A National Historic Landmark
Riverside County, CA
Designated an NHL: 05/5/77
Begun in 1876 as a small hotel called Glenwood Cottage, the present day Mission Inn was enlarged and embellished by Frank A. Miller. This building today is the largest Mission-Revival building in California. The many sections of the structure evolved as Frank Miller travelled and gathered building parts such as fountains, fireplaces, grilles, tiles and bells from Europe and the Far East. One of the most lavish acquisitions was the Rayas gold altar from Mexico and the Tiffany windows from the Madison Square Presbyterian Church, New York now installed in the St. Francis Chapel.
The International Rotunda, added in 1930-1931 is a great central court with a stair spiraling up against its inner walls. It contains galleries, offices and a museum. There is a musical galeria for receptions and concerts and a domed bridal suite above the chapel. Through his many years of travelling, Frank Miller acquired a magnificent collection of furniture still used in the large variety of hotel rooms. There is a Hawaiian supper and dance room, a1 "Flyers Hall of Tame" and in 1950 the Los Amigos Grill was completed. The Employees' building was constructed across the street in 1926 'and contained laundry facilities and a carpenter shop as well as housing for the large hotel staff.
Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Taft, McKinley and Hoover have stayed at the Inn, as well as, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford and Elbert Hubbard. Legend has it that Carrie Jacobs Bond composed "The End of a Perfect Day" while a guest at the Inn. Frank Miller, the flamboyant "Master of Mission Inn" began the custom of Easter Sunrise Services on Mount Rubidoux nearby. Miller cultivated artists, poets, and composers creating a kind of idyllic setting in which they could create and at the same time promote his cultural hostel. The building is a result of his great imagination--the Spanish did not settle Riverside and there never was a mission there. Riverside gained much of its fame as the home of the navel orange and today the town is lush and verdant with an excellent climate ideal for a luxury hotel. The Mission Inn has long been one of the most famous hostels on the West Coast, popular with celebrities and artistic people from all over the world.