed of four major wings. THE MISSION WING was constructed in a U-shape of un-reinforced brick exterior perimeter wall with a heavy timber and built-up member framing system. Each wing typically has a central main support wall running the length of each wing, which serves as one of the central corridor walls. Heavy timber beams span from each of the central corridor walls. The portions of the perimeter walls above the ground level that project beyond the main walls are constructed of structural half-timbering filled in with one thickness of brick between the half-timbering. The roof structure is comprised of wood joist with strip sheathing covered with roll, asphalt or tile shingles depending upon the roof pitch. A pitched tile parapet roof forms a fascia along the exterior walkway along the third floor around the inside of the "U". The basement of this wing includes the Catacombs and the Catacombs extension walkway, all of brick and concrete construction. In 1973 the rooms of the Mission Wing were converted into apartments. The Court of the Birds, created by the U-shaped Mission Wing, originally contained the original Glenwood Cottage, razed in 1948 for the swimming pool that is there today. The Court includes the Campanario, Pergola, Pools, Bells, and Cannons. The tall palm trees lining the Court were planted in 1948. A concrete pergola designed to look as though it was constructed from tree trunks and limbs covers the walkway around the west, north and east edges of the Court. A meandering stream and pool flowing from a rock grotto in the southeast corner were built in 1948. The second wing, THE CLOISTER WING, was designed by Arthur Benton and constructed between 1909-11. The basement and first floor are constructed of concrete and brick with concrete and brick walls, and concrete beams and floor slabs. The upper floor exterior walls are of brick and the interior walls are of hollow clay tile covered with plaster. The dome at the northeast corner is a thin concrete shell sitting on a concrete drum which in turn rests on un-reinforced brick walls. The fourth floor rooms are later additions, 1923-24, and are constructed of hollow clay tile with timber roof supports and tile roofs above. The basement of this wing includes the Refectory, the Music Room, the Glenwood Tavern, and the northern portion of the Catacombs known as the Cloister Walk. The Garden of the Bells is a later addition constructed in 1912 and is of reinforced concrete construction covered with stucco. THE SPANISH WING is the third wing of the Mission Inn. After successive trips to Europe, particularly Spain and Italy, Frank Miller engaged architect Myron Hunt to design this wing that was completed in 1914. Much of the Miller family's art and collections were either exhibited inside this wing or incorporated into the fabric of the building. Ten rooms were added in the 1920s on the third and fourth floors of the structure were designed by Arthur Benton and G. Stanley Wilson. This wing is of reinforced concrete construction throughout. The fourth floor rooms are of hollow clay tile construction with heavy timber beam roof structure and glazed tile roofs. The Spanish Patio was also constructed as part of this addition and the west, south, and east walls of the patio which were originally part of the Mission and Cloister wings were modified during this period to fit in with the Spanish motif of the addition. The open walkways on the west side of the Patio are of reinforced concrete. The fourth and final wing, THE INTERNATIONAL WING, comprises the entire northwest corner of the Inn and was built between 1929-31 out of reinforced concrete. The walls, beams, floor slabs and exterior walls are of reinforced concrete. The fourth floor rooms are all of hollow tile construction with concrete roof framing supporting clay tile roofs. The International wing was organized around three interior courtyards, all of which were ornately decorated in the spirit of international harmony. The first court is the Rotunda. The Rotunda is the full height of the building, a total of six stories. It is open to the sky . At the floor of the Rotunda is a tile fountain, a replica of the famous Gooseman Fountain of Nuremberg. A concrete staircase with iron hand rail decorated with Mission motifs of bells and monograms spirals up the entire height of the Rotunda. Balconies line the space at each floor level. The Rotunda is constructed of concrete and is decorated with inset tile shields of many countries. The second courtyard is the St. Francis Atrio, designed in a Spanish Colonial Style. The Atria is surrounded by the St. Francis Chapel, the Galleria, the Signature Room, and the St. Cecilia Chapel (constructed in 1957). The third courtyard is the Court of the Orient. This two level, Japanese inspired garden had access to several oriental art galleries. The building varies in height from the four-story Mission Wings and seven-story Rotunda to the four commanding towers, Carillon, Carmel, Amistad and Agua, with many courts and elevations.
2002 Photo # 1