After destruction by fire in 1938, an all-new hotel designed by Paul Revere Williams opened on December 16, 1939. The star-studded opening was broadcast over CBS radio.
Images: uncited newspaper articles via https://www.sakoguchi.info/arrowhead-springs-hotelnew-gallery/ .
“Overlooking the San Bernardino Valley, the location was ideal for a resort. It sat atop natural hot springs, whose waters, at a scalding 202 degrees Fahrenheit, were much hotter than those at Europe’s most famous spas, one reporter dutifully noted. To partake of them, guests had only to press the down button when they stepped into the elevator. The curative powers of the springs had long been advertised, and the hotel that opened that December was actually the fourth on the site. Its predecessor, a massive Victorian pile, had burned down just the year before. That was the point at which an enterprising tycoon, Jay Paley, the uncle of CBS president William Paley, jumped in and recruited some of the movies’ biggest names to invest in what he hoped would be the industry’s most glamorous getaway.
“For the overall design, Paley hired Gordon B. Kaufman and Paul R. Williams. An African American who had done something unheard of in those days—he had erased the color barrier—Williams was one of Hollywood’s favorite architects and the designer of Paley’s own house in Los Angeles. He and Kaufman produced a U-shaped structure with six floors, 150 rooms and suites, a 300-seat theater and three dining areas. “Georgian modern,” it was called, but it also showed the influence of Art Déco. For the interior, Paley went all the way to New York and to a woman who knew very little about life in California but just about everything there was to know about interior design—Dorothy Draper. “First chop in the decorating business,” was how she was irreverently characterized in Westways magazine.”
Excerpt from Architectural Digest magazine: https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/hotels-arrowhead-112008 . Click on the link for more information.
Learn about the architect at http://www.paulrwilliamsproject.org/about/paul-revere-williams-architect/ .
For a complete history, read Arrowhead Springs, California’s Ideal Resort by Mark Landis. http://landispublications.com/Publications_pg1.html .
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Today marks one year of daily posts about southern California in 1939. In the future, posts will be less frequent.