Santa Monica Marion Davies Estate/415 PCH

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Vavala
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Santa Monica Marion Davies Estate/415 PCH

Postby Vavala » Tue Apr 04, 2006 4:31 pm

“The Annenberg Foundation has given Santa Monica almost $30 million to build the crown jewel of PUBLIC recreational facilities on beachfront property valued at $45 million and contributed to the property by the state – the historic former Marion Davies Estate at 415 PCH. Unfortunately, a handful of beach-front neighbors may block the entire project and the site that has been set aside for public use for almost 20 years could end up as condos.â€￾

Please read on and tell all your friends in Santa Monica to support a public beach club on Santa Monica's coast.

Online petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/415PCH01/petition.html

http://415pch.smgov.net/main.html



Dear Friends and Neighbors

What would you say if someone offered to give our community $30 million in cash and $45 million worth of beachfront property to build a beach club and small event facility for public use right here in Santa Monica -- free and clear?

It would be a-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, right?

Well, now is that moment. The Annenberg Foundation has given Santa Monica almost $30 million to build the crown jewel of PUBLIC recreational facilities on beachfront property valued at $45 million and contributed to the project by the state -- the historic former Marion Davies Estate at 415 PCH. And you wouldn't have to pay a membership fee to take advantage of it!

Unfortunately, a handful of beach-front neighbors may block the entire project and the site that has been set aside for public use for almost 20 years could end up as condos.

The proposed design of the public beach club which is already fully funded by the Annenberg Foundation is truly amazing. Features include:

-A historic swimming pool (with its restored historic tiles);
-A kids' pool
-A water play area and jungle gym on the sand;
-Play equipment for children;
-A snack bar;
-Changing and locker rooms;
-Volleyball courts;
-Paddle tennis courts;
-A 100-person event room for public use;
-A full restoration of the historic North House, opened to public tours;
-And many other wonderful amenities.

As part of the public process, the City has worked hard to mitigate impacts on residents living nearby what is now a derelict site and was most recently the Sand and Sea Beach Club. Those mitigations are a sensible and effective package addressing the concerns that have been raised. Still, some of the neighbors have hired a big law firm, and are threatening to sue to block the project if their demands are not met.

Sadly, the delays caused by a court battle – even one which the neighbors are likely to lose – would effectively kill the project. This would be a travesty, as the City would lose $30 million in grant monies and the land at 415 PCH would go back to state control, likely ending up in the hands of private developers.

But there are FIVE things that we all can do to help transform the dream of a public beach club in Santa Monica a reality:

1) Sign an online petition to be sent to City officials: http://www.petitiononline.com/415PCH01/petition.html

2) Forward this email to your friends and encourage them to sign the petition.

3) Attend the City Planning Commission meeting this Wednesday, April 5th at 7 PM at City Hall and sign up to speak on behalf of the public’s beach club.

4) Sign up to receive email bulletins about the beach club: http://www.friendsof415.org

5) Make a tax-deductible donation to the Santa Monica Conservancy to help pay for efforts to support the proposed beach club: http://www.smconservancy.org

Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you in a few years at the Santa Monica Beach Club!

Sincerely,

Joel Brand
Chair, Friends of 415


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Last edited by Vavala on Sun May 20, 2007 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

modfan
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I think

Postby modfan » Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:21 pm

a lot of movies in particular made for TV movies always had scenes there, Rockford Files comes to mind. (was not his trailer location tho)

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SpudGirl
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Postby SpudGirl » Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:34 pm

It was also the Beach Club where Brandon Walsh worked on Beverly Hills, 90210 :)

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nichols
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Postby nichols » Fri Apr 07, 2006 12:22 pm

"Good news for people who like to relax at beach clubs near the beach in Santa Monica, and who aren't rich. Bad news for people who are rich and didn't want riff-raff coming in their neighborhood to enjoy some time by the beach in a public beach club...."

http://la.curbed.com/
http://www.surfsantamonica.com/ssm_site ... rs_Win.htm

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Postby nichols » Mon Jun 26, 2006 1:02 pm

LOS ANGELES TIMES

Santa Monica's plan for a beach club doesn't address traffic and parking, violates Prop. S and threatens a historic structure, a group says.
By Martha Groves, Times Staff Writer
June 24, 2006

Four prominent beachfront homeowners have raised a legal challenge to the city of Santa Monica's plan to build the nation's first public beach club at the former Pacific Coast Highway estate of Marion Davies, a comedic actress best remembered as the mistress of media magnate William Randolph Hearst.

A complaint filed Friday...

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me ... &cset=true

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Vavala
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Postby Vavala » Thu Jun 29, 2006 9:07 am

Rally to Save the Public Beach Club

Monday, July 3rd at 4 PM on the Sand in Front of the Marion Davies Estate



The community dreamed it up….

A foundation donated the $28 million to build it….

The Santa Monica City Council approved it….

Construction is set to begin in less than a year….



And now four wealthy beachfront neighbors are suing to take it all away!



Santa Monica’s beach belongs to all of us, not just those wealthy enough to live on it! Show your support for the proposed public beach club and renovation of the historic Marion Davies Estate!



BEACH PARTY RALLY: Join friends, neighbors and the media for a beach party rally on Monday, July 3rd at 4 PM sharp on the sand in front of the historic Marion Davies Estate at 415 PCH (under the bluffs, one mile north of the Pier).



We’ll have free hot dogs, popsicles, music, volleyball, bubbles, kites, kids games, face-painting and the news media! What a great way to show this is the land of the free than to take back our beach! See www.friendsof415.org for details.



Four wealthy homeowners are trying to stop the public from enjoying this world class public beach club. Last week they filed a lawsuit. They don’t want the public or our beach club on “theirâ€￾ beach. We will show them the beach is for everyone!



The club is proposed for the former Marion Davies estate and be an “everymanâ€￾ version of the nearby members-only beach properties such as the Jonathan Club and the Beach Club. Reservations to use the public club will be open to any member of the general public for a modest day-use fee.



Directions: By car -- Go north on PCH one mile from the SM Pier or ½ mile from the California Incline. Park in City parking lot #10 North (next to Back on the Beach restaurant at 415 PCH). Or ride your bikes! Take the bike path north from the pier until you see the party!



Thanks to the Annenberg Foundation, the project’s incredible amenities include:



-A renovated swimming pool (with restored historic tiles);
-A full restoration of the historic North House, open to public tours;

-Changing and locker rooms;
-A 72-person event room and meeting rooms for public use;
-A patio terrace

-A viewing and sun deck with lounge chairs;

-A kids' play area on the sand and a separate water play area;
-A snack bar and picnic tables;
-Volleyball and paddle tennis courts.



Fore more information visit www.friendsof415.org.

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nichols
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Postby nichols » Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:45 am


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Postby nichols » Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:20 pm


Steve Tepperman
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NY Times 8/30/08 Marion Davies Santa Monica Estate

Postby Steve Tepperman » Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:45 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/30/fashi ... l.html?hpw

August 30, 2009
A Dip Into Hollywood
By LAURA M. HOLSON
SANTA MONICA, Calif.

MARION DAVIES was the ultimate L.A. party girl, a Paris Hilton of the 1930s best known as the paramour of William Randolph Hearst, one of country’s most powerful moguls. And the 118-room seaside compound he built for the actress here was the perfect party crib.

In 1937, she hosted a circus-themed shindig, setting up a full-size merry-go-round borrowed from Warner Brothers. On weekends more than 100 people frolicked in the Venetian marble saltwater pool.

Partygoers wore costumes at Ms. Davies’s request. (Joan Crawford once dressed as a baby doll.) Indeed, anybody who was anyone — Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo — coveted invitations to the socialite’s three-day, on-the-beach, stop-the-band-at-4-a.m. soirees.

Fast forward to 2009. The mansion has long since been demolished and, after years of neglect and disputes over what to do with the beachfront land, the City of Santa Monica last April opened the Annenberg Community Beach House on Ms. Davies’s former five-acre estate. Within a few short months, and like at any of her parties, a dip in the pool with its pristine ocean view has become the hottest ticket in town.

Reservations to swim in the mansion’s original pool sell out within minutes each day. Rooms for private parties in the new two-story pool house, with sweeping views of California’s once storied Gold Coast, are booked until early next year. And Ms. Davies’s 7,000-square-foot guesthouse, the only building from the original estate to survive, is already a favorite among card-playing foursomes and others who want to lounge on the second-story deck and watch dolphins bob in the whitecapped waves.

But unlike Ms. Davies’s mansion before it, or the nearby Jonathan Club, one of a handful of local members-only clubs, the Beach House is open to anyone, a public haven along a strip of California’s coast that was once celebrated as a retreat for Hollywood luminaries much as Malibu is now. “Don’t you know who I am?” holds no sway here. When the assistant of an Oscar-winning actress demanded a swim pass after tickets were sold out that day, she was advised to come by and stand in line instead.

“They are welcome to take their chances just like everyone else,” Nan Friedman, the Beach House manager, said she told the assistant, declining to name the star involved.

What the Beach House’s popularity reflects is how Santa Monica’s seaside culture continues to evolve as a playground for hipsters, eager tourists and the sometimes la-di-da. For those who don’t want to spend the money to join a private beach club, which provides valet parking and poolside service, it is an affordable alternative. And it gives the curious a small taste of old Hollywood glamour, as the closest many will ever get is the classic movie run at a local theater 15 blocks away.

“I can’t afford to belong to the Jonathan Club or have my own place up in Malibu,” said Sara Lev, a schoolteacher from Culver City, Calif., who was enjoying a breezy summer afternoon poolside with her husband, Alek, and three friends on a recent Monday. “This feels like a private club even if it’s not.”

As Guadalupe Suzuki-Hernandez, who was visiting from Norwalk, Calif., one afternoon with her three children, put it, “They don’t make me feel like an outsider.”

Santa Monica was a celebrity magnet long before Malibu became one. And Ms. Davies’s mansion was by far the grandest on the beach. In the 1920s, the Santa Monica Land and Water Company sold 30-foot beachfront parcels near the Santa Monica Pier that were acquired mostly by Hollywood’s power brokers as homes and vacation retreats, according to a research study commissioned by the City of Santa Monica. Ms. Davies’s neighbors included Louis B. Mayer and Samuel Goldwyn, Mae West, Cary Grant and J. Paul Getty, some of whom would walk over for dinner or an afternoon swim.

Ms. Davies, a talented actress who was ferried by car from Santa Monica to MGM and Warner Brothers, where she worked, never wed the much older Mr. Hearst. He remained married to Millicent Willson Hearst, although his love affair with Ms. Davies lasted three decades. He acquired several adjoining lots for her and consulted Julia Morgan on the project, the architect with whom he collaborated on Hearst Castle.

Once completed, the estate was dubbed the Versailles of Hollywood. The pool was 110 -feet long. There were 37 fireplaces and 55 bathrooms. Ms. Davies lived there until 1942, said Jessica Cusick, Santa Monica’s cultural affairs manager, when worries about a Japanese invasion and Mr. Hearst’s health precipitated a move.

In 1947, she sold the property for $600,000 to Joseph Drown, who converted it into a hotel, as well as a limited-membership beach club called the Sand and Sea Club. After the hotel closed, the mansion was demolished in 1956. The popular Sand and Sea Club continued and in 1959 the property was sold to the State of California and, later, leased to the City of Santa Monica.

By the mid-1990s, the property had languished into a heap of dirt, sand and fractured concrete. Wallis Annenberg, a philanthropist and the daughter of the media tycoon Walter Annenberg, spent summers as a young girl at the Sand and Sea Club. As the city and residents debated what to do with the property, in 2005, she pledged $27.5 million to turn it into a first-rate public facility and restore some of the grandeur of Ms. Davies’s estate. The architectural firm of Frederick Fisher and Partners was hired to restore what was left and design a new building to fit the space.

As well as the historic swimming pool and guesthouse, the Beach House has volleyball and beach tennis courts, a children’s play area and splash pad. While a fee is charged to use the pool, to park and to reserve courts, almost everything else is free.

Its Hollywood pedigree is not limited to the 1930s. Jane Fonda wrote once that she visited the hotel for a summer when she was a teenager. Scenes from the 1990s television series “Beverly Hills 90210” were filmed at the Sand and Sea Club. Fred Deni, who has managed restaurants on the property for nearly three decades, including the newly opened Back on the Beach Cafe, said that celebrities like Goldie Hawn often ate at the cafe and once George Clooney, after a run on the beach, used the bathroom.

In 2003, Back on the Beach was overrun with paparazzi when Paris Hilton showed up to film a scene from the low-budget bomb “The Hillz.”

“There were about 40 of them and they took over all the tables,” Mr. Deni said. “She was jogging down the bike path and when the director called, ‘Cut!’ ” Paris would step off and walk real slowly until the paparazzi caught up.”

There has even been a recent ghost sighting. Ms. Cusick, the cultural affairs manager, said a security guard making his rounds late one night said that he saw two people dancing in the guesthouse. When he investigated, no one was there. “I would like to think that Marion would have liked what we have done with her place,” she said.

For now it remains a retreat for the living. Marcia Cross, the actress who plays the character Bree on “Desperate Housewives,” is a regular, bringing her two daughters, who take particular delight in the splash pad, a strip of alternating streams of water that shoot in the air and fall with a splat on a concrete slab.

“Not all of us, no matter what our circumstances, can belong to a beach club,” Ms. Cross said as she quietly shushed one of her daughters clamoring for attention. “I don’t know if I ever will join a club. It’s not my world at the moment.”

Besides, she added, “My kids don’t know the difference and I don’t care.”


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