Balboa and Newport Beach’s buildings in the past

Balboa’s main-street and Newport Beach both look so different now than it did in the past.  Jeff  Delaney had several pictures and descriptions of the area in his book, Newport Beach, which I found quite interesting to browse through.  These pictures are from the 1910s:

Main Street, c. 1912

In 1911, the Netherlands Apartments (middle left) were built in East Newport by John Meurs.  Deciding Balboa would be a better location for the structure, he moved it to Main Street in 1912.

City Hall, Newport Beach, c. 1918

Previously a schoolhouse, this building was rented by the city in 1912 for $200 per month to be used as a city hall, before finally being purchased in December of that same year.  The west room was loaned to the Methodist Church for Sunday services.

Main street, Balboa, c. 1915

Looking up Main Street from the pavilion, beneath the flagpole at the pier, is the Balboa Theatre, built in 1913.  In 1916, Mrs. W.A. Osgood, better known by her theatrical name of Madame LaRue, managed the theatre until it closed in 1928, the same year the Ritz theatre opened around the corner.

Newport Hotel, Newport Beach, c. 1912

Only open during the summer months, the Newport Hotel, built by McFadden in 1893, entertained fashionable guests who enjoyed its large dining room.  Visiting sea captains also favored the hotel, located west of the pier on the oceanfront.  In April 1925, it sold at an auction (to be wrecked) at a cost of $400.

Grammar School, Newport Beach, c. 1918

On March 9, 1912, the school district approved $27,000 for the construction of a new school, which is the easterly half of the present structure between Thirteenth and Fourteenth Streets.  The building contained four classrooms, an auditorium, a principal’s office, a small library, and two rooms in the basement.  In 1922, the school had outgrown its facilities and expanded to take up the whole block.

First National Bank, Newport Beach, c. 1918

The First National Bank was erected in 1913 to replace the State Bank of Newport, which was heavily damaged with explosives used by three bungling burglars in June of the previous year.  The trio managed to escape, but left most of the money behind.

Bathhouse, Newport Beach, c. 1911

Visitors could rent dressing rooms and bathing suits for the day in the new bathhouse (left of center), built west of the Newport Pier.

All information and photos are taken from Jeff Delaney’s book, Newport Beach.

You can always read up on more history in our area of Newport Beach and Orange County by browsing my “Local History” section here!

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