a foyer with solid white marble flooring and white rounded walls. In the middle is a blue sculpture of a dolphin set on a round table with a burgundy and gold cloth draped to the floor.
The foyer of the French Chateau in the Bluff Park property. Movoto photo.

Long Beach has grown up in a period that spans several architectural styles and fads, from its early days as the 19th century was coming to a close and Victorian architecture and its revivalist offshoots including Queen Anne, Gothic and Italianate rose up and can still be found in the town’s original outskirts around Drake Park and the Willmore City historic districts.

The 1915 Panama-California Exposition in San Diego’s Balboa Park gave rise to the popularity of the Spanish Colonial Revival style homes in Long Beach and throughout California. Examples of the style can be found all over the city, especially in Belmont Shore, Belmont Heights, Bluff Park and Bluff Heights, Bixby Knolls and California Heights neighborhoods.

By the 1920s, the Spanish style had spread throughout the city to include sprawling estates in Los Cerritos and Belmont Heights to smaller middle-class homes in Wrigley and other neighborhoods.

The 1933 Long Beach Earthquake hit the architectural reset button, destroying hundreds of buildings including several schools. By the time the quake brought its destruction, the design effects of the 1925 Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, which spawned the Art Deco craze, had reached the city along with the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration, and a generation rich with architectural talent that included the architects Cecil Schilling, Horace Austin and Hugh Davies, brought the Art Deco style to homes as well as businesses, schools and government buildings. Examples still abound in Long Beach, including the Main Post Office, the Lafayette Hotel, St. Mary Hospital, Downtown’s Rowan Building and Walker Lofts, and several schools including Washington Middle School and Roosevelt Elementary.

A four-story white building with rounded corners and other elements of the Art Deco style.
St. Mary Hospital, designed in the Art Deco style, as it appeared in the early 1960s. Photo courtesy Long Beach Public Library.

The Craftsman style, perhaps the most popular in Long Beach, which abounds in virtually every part of town except for the neighborhoods in the farthest eastern portions of the city, came about when the architect brothers Charles and Henry Greene introduced the style near their offices in Pasadena, and it soon spread rapidly to other Southern California cities. The Craftsman style deserves its own story, and I’ll be writing about it in further detail in a column soon.

French Provincial and other French Revival forms are a bit rarer in Long Beach, though there are some fine examples in Bluff Park, Los Cerritos and this fine example of a faithful representation of a French Provincial farmhouse that we wrote about when it sold in 2021. That property was sold by Harbor Commissioner and former 3rd District Councilman Frank Colonna. At the time, Colonna told me that he and his wife missed living on the beach and were planning on moving back to a home they owned and had rented out on the Peninsula.

While there are always plenty of Spanish- and Craftsman-style homes for sale in Long Beach, the French style is quite a bit rarer. Currently, there is a pair falling into the category. One is a bit more authentic, while the other is “French-inspired.” Either way, due to a large part of their locations, it’s going to cost the buyer about $4 million if they pay the listing price or more.

A French-inspired two-story house with large windows on the first floor and a balcony with wrought-iron railings in the second floor. The front patio is terracotta tiles leading to a lot covered with ice plant.
This French-inspired home near the end of the Peninsula facing the ocean is listed at $3.975 million. Movoto photo.

This home at 6919 E. Seaside Walk, is the Peninsula home that the Colonnas moved back to after divesting themselves of the Belmont Shore French Provincial. The family had previously lived in the 1923 home for nearly two decades, from 1997 to 2015. Now listed at $3.975 million, it’s described as “French-inspired,” which is most apparent in its wrought iron work on its second-floor balcony and elsewhere on the property. The nearby ocean lends a South-of-France ambiance to it in its sand-front location near the tip of the Peninsula.

The three-bedroom, four-bath, 4,172-square-foot home has saltillo tile and marble flooring throughout, with an open floor plan downstairs that includes a chef’s kitchen with top-end appliances. It’s compound-ready, with an additional pair of one-bedroom rental (or not) units above an art studio/office/gym on a separate lot. The units and the main house share a large courtyard with a garden and in-ground spa.

The Peninsula home is listed by Frank Colonna’s daughter, Realtor Laurel Lucas.

A two-story French Chateau is light brown with steeply roof and a well landscaped fron yard with grass in the foreground and shrubs fronting the front porch.
This Bluff Park French Chateau with seven fireplaces is for sale at $4 million. Movoto photo.

Perhaps more up your Francophile’s alley is a stunning French Chateau in Bluff Park at 2515 E. Ocean Blvd.

With its authentic, steeply sloped roof and expertly landscaped front-yard jardin, (yeah, I know a little French) and tall front windows, it is perhaps the finest example of the French style in the city. The home, listed at $4 million, opens with a solid marble-floored foyer, with the flooring continuing into an elegant formal living room featuring one of the home’s astounding seven fireplaces. That’s more than the number of bedrooms (5) and baths (4.5)!

The kitchen, of course, is packed, all done up in stainless steel and granite with a butcher-bloc island and a spacious butler’s pantry. A rear maid’s quarters is currently set up as a gym but you can use it for an office or another room with its own bath. The master suite is also deluxe with a bath with a whirlpool tub and walk-in steam shower. Your clothes go in a built-in walk-in closet.

Then you tumble outside into a large backyard with a swimming pool and built-in outdoor kitchen and fire pit.

The house is listed by Realtor Todd Turley of Coldwell Banker.

Tim Grobaty is a columnist and the Opinions Editor for the Long Beach Post. You can reach him at 562-714-2116, email [email protected], @grobaty on Twitter and Grobaty on Facebook.