Rex B. Clark, a brilliant businessman, founded the town of Norco California. While drilling a well in 1924 a “hot mineral spring” was discovered. Mr. Clark, who believed in doing things “big”, then announced he was going to construct the greatest recreational resort ever built on the west coast.
On February 2, 1929, The Norconian Resort was given to the world with a star-studded grand opening. Complete with boating, an airfield, horseback riding, mineral-baths, tennis, golf and swimming; the resort attracted celebrities, Olympians and even some politicians.
Unfortunately, the Norconian opened just months before “Black Tuesday” and the Depression hit the resort hard. Sadly the resort was forced closed.
By 1941, the United States was quietly preparing for war and the Navy came calling. With the resorts plentiful water supply and top of the line power plant the Norconian provided the perfect location for a hospital. On December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Norconian Resort became a United States Naval Hospital.
Unlike so many wonderful and long gone resorts, theaters and other structures built during this golden age of architecture, we are fortunate that we can still look up and see the red-tiled towers of the Norconian. The buildings still stand bold in all their glory. Its architecture and use of materials are an amazing example of the craftsmanship from that period.
The majority of the interior artistry is still intact. There are breathtaking tapestries, painted ceilings, fabulous tile accents and floors made of stone and marble.
Unfortunately, as you can see pictured here on the left, we are in danger of losing this part of history if we do nothing. Walking through its massive interior gives you a feeling of awe from the beauty that you can see once was and at the same time, a feeling of sorrow as you step through puddles and crumbled tiles on the floor.
Sadly, the days of the Lake Norconian Resort may be numbered due to politics and the officially sanctioned neglect and destruction.
There is always hope if we join together to restore and preserve this historical landmark.
Please help us fight this battle by donating to this well worthwhile cause.