Chateau Marmont Hotel
|Location||8225 Marmont Lane and 8221 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California|
|Architect||William Douglas Lee|
Chateau Marmont is a hotel located at 8221 Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. The hotel was designed by architect William Douglas Lee and completed in 1929. It 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. In 1931, 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, as well as a swimming pool, 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. During the 1930s, the hotel was managed by former silent film actress Ann Little. During the 1940s, the hotel served as an air-raid shelter for residents in the surrounding area.
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 strove to create the illusion that the hotel had been untouched notwithstanding renovations. The entire facility 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. The hotel was also a location for Oliver Stone's The Doors. Singer Lana Del Rey alludes to the hotel in her song "Off To The Races" from her album Born to Die. It is also the office of fictional paparazzi Patrick Immleman in the Panel Syndicate web comic The Private Eye.
Billy Wilder, Hunter S. Thompson, Annie Leibovitz, Dorothy Parker, Bruce Weber, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tim Burton, Jay McInerney, Terry Richardson, Death Grips and Ville Valo, among others, have also produced work from within the hotel's walls. John Belushi died of a drug overdose in Bungalow 3 on March 5, 1982.
The hotel is also mentioned in Charles Bukowski's major work Hollywood, Father John Misty's song "Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins), and is the setting of the Grateful Dead song "West L.A. Fadeaway". It is also mentioned in William Monahan's movie London Boulevard (around 1:19:00 during the scene in bedroom).
- Los Angeles Department of City Planning (February 28, 2009). "Historic-Cultural Monuments (HCM) Listing: City Declared Monuments". City of Los Angeles. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- "PCAD - Chateau Marmont Hotel, West Hollywood, CA". pcad.lib.washington.edu. Retrieved 2016-05-17.
- Christopher Goodwin (November 28, 2010). "Hollywood Babylon". Sunday Times Magazine.
- Balazs 1996, p. 19.
- Balazs 1996, p. 20.
- Webb, Michael (December 1996). "Chateau Marmont Revisited". Architectural Digest. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- The Christian Science Monitor 'Life at the Marmont': 6 stories of Hollywood stars at the famous hotel 1 May 2013
- 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.
- "Film locations for The Doors (1991)". Retrieved 2015-06-17.
- 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 Annotated "West L.A. Fadeaway"". Retrieved 2015-07-08.