Mod! American Recovery Center, Pomona

Big Boy 001

Originally this was the Brasilia Bradyo Hotel, opened in 1962, named after Brazil’s capital city and nodding toward Oscar Niemeyer’s designs for same, according to Charles Phoenix’s “Cruising the Pomona Valley.” Dig the glass entry, which looks two stories high, and wavy roof treatment.

The Brasilia’s original motto: “The most spacious and complete luxury hotel in the valley.”

After 1965 the Brasilia became the Pomona Valley Inn. Now it’s a drug rehab center. (The most spacious and complete?) The address is 2180 W. Valley Blvd., just west of the 71 Freeway. The building also rated a mention in Alan Hess’ “Googie Redux.”

The promotional sketch in Phoenix’s book shows a large courtyard with a pool and patio surrounded on four sides by buildings. No doubt it’s all been altered quite a bit. Still, someday I’d love to see the interior — as a visitor, not as a client.

brasilia* A July 16, 1962 Progress-Bulletin article touts the amenities of the hotel, at that point nearing completion, at a cost of $1.5 million: “Besides 100 hotel rooms, the Brazilia (sic) will contain conference rooms, a beauty shop, a steam bath, a travel agency, a putting green and men’s and women’s ready to wear shops. Its banquet room will seat 350.” Click on the thumbnail below to read the full story. Thanks to the Pomona Public Library for the find.



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  • Denise Pappas

    Good idea for a new category. I look forward to “new” additions.

    • davidallen909

      Thanks, Denise.

  • DebB

    This hotel is one of my earliest memories of Pomona, from 1971 when I first came here to attend Cal Poly. My parents drove me to school, and we drove around the area a bit, getting acquainted. The architecture is so distinctive, it really impressed itself on my memory.

    • davidallen909

      Glad to hear it, Deb. It IS distinctive. Hard to photograph, too, because the facade is so wide!

  • John Clifford

    When I was selling ads for the Covina Sentinel in the mid ’70s, there was a nightclub in there called Razzmatazz who I sold ads to. It was the period when there were “theme” nightclubs around such as 1520 ad, (or something like that) which was a medieval themed place with wenches as waitresses and entertainment. Razzmatazz was a ’20s theme with gangster theme entertainment.

    • davidallen909

      Interesting! A ’20s-themed nightclub in a ’60s-themed exterior. Some of the former customers may have returned later for the rehab.

  • Tim

    I believe a huge chandelier hanging inside was visible from the street. The newsprint suggested this building was just West of the Bellview & Valley intersection. I don’t remember Bellview.

    • davidallen909

      It’s possible the chandelier is still there. I feel a little intrusive about looking in the windows or even entering the parking lot.

      • Tim

        I know what you mean. As if some person might run out to you and try to sell you something. An old friend of mine who grew up with me in Pomona was ordered by the court to stay here at least twice. He told me that there were people who would come to the fenced perimeter along Humane Way to sell them drugs in the darkness of night.

        • davidallen909

          That’s sad and funny both.

    • DDumont90065

      What is now Fairplex Drive at one time was Bellevue Ave. [the part south of the 10 freeway], and Ganesha Blvd. [the part north of the 10 freeway]. This was true from 1963-1967 when my parents lived in Pomona.

    • Captain Knapton

      I was a patient there August 2016 ( 3 years sober ) and yes there is a large chandelier in the lobby and a winding sprawling stair case that has a huge fountain to the side of it (no water in fountain) it was probably very fancy in the 1960s . I heard that Sinatra owned it and that the place had mob history , not sure if that’s true or not . The swimming pool is still there and they let patients use it sometimes . I’m not sure what the arrangement is w/ the pool bc I was only in the detox part of the rehab and we were not aloud to use the pool until transferred to residency. I only saw people swimming in it twice in 10 days . I think it’s the only county funded rehab with a pool , usually pools in rehabs are private insurance facilities .

  • me

    I just got kicked out of American Recovery Center because I got into a argument with some trannies. I am a female. They got dudes there on the women side and they are very dominant and will bitch slap you in a second. I thought I came for recovery, I didn’t know I would be competing with Madea and
    Raspulsia. ARC is a cult. They take your money and you can’t have a cell phone, you can’t leave for 90 days and the place is a satanic cult. I am not God and I can’t judge anyone but everyone there looks dresses and acts like a woman but they all have penis. I refuse to fight a dude. Warning stay the hell away from ARC and AMITY unless you like Satan and his sins. God is nowhere at these places. Recovery is a joke.