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Conservancy To Meet at Casa Del Mar:

Traditionally, the Santa Monica Conservancy holds its annual meetings at historically significant Santa Monica sites.

This year’s meeting will take place at Hotel Casa Del Mar on Sunday, January 29 from 3 to 5 p.m.

The hotel is located at 1910 Ocean Front Walk, which is at the western end of Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica.

The program will begin with a short business meeting and the annual election of the board of directors election.

A brief talk by historic consultant Christy MacAvoy about the rehabilitation of Casa Del Mar will follow. MacAvoy’s company, Historic Resources Group, assisted the hotel owners with their restoration plans and in obtaining a significant financial benefit in the form of a historic rehabilitation tax credit for the resurrected building.

Participants can tour the public areas of the hotel. Light refreshments will be served with a no-host bar available in this lovely setting.

Valet parking is available for $5 and there is limited street parking.

In 1926, when Club Casa Del Mar opened, it was the grandest of the opulent Santa Monica beach clubs. Designed in a Renaissance Revival style by noted Los Angeles architect Charles F. Plummer, Club Casa Del Mar, with its plush Oriental rugs, intricately hand-painted ceilings and heavy bronze statuary, immediately became the Grande Dame of Santa Monica – and arguably of the entire Pacific coast. It was the place to see and be seen, renowned for its swinging social scene and frequented by many of Los Angeles’s elite, including a number of Hollywood celebrities.

The partying lasted until World War II when Casa Del Mar was taken over by the military. After the war, the beach club reopened but it never regained its former grandeur, and, in 1959, it became the headquarters for Synanon, which treated people with drug and alcohol problems.

From 1978 to 1997, it was the Pritikin Longevity Center, though it was closed for a time while damage it suffered in the 1994 Northridge earthquake was repaired.

Its current owners spent more than $50 million to restore the landmark structure to its former grandeur. Though none of the original furnishings remain, the traditional look and feel from the ’20s was recreated.

The seven-story building features a brick and sandstone façade red tile roof, brown iron balconies, elaborate relief work with escutcheons over the front door and a variety of sculpted figures throughout the facade including cupids, angels and Renaissance personalities. It has 129 guest rooms and suites.

People attending the Conservancy meeting can tour the public areas of the hotel. Light refreshments will be served and there will be a no-host bar.

Valet parking is available for $5 and there is limited street parking.

The meeting is open to members only, though all are welcome to join. Please RSVP by e-mail to or phone the Conservancy line at (310) 485-0399.

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