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Landmark Hermosa: The Sea Sprite Motel

If you guessed the Sea Sprite Ocean Front Motel and Apartments for this morning's trivia, you were right.

The cyan blue Sea Sprite Motel sits on the Strand, just steps away from the beach.

With its red tile roof and history of being family-owned, the ocean front motel remains well known in the community, but was not always known as the "Sea Sprite."

The Berth family built a hotel on 10th Street and the Strand in 1907, which they named the Berth Hotel. The Berth was the only operating hotel in Hermosa Beach for 10 years.

The property was then sold to another family, the Morrisons, in the 1930s, and renamed The Breakers. Thirty years later, the late Quentin "Boots" Thelen's second wife obtained the property. Thelen owned other local establishments, Mermaid and Poop Deck.

But in another change of ownership, the hotel was sold to Thelma and Richard Greenwald, who owned the neighboring parking lot, in 1964. This was when the building became known as "Sea Sprite."

The former 17-room hotel currently hosts guests in 38 rooms, including a separate cottage.

Jazz greats, such as Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente and others who have entertained at the former Insomniac Coffee House and The Lighthouse, were known to stay at the Sea Sprite. The motel can also been seen in episodes of the drama series' "The OC" and "Gilmore Girls."

The Sea Sprite was painted in a rich, salmon color until 2007. The distinctive cyan blue color it's painted in now appears just as vibrant as its owner, Thelma Greenwald.

As the Chamber of Commerce's vice chair of tourism, Greenwald has been civically active around town, and was recently recognized in August for her sponsorship of $150,000 to help improve the Hermosa Beach Playhouse.

Congratulations to Melinda Curtis and Kristin Herold  for winning today's Landmark Hermosa. We'll have a new landmark to guess next Friday.

Bonnie Christopherson January 12, 2013 at 02:39 AM
I am trying to locate the name of a hotel right on the beach in Hermosa Beach. The hotel was torn town sometme in the 1960's i believe. It was near the pier and had a large ballroom where they had dances probably beginning in the 1920's. Is there a list of old hotels in Hermosa Beach. Should I contact the Chamber of Commerce. Thank you for any help you can give. Bonnie Christopherson dbfcorp@aol.com
Wayne Lewis October 08, 2013 at 02:30 PM
Check here Bonnie---http://www.scribd.com/doc/59484111/The-Biltmore-Hotel-in-Hermosa-Beach

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