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The Riviera

Posted by
Steven (Chicagoland, United States) on 6 September 2018 in Architecture and Portfolio.

The Riviera is a marina and mixed-use meeting hall at the shore of Geneva Lake in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, United States. Riviera Beach is an adjacent daily admission beach.

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, emerged as a resort town in the 1870s, popularized by images of its side-wheeler steamboats. The lakeshore at Broad Street became the main water transportation hub with the construction of the Whiting House Hotel; the train station was located approximately 0.5 miles due north on Broad Street. Until 1902, when a road circling the lake opened, boat travel was the only practical mode of transportation around Geneva Lake. Starting in 1912, the United States Postal Service began summertime mail delivery from this point. By the 1930s, residents felt the need for a new recreational facility at this location. Despite the ongoing Great Depression, residents approved an $85,000 bond issue to raise funds for construction.

A small island was created by building a rubble mound and allowing sediment to build up. To improve the stability of the structure, 280 piles were driven into the bedrock below. The first pile was put in place on March 29, 1932, and the entire building was completed in time for a dance on September 1st later that year. Local architect James Roy Allen was selected to design the building. The total cost was only $55,000. In 1980, the building was rehabilitated by local architect Daniel Curran. As the "most intact historic building associated with transportation in the Geneva Lake area," the Riviera was listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service on April 3, 1986.

From the 1930s to the 1950s, the Riviera ballroom hosted such renowned swing and jazz bandleaders as Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey, Gene Krupa, Artie Shaw, Xavier Cugat, Les Brown, Louis Prima, Cab Calloway, Ted Weems, Chick Webb, Vincent Lopez, Count Basie, Lawrence Welk, Lionel Hampton, Harry James and Jimmy Dorsey. Vocalists who performed at the Riviera during these years included Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day, Peggy Lee, Dean Martin, Perry Como, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Mel Torme, Lena Horne, Anita O'Day, Nat King Cole, Dinah Washington, Eartha Kitt, The Andrews Sisters, Keely Smith, Betty Hutton and Abbe Lane.

In the mid 1970s, the Riviera ballroom rebranded itself as a discothèque called Top Deck, and remained open as such until the early 1980s. Artists who performed at Top Deck included Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, Chaka Khan, Sylvester, Loleatta Holloway, The Village People, Thelma Houston, Vicki Sue Robinson, Evelyn Thomas, Linda Clifford, The Weather Girls, Dan Hartman, France Joli, Sharon Redd, The Ritchie Family and The Three Degrees.

Today, the facility is utilized for many wedding receptions with a renovated ballroom on the second floor. The first floor has many marina-related establishments, ice cream shops and souvenir shops.

Photo captured July 8, 2018.

NIKON D7000 1/250 second F/8.0 ISO 180 21 mm

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Spotlight Images

Jypyä Pop from Turku, Finland

Even though the compiler 'edits the story pretty much, I understand part of that house's history. Handsome place

6 Sep 2018 5:31am

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

A fine image and interesting history . . and how I envy the cleanliness of it all.

6 Sep 2018 6:02am

Pascale MD from Occitanie, France

Belle ambiance sur ce cliché, l'ensemble est bien sympa.
Bonne journée Steven

6 Sep 2018 6:02am

Claudine/canelle from Lorient, France

Magnifique tout ça !!

6 Sep 2018 6:20am

By Marie from Entre montagnes et Bretagne, France

I like very much the red brick-built set and this building. Thank you for the informative note

6 Sep 2018 6:37am

yoshimiparis from France

it is a place where it should be nice to walk.
Maybe there is at the marina a good restaurant to eat?

6 Sep 2018 6:57am

jpla from St Barthélémy d, France

Très bon cadrage

6 Sep 2018 7:04am

tataray from Charentes-Poitou, France

Super vue et magnifique cadrage.

6 Sep 2018 7:20am

Martine Libouton from Bousval, Belgium

Une très belle composition !

6 Sep 2018 9:08am

grouser from Ludlow, United Kingdom

Very well documented, both picture and text

6 Sep 2018 9:33am

Shaun from Massachusetts, United States

A fine building in a very nice location. Interesting information Steven.

6 Sep 2018 9:59am

Existence Artistique from Angers, France


6 Sep 2018 10:42am

Marité from France

Très bel endroit !!!
Bonne journée.

6 Sep 2018 10:49am

Nicou from Sion, Switzerland

Cette fontaine avec le jet cet édifice quelle vue superbe.

6 Sep 2018 12:51pm

Rick from Toronto, Canada

A wonderfully symmetrical building with a very attractive fountain. Excellent photo.

6 Sep 2018 1:16pm

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

QUite a back story to this place. This image is like a postcard photo! Gorgeous light and composition.

6 Sep 2018 1:27pm

Hiro from Kyoto, Japan

very beautiful

6 Sep 2018 1:37pm

Remus from Portugal

So, I can make my future wedding reception in this place...
Symmetrical composition and very well done.

6 Sep 2018 1:56pm

Sam from Chennai, India

Beautiful architecture and a fine shot. Excellent composition. :)

6 Sep 2018 3:08pm

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

Interesting symmetry to this fine shot.

6 Sep 2018 3:58pm

Don from Spokane, United States

A fine picture of this great looking lace. The fountain adds to the appeal of the place.

6 Sep 2018 4:12pm

pascale from Brussels, Belgium

must be a wonderful place
nice picture !

6 Sep 2018 6:41pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

A beautiful building with quite an interesting history.

6 Sep 2018 8:16pm

Elaine Hancock from Olney, United States

The Riviera has quite a history! It is a beautiful building. Beautifully composed image of this fabulous building. Very interesting history and information.

6 Sep 2018 9:37pm

London Caller from United Kingdom

Ice cream shops? How could you not show us what you had? ;)

6 Sep 2018 9:42pm

Martine from France

Magnifique jets d'eau.

7 Sep 2018 3:56am

Ginnie from Netherlands

I lived in Madison, WI, for 4 years, Steven, but never made it to Lake Geneva. My loss, clearly!

7 Sep 2018 5:39am

Bill from Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

It's lovely to see everyone relaxing in the sun. Thanks for the accompanying information, Steven.

7 Sep 2018 12:36pm

Marjolein from Westvoorne, Netherlands

A lovely place

7 Sep 2018 1:27pm

Jean-Louis Guianvarc'h from Valence d'Albigeois, France

Superbe image lumineuse et colorée!

7 Sep 2018 3:36pm

normandy50 from tourlaville, France

sacrement jolie cette fontaine ....

7 Sep 2018 4:01pm

Michael Rawluk from Williams Lake, BC, Canada

A great looking building and the fountain is a real jewel.

7 Sep 2018 4:40pm

tataray from Charentes-Poitou, France

Excellent point de vue... Très agréable.

8 Sep 2018 7:09am

omid from mashhad, Iran

such beautiful frame, colors & lights!
Lovely place.

8 Sep 2018 7:15am

willy from Belgium

une très belle photo et des informations intéressantes Steven


8 Sep 2018 10:02am

Mhelene from Villiers-sur-Marne, France

Very beautiful composition .This si à superbe place .

8 Sep 2018 4:23pm

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

fantastic colors and perspective.

9 Sep 2018 6:19pm

The Yum List from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Looks like you had beautiful weather. I love a water backdrop.

10 Sep 2018 3:41am

sherri from Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

love the patterns in the brick work

11 Sep 2018 2:45pm