Riviera, The

810 Wrigley Dr., Lake Geneva, Wisconsin


Overview Looking Southeast

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in August 2015




The city of Lake Geneva, on the shore of Geneva Lake, grew into a resort city in the 1870s after the arrival of a railroad. Geneva Lake was popular with wealthy Chicago industrialists and mobsters during the Prohibition era. Hugh Hefner built the first Playboy resort here in 1968 (it closed in 1981) it was the home of Dungeons and Dragons and Royal Records.

The only way around the lake, prior to a road being built in 1902, was by boat. Geneva Lake became well known for side-wheeler steamboats and mail service, by boat, began in 1912.

By the 1930s, the residents felt a marina was needed and even though the depths of the Great Depression curtailed most public spending, the residents of Lake Geneva approved an $85,000 bond issue. Rubble was poured into the lake to form an artificial peninsula and the first of 280 pilings was driven in March, 1932. The building was completed in August, 1932, under budget at $55,000.00.

The building serves as a marina, an arcade operates on the first floor. A ballroom on the second floor is a popular venue for weddings.

The building was restored in 1980 and was placed on the NRHP on April 3, 1986.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on April 3, 1986
Reference number
Architectural styles
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival; Other architectural type; Italian Renaissance
Areas of significance
Entertainment/Recreation; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Water-related; Outdoor recreation
Current functions
Water-related; Outdoor recreation
Period of significance
Significant years
1932; 1933

Update Log 

  • August 6, 2015: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Status, Added Description and Added Photos