Calling in the Design Masters

On May 14, 19911, the Los Angeles Times Real Estate section announced that a huge Mission-Style hotel was to be erected by Margaret J. Anderson in the Beverly Hills area. Anderson, a single-mother of two, was a pioneer in the development of Southern California.

Construction on the "Pink Palace" began early 1911 and the BHH opened
it's doors to the public on May 1, 1912, and hence history begun.
Total cost was approximately $500,000.
Architect was Elmer Grey.

Clark Gable & Carole Lombard would rendezvous in bungalow #4 before
Gable obtained his divorce from his current wife.

The BHH was once owned by such movie stars as
Irene Dunne, and Loretta Young.

The story goes that Johnny Weissmuller landed the star role as 1932's "Tarzan"
when the director witnessed him jump into the hotel's pool to
save a drowning little girl.

Howard Hughes once insisted that a ham sandwich be placed in the nook
of a tree outside his bungalow. He would reserve up to 25 rooms at one time.

Katharine Hepburn once jumped into the pool fully clothed
after playing a round of tennis.

Rumor bet told that Mia Farrow was banned from the polo lounge
for wearing pants; quite possibly Marlene Dietrich too.

As legend goes, it is said the the ghost of Harpo Marx
roams about the Pink Palace.

At the Beverly Hills Hotel, a fatal heart-attack took
the life of Actor Peter Finch & bomb-shell Jane Mansfield's
funeral was held here.

Ravishing Rita Hayworth

The scrumptious, (I don't care if he's gay), Rock Hudson

An adoring Ann Margaret

and through the years the stories unfolded

Are these the spaces of a
magical, iconic Hotel California ?

I say.....

bring in the resuscitator and breath the
Beverly Hills Hotel back to life...

But fabulous designers whatever magic you create,
don't mess with the wallpaper

nor the passionate pink facade


{go forth & live responsibly}
appreciate the pink

Images of Early Beverly Hills by author Marc Wanamaker; Legends of America.com; www.seeing-stars.com; nationalpost.com; tripadvisor.com; theparisreview.org; gonotes.blogspot; owensarchive.com; thingsweheart.blogspot; designerwallcoverings.com; bridgeandtunnelclub.com;


Jane said...

What a great post. Loved it. Never been to LA but will one day and want to stay there. I think K Wearstler would do a great job with it - what a shame that it looks so tired and dated. Come on people in LA, with all that money you have can't someone with style just go and buy the damn thing and fix it? xoxo

Anonymous said...

here, here!!! i agree wholeheartedly! BHH needs a makeover badly. definitely david jimenez. i don't trust kelly not to touch that wallpaper.
i have fond memories of drinking (underage while at UCLA) at the BHH; the palm fronds on the wall would get fuzzier and fuzzier as the night wore on. (hanging my head in shame).
hope you're fabulous. always love your posts.

My Dog-Eared Pages said...

Wonderful post...created as usual, in a fab and lively way. Agreed... BHH is much in need of a makeover. Just bought the Marc Wanamaker book about Beverly Hills architecture. I'm tuned-in to the same place at the moment! ox Barbara

Renée Finberg said...

i super loved this post.


Lipstick said...

Oh my goodness, what a great post! I traipsed through the BHH with two friends in 1999 when we were in pharmacy school. We looked around and used the bathroom. We were the only ones around and I took a picture of the "occupied" sign on the restroom door. I was VERY country-come-to-town.

So sad that it looks so dated now. It probably looked that way in '99. I was just starstruck.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Nothing better than a grand old hotel. I hope your summons is heard!!

Brabourne Farm said...

Margaret J Anderson must be rolling in her grave! I've so enjoyed reading this post - as usual, wonderfully interesting and beautiful! Leigh

Emily+Anthony said...

Wow!! I also had no idea the BHH was so out-dated! I do believe you've just started a new campaign to get it back to *star* quality!! Love this post - fabulous as always!!!

Christy said...

Fabulous post Deb. I had no idea the BHH wasn't drop-dead gorgeous on the inside anymore. Seriously people in charge - do something about it pronto! You should send them (whoever they may be!) the link to this post! :-)

Janet said...

Great post. I love all the old photos!

Kelly Wearstler please stay away from the BHH.

David Jimenez and the BHH would be a great fit.

Nice post Deb. ;)

SpryOnTheWall said...

I've never been there (or even to LA, but my youngest brother is there now so I may visit in the future), but I couldn't agree more. Facelift please and glam it up! I'm a major Irene Dunne fan and I love that she used to own it. Also, how much would I love running into Harpo's ghost? I would LOVE that! Fab post!!! Keep up the great work girl!!! :o)

bunny, The Paris House Designs said...

Wonderful post Deb, Such a Glamourous time for design. Perhaps Miles Redd could join Ms. Wearstler and make some Hollywood Magic?!!

Barbara said...

Once again, another fabulous post, Deb. It's sad to see our old icons go to seed. We have the same thing happening here at the Boca Hotel and Club. And they aren't using good taste when redoing either. When you compare what going on in "our" hotel with the Breakers in Palm Beach I could cry. The Breakers remains elegant and inviting. No reason ours should look so tacky.

Haven't been to LA for 5 years or so, but last time we stayed at the Hotel Bel-Air. I think they are redoing right now.

Splenderosa said...

Deb darling...wonderful post. Only if one has been to this establishment can one truly understand it's importance, architectural & otherwise. I've never seen the old pics so I was delighted. How're you doing babycakes?

Averill said...

Amen, Deb! (And my vote is for Jimenez.) The BHH is definitely in need of a little facelift (no shame of that in Hollywood!).

And I'm pretty sure any of these designers could work with the pink and the leaf wallpaper and do AMAZING things.

Millie said...

Oh dear, it's more like a 3 Star Do-Drop-Inn on the inside these days Deb. Image what could be done with those bungalows especially, each done in an individual style, the potential for great things is gianormous.
Millie ^_^

debra@dustjacket said...

Oh fabulous post Deb. So interesting and yeah totally ready for the update!

A Refocused Life said...

Wow! What a fun and interesting post.

MFAMB said...

that's exciting. but unless kelly wearstler can channel someone else no to her. i am all for steven gambrel b.c the man can do no wrong in my book.
great post deb!!
welcome back

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

Dear Deb,
What an interesting post and a glorious building.
I do feel that the ostentatiousness and indulgence of the rich and famous and their wealth can be quite obscene at times.
That said, I do think that the building should be looked after and brought up to date, somewhat.
I guess that we all buy into the material world, sometimes. XXXX

Unknown said...

What a great post. I hope I get to visit this place one day in my travels. Its so Hollywood, and a real institution.
Hope you are well daaaaaaahling.
*kisses* HH

Sarah Ring said...

Agreed totally. I hope they take on this project soon! Wonderful post.

studioJudith said...

Tis sad, tis true.

A great (and all encompassing !) post.
I found myself not wanting to fully see those
dreadful current pics.

Just Save the Wallpaper & The Pink.


Sarah Klassen said...

Oh my yes! My vote is for Jimenez. I think
about two years ago, I looked into this hotel
and thought..."hmmm...well...wow...no" and
then booked the Viceroy in Santa Monica.


Have a great weekend*

The Style Mansion said...

Your blog is perfect.

Gwen Driscoll said...


Such a great post. You need to do one exactly like this on the Windsor Court in New Orleans. It has a rich New Orleans history and truly it was the hotel to stay at for years and years. Now, it's tired and so needs a facelift! Hope you are well. Love your blog.

annechovie said...

I love the pink facade and agree that, from the photos, the interiors need a fresh infusion of color and style. I hope you have a great weekend, Deb! xo

Anonymous said...

great post! i love the pink!

Couture Carrie said...

Exquisite post, darling! Love all the historical photos and tidbits! And your design ideas are spectacular!

Hope you are having a fab weekend :)


Unknown said...

wow, i live right near there and it's incredible to see how over-developed the surrounding area has become. i love to see pictures of LA before it became what it is today.
lovely post!
xox alison

Marsi @ The Cottage Cheese said...

Oh my gosh, I was just thinking how perfect this place is and how much I wanted to stay there until I saw those sad little interiors. If I wanted lifeless 1990's decor, I'd stay at a Holiday Inn. I love this post though. Your design inspiration photos are beyond fabulous! The BHH was the epitome of Hollywood glamor, and the a perfect example of what was so appealing so many people to southern Cali in the first half of the 20th century. This post makes my craving for a California trip even stronger!

DolceDreams said...

Love it! There is nothing like The Beverly Hills Hotel......

Duchess of Tea said...

Hello darling, I came by to see how you are doing and to wish a wonderful week.

Love & Hugs

hello gorgeous said...

I have been thinking about that wallpaper lately...