Monday, May 31, 2010

The Ultimate Beach Bungalow

In celebration of Memorial Day and the arrival beach season today’s post is an antique postcard view of Ocean House, an immense Santa Monica beachfront mansion built in the 1920’s by media tycoon William Randolph Hearst for longtime mistress Marion Davies. Designed by Julia Morgan the architect of Hearst’s famous castle at San Simeon; the Georgian Colonial style Ocean House with its long columned veranda reminiscent of Mount Vernon on steroids had over 100 rooms, two swimming pools, and three separate guest houses each a Mansion in its own right. From the 1920’s until the 1940’s Hearst and Davies; whose love affair of over 30 years began when Hearst spotted Davies as a Zeigfeld Follies chorus girl; entertained the Hollywood elite at Ocean House in grand scale.After the Davies era the mansion was converted into a hotel and the pool into a private beach club, which remained in operation long after the hotel was closed and the mansion demolished. In the 90’s the site served as the beach club set for filming of the original 90210 television series, and just recently underwent a complete renovation by the Annenberg Foundation into a public beach facility. Now known as the Annenberg Community Beach House the site still retains one of the original Georgian Colonial guest houses now fully restored to it’s original 1920’s splendor.Image courtesy of Annenberg Community Beach House site.

Click here for a tour of the interiors of Ocean House.
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