Marion Davies Guesthouse
(Santa Monica, CA )
During the 1920’s, William Randolph Hearst built a 5-building, 110 room Ocean Estate, located in Santa Monica, California. The Estate was built with the help of architect Julia Morgan, and constructed for his mistress, Marion Davies. The house boasted a dining room from an Irish estate that seated 25; has 55 bathrooms; 37 fireplaces, some of which are over 250 years old; a gold room furnished in gold leaf; crystal chandeliers from Tiffany’s; a ballroom from a 1750 Venetian palazzo; and in the basement a real Elizabethan British public house that seated 50, complete with a bar.
With over 750 feet of frontage, the “cottage” was built at a cost of nearly $7,000,000. A majority of the estate was torn down in 1958, leaving only the North Guesthouse, marble pool, and tennis courts. The Guesthouse and remaining property was used for a private club up until 1990, when the lease expired. Between 1990 and the 1994 Northridge earthquake, the property operated as a public beach facility and was also used as a set for the popular television show Beverly Hills, 90210. In 2006, the City Council approved the plans to construct a public beach club, which included the restoration and rehabilitation of the property in which Spectra Company assisted.
Owner: City of Santa Monica
Original Architect: William Randolph & Julia Morgan
Historic Architect: Fredrick Fisher and Partners
Historic Consultant: Historic Resources Group
General Contractor: Charles Pankow Builders