Monday, December 31, 2012

Marion Davies and the Beach House

My daughter knows my love for museums and fascinating people highlighted through history and so one morning we loaded the car with the boys, the dog and headed off to the Santa Monica beach to a place called The Annenberg Community Beach House. Originally it had been owned by Marion Davies and had been a huge mansion with many columns, a large swimming pool and a smaller beach house for guests.
These chairs were outside the beach house and reminded me of the Chalk Paint™ color Paris Grey.
This was a photo that was inside Marion's beach guest house. This was the back of the mansion on the beach side showing the expanse of the estate and the surrounding buildings. The beach guest house, the only original remaining building is to the far left in this photograph and this is the house we were able to tour.
This was a close-up photo of the mansion from the front with the swimming pool and beach on the back side.
Marion Davies was the stage name of Marion Douras, a daughter of a New York magistrate. She was the chorus girl at the Ziegfeld Follies when Hearst noticed her late in 1915 or 1916. Hearst's infatuation with her was enduring and caused his estrangement from his wife and family. Marion was a comedienne and a movie producer as well as a shrewd business woman.
Davies was a fascinating and intelligent woman who loved staging elaborate parties at the mansion. She owned this property through the generous salary Hearst paid her, but also through her own wise real estate investments. The mansion was demolished sometime after her death by a developer who had other visions for the property.
Over the years the property changed hands several times, but the last contractor installed these large posts to commemorate the placement of the original pillars of the mansion.
This was the original swimming pool.
These were some of the tiles that were in a bathroom of the beach guest house, so one can only imagine the interior of the mansion as being magnificent and filled with beautiful paintings, furniture and other fine art as Hearst was a consummate and discerning collector throughout his life, and many of these collections were shared with Marion in this property.
It was such a lovely morning and enjoyed by all, including my grandson who loved watching the water feature outside the swimming pool.

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