The Mission Inn, now known as The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, is a historic landmark hotel in downtown Riverside, California. Although a composite of many architectural styles, it is generally considered the largest Mission Revival Style building in the United States.
The property began as a quaint adobe boarding house called The Glenwood Cottage, built by engineer/surveyor Christopher Columbus Miller and on November 22, 1876, the Millers took their first paying guest. In February 1880, Miller's son Frank Augustus Miller purchased the hotel and land from his father. It became into a full-service hotel in the early 1900s. In 1902, Frank changed the name to the "Glenwood Mission Inn" and started building, in a variety of styles, until he died in 1935.
Miller's vision for the eclectic structure was drawn from many historical design periods, revivals, influences, and styles. Some are Spanish Gothic architecture, Mission Revival Style architecture, Moorish Revival architecture, Spanish Colonial style architecture, Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture, Renaissance Revival architecture, and Mediterranean Revival Style architecture.
During the 30-year construction period, Miller traveled the world, collecting treasures to bring back to the hotel for display.
In the early 1930s, in the rotunda wing, Miller established a "Court of the Orient" which was a collection of Asian influences and lasted after Miller's death for a few years until 1939 when this section was re-imagined as the Lea Lea Room.
The Lea Lea Room had tons of bamboo, a bar, tables, a dance floor, a band area, and all the trappings of the pre-tiki tropical nightclubs that persisted throughout the 1930s to 1950s.
One detail that is hard to miss are the Chinese Tiles with Buddhist Swastikas in their centers. Of course, this symbol goes back thousands of years before the Nazis appropriated it.
In any case, around 1985 or so, the Lea Lea Room was eventually remodeled and it was thought fitting to return the space back to its previous incarnation as the Court of the Orient.