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27. Georgian Hotel, 1931 27. Georgian Hotel, 1931
1415 Ocean Ave.
Architect: Eugene Durfee

Georgian Hotel
photo by Michael Grandcolas


photo by Michael Grandcolas


Gable - Lombard romance started on January 25, 1936


Interior view
photo by Michael Grandcolas


Lady Windemere Hotel


June Lockhart with Lassie

During prohibition, the Georgian became one of Los Angeles' first speakeasies; a rendezvous spot for celebrities including Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Bugsy Siegel and Fatty Arbuckle.

The Georgian Hotel was built as a seaside hideaway nestled in the once heavily wooded shoreline of the little-known seaside community of Santa Monica. Rich in history, the Georgian’s legacy dates back to the early days of Hollywood, when L.A. was in its glory. They would get away to the Georgian to enjoy spectacular ocean sunsets over the panoramic Santa Monica Bay.

It was the vision of Ms. Rosamond Borde — one of the first females to conquer the male-dominated building industry. Ms. Borde commissioned architect Eugene Durfee to construct the posh establishment in the preferred art deco style of the time period. The hotel is an architectural model of how to transform an elementary rectangular tower into an urban landmark.

The Georgian Hotel has a distinct architectural seaside Art Deco Style feel which is unique to Los Angeles, but not entirely like South Beach, Miami. Anaheim based architect Eugene Durfee is one of the purveyors of this unique style. His work mixes elements of Romanesque Revival and Art Deco, and Chicago School tripartite design. Durfee is also known for designing the Chapman Building in Fullerton. One of that city’s most outstanding commercial structures, the Chapman Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Walk in the lobby, you’ll feel timeless under the Georgian’s arched entryways. Savor the geometric marble floors and crown-molded ceilings. The interior colors - pink, green and black – are “of the era.” The old-fashioned elevator, is a wood-paneled throwback to earlier times.

Under Durfee’s guidance, in 1933, the Georgian opened its doors to the rich, famous and infamous. It was considered to be one of the most modern facilities of the time and featured a beauty parlor, barbershop, playground and dining room.

The hotel opened during prohibition, and the Georgian served alcohol. It became a rendezvous spot for that era’s Hollywood elite, including lovers Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. The notorious Bugsy Siegel and laughable Fatty Arbuckle had martinis and enjoyed jazz on the oceanfront veranda. The location was exclusive, and the staff was respectful, and that is how the Georgian succeeded.

The hotel features 84 guest rooms, including 28 suites, many rooms offer panoramic ocean views. While the historic character of the hotel and its guest rooms has been preserved, in the spring of 2000, a $2 million renovation was completed. This project included the addition of numerous elegant amenities to the Georgian’s guest rooms as well as magnificent furnishings, draperies and black and white photographs, to the art deco-designed lobby.

Today, the Georgian’s Ocean View veranda is still the location for spotting renowned entertainment figures. Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger, Academy Award-winning actor Robert DeNiro and director Oliver Stone have all been spotted hosting power breakfasts or savoring evening sunsets on the veranda. The Red Griffin room in the hotel's basement was once a speakeasy and is said to be haunted with ghosts. Their pictures hang on the red-flocked wallpaper walls above the wall-to-wall red leather banquettes.


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Many Accounts of the Georgian Hotel Say It Was Once Called the Lady Windemere. Actress June Lockhart disagrees.

I love the articles in the Daily Press that you did about this historical places. It’s just charming, however there was a misprint about the Georgian Hotel. It was never called the Lady Windemere. The Lady Windemere was next door, and was torn down and is now Pacific Plaza. I know this because my husband, architect John Lindsey, used to own the Lady Windemere, and tore it down and put up Pacific Plaza.

It’s a marvelous column. I think it’s a great idea. And Congratulations to you, this is just a great page!

June Lockhart
Actress
Lost In Space
Lassie
Petticoat Junction