Even though Mr. B. and I had toured the amazing Heart Castle in San Simeon last year, we didn't know all the romantic (slash adulterous!) history behind the Guesthouse or the former Mansion. We are even more up on the details, both historic and gossip!
Here is the full story: The Beach House, but the short version is that William Randolph Hearst built a 100 room, 50 bathroom, 30 fireplace Mansion for his long-term mistress, Marion Davies. This Mansion had tennis courts, an awe-inspiring pool (which is no Neptune pool, but still), and a 7 bedroom "guest house" which was rumored to be for staff, but for some reason this tenants of this house remains a mystery. This compound was right on the beach in Santa Monica.
The couple sold the house due to financial troubles and it was turned into a private beach club. Then, an earthquake hit and the Mansion was demolished, but the Guest House was saved. Then a few years ago, the Annenberg Foundation donated money to refurbish the whole property and now it is a very nice and affordable public space in Santa Monica. Which puts The Annenberg Community Beach House at Santa Monica State Beach in a world all its own!
|Pool circa 1930|
|Pool today in 2011|