Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Postcard of the Day No. 36, Cliff House

This postcard is a backward glance to a vanished landmark – its destruction being announced in the caption. It may also reflect a certain adaptability on the part of the publisher, anxious to dispose of a large volume of otherwise redundant postcards. The Cliff House has a complicated history that can be seen in a handy slideshow version by following this link. The hotel that burned down in 1907 was the most spectacular incarnation – a towering Victorian extravaganza that appeared to project forward into the mighty swell of the Pacific. Completed in 1896 to replace a predecessor that was incinerated in 1894, it was to last for little more than a decade. Despite its brief existence, the quality of confidence and conceit in the original conception has ensured it remains an object of lasting fascination. For the last hundred years it has survived in truncated form with a succession of makeovers, some of which can be seen in the cards below.

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