One of the Peninsula’s first architectural triumphs was Malaga Cove Plaza—a commercial center north of the resort. Residents chose a statue of King Neptune, the Roman god of the sea, to serve as an artistic centerpiece for the plaza.
Unveiled as a gift to the community in 1930, Neptune is an exact replica (though only two-thirds the size) of the Neptune Fountain in Bologna, Italy. The statue was crafted in Venice, Italy, more than 100 years prior to its arrival on the Peninsula. In 1969, a slightly smaller Neptune replaced the original after it fell into disrepair.
While Italian and Spanish artisans influenced much of Rancho Palos Verdes’ early architectural landscape, some of the most beautiful hallmarks of the area enjoy more modern roots. Perhaps one of the most notable structures is Wayfarers Chapel.
Designed in 1951 by Lloyd Wright, son of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the church is constructed almost entirely of glass. This unique architectural feature allows the walls and ceiling to appear as though they are living, surrounded by massive redwood trees. This seems fitting, as the translation for Palos Verdes means “green sticks,” or more loosely, green trees.