While the rising population of homes in Newport and Balboa during the 1930s looks similar to the amount of houses currently, there are a few major differences in the landscape of these Orange County areas in these pictures. All pictures and information are from Jeff Delaney’s book Newport Beach.
In 1912, W. S. Collins hired Joe Beek to construct a bridge connecting Balboa Island to the mainland. The 12-foot-wide wooden bridge, used to transport building materials and supplies by horse and wagon, stood for 12 years before being replaced by the one seen here.
W. K. Parkinson purchased Lido Isle in 1923 for $45,000 and spent $261,000 filling the land with dredging materials. Wanting to use Lido for commercial purposes, he ignored any proposition not along those lines. In 1926, he sold the property to William Clark Crittenden for $1.25 million.
Public improvements were made to Lido (left), including sidewalks, curbs, pavements, streetlights, water and sewer mains, an underground wiring system for telephone and electric service, pleasure piers, and a bridge connecting the island to the mainland, but the economic depression resulted in few lot sales. This aerial shot shows only a few dozen houses on the island.
This card illustrates the close proximity of the Balboa Inn (center), the Rendezvous Ballroom (left of center), and the Balboa Pavilion (top, left of center). The aerial view also shows the ocean and part of Newport Bay.
This information and photos are from Jeff Delaney’s book Newport Beach.
More information on the Newport Beach area–it’s landscape and buildings will be published on December 5th: “The Newport Beach Area in the 1930′s, Part 2″.