Holiday Inn, Long Beach Airport
The Holiday Inn on North Lakewood Boulevard near the Long Beach Airport is not the only round Holiday Inn in Southern California, but it certainly is a fine example of a round Holiday Inn in Southern California. Completed in 1968, the thirteen-story hotel has an amazing view, since no other high-rises are in its immediate vicinity.
It looks like a much-enlarged air control tower, complete with a "control center" on the top floor ringed with large view windows. The rest of the exterior is clad in beige and tan concrete and stucco, with narrow vertical elements running upward to end in brackets supporting the slightly-projecting top floor. Additional vertical emphasis comes from the hotel room window bays, paired into columns of glass that allow all guests a good view. Tall, spindly palm trees mark the hotel's main entrance, a metal and stucco canopy curved to match the round plan of the building.
The emphasis is on verticality and circularity, and the designers of this building did not fail to dot any "i"s or cross any "t"s in making their case. The round Holiday Inns of the 1960s and 1970s are few and far between, but they are treasured wherever they stand.