Chateau Marmont Hotel
|Location||8225 Marmont Lane and 8221 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California|
Chateau Marmont is a hotel located at 8221 Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. The hotel was built in 1927 and was modeled loosely after the Château d'Amboise, a royal retreat in France's Loire Valley.
In 1926 Fred Horowitz, a prominent Los Angeles attorney, chose the site at Marmont Lane and Sunset Boulevard to construct an apartment building. Horowitz had recently traveled to Europe for inspiration and returned to California with photos of a Gothic Chateau along the Loire River. In 1927 Horowitz commissioned his brother-in-law, European-trained architect Arnold A. Weitzman, to design the seven-story, L-shaped building based on his French photos. When deciding upon a name for the building, Chateau Sunset and Chateau Hollywood were rejected in favor of Chateau Marmont, a name conceived by the small street running across the front of the property.
On February 1, 1929, Chateau Marmont opened its doors to the public as the newest residence of Hollywood. Local newspapers described the Chateau as “Los Angeles’s newest, finest and most exclusive apartment house ... superbly situated, close enough to active businesses to be accessible and far enough away to insure quiet and privacy.” For the inaugural reception, over 300 people passed through the site, including local press.
Due to the high rents and inability to keep tenants for long-term commitments during the depression, Fred Horowitz chose to sell the apartment building to Albert E. Smith for $750,000 in cash. The following year, Chateau Marmont was converted into a hotel. The apartments became suites with kitchens and living rooms. The property was also refurbished with antiques from depression-era estate sales.
Designed and constructed to be earthquake proof, Chateau Marmont survived major earthquakes in 1933, 1953, 1971, 1987 and 1994 without sustaining any major structural damage. Nine Spanish cottages were built next to the hotel in the 1930s and were acquired by the hotel in the 1940s. Craig Ellwood designed two of the four bungalows in 1956, after he completed Case Study Houses.
On March 24, 1976, Chateau Marmont was named one of Los Angeles’ Historical-Cultural Landmarks.
Operations and restoration
The hotel was acquired and restored in 1990 by André Balazs. Updating the property was a notable task as he faced the need to modernize the hotel, while also receiving pressure from the hotel’s dedicated fans to preserve Chateau Marmont’s character.
For the restoration, Balazs requested to create an illusion the hotel had been untouched despite renovations. The entire hotel was re-carpeted, repainted and the public spaces were upgraded.
Restaurant and Bar Marmont
Throughout the years, Chateau Marmont has gained recognition. Director Sofia Coppola shot her film Somewhere at the hotel in 2010. James Franco created a grand scale replica of the Chateau Marmont for his Rebel Without a Cause exhibit at MOCA in 2012. The opening scene of the indie neo-noir film The Canyons was shot at the Bar Marmont. Singer Lana Del Rey alludes to the hotel in a number of her songs in her album Born to Die.
Hunter S. Thompson, Annie Leibovitz, Dorothy Parker, Bruce Weber, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tim Burton, Jay McInerney, Sofia Coppola, and Ville Valo, among others, all have produced work from within the hotel's walls. John Belushi died of a drug overdose in Bungalow 3 on March 5, 1982.
- Los Angeles Department of City Planning (February 28, 2009). Historic-Cultural Monuments (HCM) Listing: City Declared Monuments. City of Los Angeles. Retrieved 2000-03-02.
- Christopher Goodwin (November 28, 2010). "Hollywood Babylon". Sunday Times Magazine.
- Balazs, Andre (1996). Hollywood Handbook. Universe. p. 19. ISBN 0789300230.
- Webb, Michael (December 1996). "Chateau Marmont Revisited". Architectural Digest. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- Virbila, S.Irene (February 4, 2004). "The Review: Romancing the castle on the hill". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- Brown, Janelle. "The Chateau Marmont Is Ready for Its Close-Up". New York Times. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- Vankin, Deborah. "James Franco grabs another role with MOCA show on 'Rebel Without a Cause'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- McFadden, Robert D. (March 6, 1982). "John Belushi, Manic Comic of TV and Films Dies.". New York Times. Retrieved September 25, 2007. "John Belushi, the manic, rotund comedian whose outrageous antics and spastic impersonations on the Saturday Night Live television show propelled him to stardom in the 1970s, was found dead yesterday in a rented bungalow in Hollywood, where he had launched a film career in recent years. The 33-year-old actor ..."