In 2004, Wallis Annenberg learned about the project and its broad-based potential community benefit. Her interest and generosity in the form of a $27.5 million grant paved the way for the site's rehabilitation and reuse.
Originally developed in the 1930s by William Randolph Hearst for actress Marion Davies, the property was the site of an elegant 110-room mansion designed by architect Julia Morgan. The estate hosted a wide range of stars, including Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, Cary Grant and Gloria Swanson.
The Beach House is operated by the City of Santa Monica under a long-term operating agreement with the State of California.
The Annenberg Foundation and the City of Santa Monica worked with Frederick Fisher Partners, Architects; Charles Pankow Builders; Historic Resources Group; Mia Lehrer & Associates; AdamsMorioka; and Roy McMakin to create the new Beach House.
Originally the site of the Marion Davies Beach House, this historic 5-acre beachfront venue opened to the public as the Annenberg Community Beach House on April 25, 2009.