Free Event to Celebrate the Release of "Captain of her Soul: The Life of Marion Davies"
Sunday, October 23 from 3-5 p.m.
Annenberg Community Beach House
Santa Monica's Annenberg Community Beach House began life as actress Marion Davies' palatial beach home. Built in partnership with her lover William Randolph Hearst, it was the place where she became a celebrated Hollywood hostess. But there is much more to her story, as revealed in a new biography by film historian Lara Gabrielle called, "Captain of her Soul: The Life of Marion Davies," published by the University of California.
Through Gabrielle's meticulous research and gift for storytelling, Davies takes shape as a deep and nuanced individual. Throughout her career, she successfully navigated an environment dominated by powerful men and she was devoted to philanthropic efforts, particularly in the service of children. A woman who lived life on her own terms, Davies declared herself "the captain of her soul."
Lara Gabrielle is a film writer and researcher whose work on Marion Davies has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The San Francisco Chronicle, Alta Journal, and PBS’s American Experience. She has spoken about Davies at film festivals and retrospectives worldwide and has served as a consultant on her life and legacy for books, dissertations, and film projects. Gabrielle lives in Oakland.

Gabrielle's special reading at Davies' former guest house will be followed by a Q&A, book sale and signing. Light refreshments will be served. Begin your exploration of this remarkable woman with a tour of the Guest House, offered by Conservancy docents Fridays through Mondays from noon to 2 p.m.
Proper Hotel; Photo by Steve Loeper; Howard Laks, Architect; Robert Chattel, Historic Architect
The Conservancy’s 20th Anniversary celebrations continue with an exciting new virtual event! Join us Sunday, November 6th from 5-6:15 p.m. for a fully illustrated program exploring how local adaptive reuse projects conserve resources, help the environment, save the city's historic heritage and preserve a sense of place and identity.

Over time, the needs of a community can change. Buildings with rich histories and architectural value often become outmoded, underutilized, or abandoned altogether. Yet they can live on to serve new and different uses through the process of adaptive reuse. Adaptively reused buildings, whose exteriors are kept intact and authentic, can be creatively transformed on the inside while retaining the architectural characteristics and charm that reflect their original use.

Everything Old is New Again will offer attendees insight into several high profile adaptive reuse projects from around Santa Monica. Key team members will share behind the scenes details and images from their projects. With four speakers, seven segments and dozens of illustrations, this 75-minute livestream will be one of the Conservancy’s most ambitious virtual productions!

Featured properties include…
Pono Burger, a military building now a hamburger restaurant. Presented by KFA, LLP Partner John Arnold, AIA.

The Proper, an office building now an upscale hotel. Presented by Howard Laks, AIA, principal at Howard Laks Architects, and historic architect Robert Chattel, president of Chattel, Inc.
The Conservancy's own Preservation Resource Center, formerly a shotgun house. Presented by Mario Fonda-Bonardi, AIA, Principal of Fonda-Bonardi & Hohman Architects.
And the show will look at the future of adaptive reuse with an exclusive look at Frank Gehry's Ocean Avenue Project, presented by Historic Architect Robert Chattel!
Admission to Everything Old is New Again is free for Conservancy members and students and $10 for the general public. Click here to become a member and enjoy discounts on this and future events.
Photo Credits
Pono Burger; After: Steve Loeper
The Proper; Before: Santa Monica Public Library; After: Steve Loeper
The PRC; Before: Tom Zimmerman; After: Stephen Schafer
The Conservancy's Top Twenty Achievements:
Promoting Adaptive Reuse
The Mar Vista Apartments in 1914 and today
In addition to the properties featured in Everything Old is New Again, the Conservancy has actively promoted adaptive reuse as a way to repurpose obsolete historic properties and attain sustainable development goals, since “the greenest building is the one already built.” 

Additional major projects in which we have participated by working with property owners, their architects, consultants and other advisors as they proceed through the entitlement process include: 

Remembering Morrie Kushner
The Conservancy docents at the Beach House note with sadness the August 29th passing of one of our long-time docents, Morris Kushner.

Morrie was a retired attorney who joined our docent group and served enthusiastically for many years, offering public tours with his dry wit and special sense of humor. Often wearing a 1920s newsboy hat, he fully played a historical role. He happily joined the festivities for Happy Birthday Marion!, our annual birthday celebration, and participated in a number of our special excursions. His warmth and generous spirit were appreciated by all. A number of his docent friends joined his family's Celebration of Life on September 17th.
Conservancy Tours & Events
Fri-Mon, from 12-2 p.m.
Oct 7-10, 14-17, 21-24 & 28-31
415 Pacific Coast Highway
Enjoy a free tour led by Conservancy docents and learn about the rich history of the Marion Davies Guest House, which was built by William Randolph Hearst for actress Marion Davies. The hottest spot on Santa Monica’s Gold Coast during the 1920s, guests included Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo. The 20-minute tours are available on a walk-up basis. Learn more
Saturdays at 10 a.m.
Oct 8, 15, 22 & 29
1436 2nd Street
Discover the architectural gems and rich history of Downtown Santa Monica on our highly rated guided tour. From Art Deco to Victorian and Romanesque Revival, you’ll explore the various styles that fill the streets of our city. Tours are approximately two hours and cover six blocks. Free for members and $10 for the general public. Register
PRC Stephen Schafer shotgun house
Free In-Person Tours from 12-2 p.m. on Wed, Oct 12; Sat & Sun, Oct. 22 & 23
Live Virtual Tours on Sunday, Oct 16th
at 12 noon and 1 p.m.
Come and visit the last intact shotgun house in Santa Monica! Discover the journey of this incredible little house, which was saved from demolition and moved–on wheels–three times before being adapted into our modern-day Center. Learn more
Community News & Events
Photo: Gabrielino-Tongva Springs Foundation
Kuruvungna Village Springs
Gabrielino-Tongva Springs Foundation
Open House on the first Saturday of every month from 10-3 p.m.
In honor of Indigenous People's Day on October 10th, consider paying a visit to Kuruvungna Village Springs. The springs once supported the thriving Tongva village of Kuruvungna, meaning “a place where we are in the sun.” Today, descendants of the Gabrielino-Tongva have restored and revitalized the site. Learn more here and here
The Play
Free live performances will be held on the West End of the Pier each day on Oct. 20-23 from 7-8:30 p.m.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the 1972 grassroots fight to stop the demolition of The Santa Monica Pier, the Santa Monica Pier Corporation presents a LIVE reenactment of "Save The Pier." No reservations required.
The 17th Annual LA Archives Bazaar
Presented by LA As Subject
Saturday October 22 from 10-3 p.m.
Doheny Memorial Library at USC
The LA as Subject consortium brings to life the diverse, often hidden stories that make Southern California such a fascinating place of discovery. Their annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar, which is free and open to the public, offers a one-stop opportunity to interact with dozens of archives, from large institutions to private collectors.
Santa Monica History Museum
Exhibit open through December 23
1350 7th Street
Learn how residents built Broadway into a flourishing community of color – and how the Interstate 10 freeway destroyed it in the 1960s. Explore the advertisements, oral histories, photographs and songs from the archival material collected by the Quinn Research Center. Visit
We Thank Our Downtown Walking Tour Sponsor
Santa Monica Conservancy

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