The Pink Palace aka the Beverly Hills Hotel turned 100 years old!
The Pink Palace also known as the Beverly Hills Hotel turned 100 years old this past week according to the Beverly Hills Hotel & The Beverly Hills Courier.
In typical Hollywood Style it was a 100th Anniversary Commemoration Celebration of the Beverly Hills Hotel, which lasted all week and weekend! More so the Hotel was opened in May of 1912 and history was rewritten and celebrated in September of 2012 also very Hollywood like.
In 1993 when the hotel was closed for renovation they buried a time capsule and it was opened during the celebration. It contained a Cigar from Milton Berle, a Polo Lounge napkin drawing by Tony Curtis and a cassette by Dionne Warwick “That’s what friends are for”. Out of all these celebrities sadly only one was present. They also created a new Time Capsule to be opened in 25 years. I will not give away what is in it; I do not want to be a spoiler. If you are still here in 25 years I want you to be surprised!
Now you know you will get a bit of history from me about this great hotel.
The hotel was first opened on May 12th, 1912 by Margaret Anderson and her son Stanley Anderson they were both owners and Managers. Ironically this luxury hotel opened two years before Beverly Hills became a City! The original build of The Beverly Hills Hotel was designed by Pasadena architect Elmer Grey. It was considered Mediterranean Revival style. They also had 23 separate bungalows which were located in the gardens north of the Main Building.
The Anderson family sold the hotel in 1928 to investor Hugh Leighten. Soon after, the stock market crashed and the hotel’s lien holder, Bank Of America began foreclosure proceedings. Does this sound timely? Bank of America assigned a bank employee, Hernando Courtright to oversee the hotel’s foreclosure.
Courtright instead chose to quit his job and found a group of investors to help keep the Hotel. He then took over as the Manger of the Hotel and ultimately in 1941 bought it outright. He added the pink façade and the famous Polo Lunge which both are still the focal point of this luxury hotel. Then a New Wing was added to the east side of the main building.
Howard Hughes resided in four of the hotel bungalows, starting around 1942. One was for him, one was for his actress wife Jean Peters and two to keep the paparracy of their trail. Off and on for the next 30 years the reclusive billionaire lived in isolation at the hotel. There are stories that he would order pineapple upside-down cake at 3:00am. He has been seen dancing with young starlets in the Persian Room later re named as the Sunset Room.
In 1954 a real estate investor Ben Silberstein was on holiday at the hotel and he fell in love with the hotel. He purchased it from Courtrigt for $5.5 million. Then Silberstein started to manage the hotel and it became a playground for celebrities. The guest was the who is who of the world. Prince Philip, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, King Albert of Belgium, the Crown Prince of Monaco and I could go on and on.
The Rat Pack was often seen at the Polo Lounge. One of the most famous discoveries at the pool was Raquell Welch.
Elizabeth Taylor honey mooned with 6 of her 8 husbands at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
In 1979 Ben Silberstein passed away and his daughters took over ownership one of the daughters Seema was married to Ivan Boesky of insider Trading fame of the 1980’s to pay of his attorneys and fines they sold the Hotel to Marvin Davis Oil Magnate from Denver, Colorado for $136 million.
The ink was barely dry on the transaction Davis in turn sold the hotel in 1987 for an “undisclosed amount” to Sajahtera Inc. a subsidiary of the Brunei Investment Agency, the financial arm of the Sultan of Brunei!
I could go on and on and write a book so I will just close with the following quick summary. The hotel closed on December 30th, 1992 and reopened after a $100million restoration and additions of a larger ballroom, a grand staircase and a Private dining venue were created. The overall hotel remained the same including the Polo Lounge only the rooms and suites got bigger and brighter.
Today the Hotel continues to pamper its guest; politicians, entertainers and tourists visit the hotel. Periodically you might see Diane DeJoie with her friends at the Polo Lounge tooJ
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