Learn about the rich history of the Annenberg Community Beach House from a Santa Monica Conservancy docent. Tours are free, lasting approximately 30 minutes, and no reservations are required. Please note: The Marion Davies Guest House hours are subject to change – check dates and hours on the Annenberg Community Beach House website for an up-to-date schedule. The Guest House may close in instances of inclement weather. Call 310-458-4904 to confirm hours. The Guest House is open and docents are available from 11 am – 2 pm. Free tours at 11 am, noon, and 1 pm.
Once the site of a grand 110-room mansion designed by Julia Morgan for William Randolph Hearst and his companion, actress Marion Davies, the property was a “hot spot” on Santa Monica’s Gold Coast, where Hollywood celebrities came to enjoy the sun, the sea and fabulous parties at the Davies estate. Davies, a movie star, was a pre-eminent Hollywood hostess; she and Hearst reigned as virtual royalty, hosting film luminaries and heads of state.
The original mansion was torn down in 1956, but a guesthouse and the splendidly tiled swimming pool remain. Those historic assets have been restored and enhanced with new facilities for public recreation.
Some years back, when the concept of developing a public beach house at the site evoked controversy, the Santa Monica Conservancy initiated a community support group known as “Friends of 415 PCH.” Led by Board member Joel Brand, the Friends rallied hundreds to the cause of preserving the historic site and renovating it for the public’s use. Happily, they prevailed.
The City of Santa Monica selected the Santa Monica Conservancy to develop and operate a docent-guided tour program for the Annenberg Community Beach House.
If you are interested in learning more about this historic site and would like to attend a tour, please click here for additional information and an up-to-date schedule.