September 13, 2021 5:06 PM
by Nan Friedman
This summer, the California Preservation Foundation announced the Annenberg Community Beach House is a recipient of the 2021 Preservation Design Award in the Craftsmanship/Preservation Technology category.
The Preservation Design Award is for the recent repair and rehabilitation of the site’s historic swimming pool. City staff from the Beach House and Public Works Department implemented this ambitious off-season project to preserve and maintain the pool’s historic features – notably the green and white marble tiled pool deck and hand-painted decorative tile in a polychrome fish motif at the pool bottom. The award application included letters of support from the Santa Monica Conservancy, Frederick Fisher and Partners, Councilmember Gleam Davis, and Landmarks Commissioner Amy Green. The award ceremony will take place on Thursday, October 21, 2021.
The pool, designed by Julia Morgan, California’s first licensed female architect, dates back to 1928 as part of Marion Davies’ original Beach House estate, built for her by paramour William Randolph Hearst. Constructed on the same five beachfront acres of the Davies estate, the Annenberg Community Beach House opened to the public in 2009, as a community destination open to all with no membership required. The current day Beach House by architect Frederick Fisher and Partners blends the past with the contemporary, incorporating not only the original pool but a guest house from the Davies estate.
Original Beach House Pool with Bridge
Located between the Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica State Beach, the Annenberg Community Beach House pool is one of Santa Monica’s most treasured community amenities. Mothballed after the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, the historic pool was reimagined as an integral part of this public destination. Heavy use since 2009 coupled with the coastal environment was tough on the pool’s fragile deck and pool finishes.
The Annenberg Community Beach House at Santa Monica Beach is a unique community destination with spectacular views, year-round programming, and spaces for private events and filming. For more info, visit annenbergbeachhouse.com.
Beach House Venue Manager