7 Images

Living It Up on the Beach

The Hearst/Davies beach house in Santa Monica, circa 1940, stretched five beachfront acres. (Marc Wanamaker / Bison Archives)
Marion Davies at the Santa Monica beach house in 1937, the year she retired after making 46 feature films. (Marc Wanamaker / Bison Archives)
Davies rides a merry-go-round borrowed from Warner Bros. at a party in 1937. To make room in the home for the huge carousel, Hearst ordered a wall torn down and then put back. (Marc Wanamaker / Bison Archives)
From left: Jack Warner, Raoul Walsh, Davies, William Randolph Hearst and Ruth Roland attend a costume party held at the house. (Marc Wanamaker / Bison Archives)
The Hearst/Davies home became Ocean House, an exclusive 110-room hotel, shown here in a photo dated Oct. 6, 1949. The third-story gable at the center of building was the sundeck and sitting room of Davies’ private suite. (LAT)
The current state of the beach property. The city of Santa Monica plans to turn it into a public beach club. (Ken Hively / LAT)
Fans of the Hearst/Davies beach property, its mansion long ago demolished, have been pushing to turn the site, with its historic pool and guest house, into a public beach club. The city of Santa Monica recently settlement with residents who opposed the plans, and it expects to break ground next September and complete the project by early 2010. (Ken Hively / LAT)