Alla Nazimova – original resident of the Garden of Allah Hotel

Alla Nazimova - original resident of the Garden of Allah HotelA great silent screen star, Alla Nazimova, was the original resident of the Garden of Allah. In 1917 she was offered a $13,000 a week contract–$3,000 more than Mary Pickford–with Metro studios (working with future MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer.) In 1918 she spent $65,000 on a California Spanish home on Sunset Boulevard (then still an unpaved dirt track), and proceeded to spend another $65,000 on remodeling and landscaping. She named it ‘The Garden of Alla’ and it became a popular gathering spot for the Hollywood intelligentsia who would flock there. However by the mid-1920s, Alla was in financial straits and agreed to allow her mansion to be developed into a hotel. The property–renamed The Garden of Allah Hotel & Villas–opened on January 9th, 1927. Although the hotel was an instant success, the plan bankrupted her entirely. She was forced to sell her share and ended up living in one of the villas that now filled what had been her own backyard.

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  1. Tamara November 13, 2013 @ 6:56 pm

    This woman and her Garden of Allah fascinate and sadden me. I’ve read so much on her but for some reason I was under the impression that she was in her hey day and able to enjoy her estate for many years. But this article seems to say she only had it for a handful of years before she changed it into a hotel, which bankrupt her. I read about her famous ‘tea parties’ (aka wild sappho pool parties) for many women, famous ones at that, Garbo, Dietrich, de Acosta. It would have been nice to visit and see this landmark. It’s so sad and horrible that Hollywood doesn’t preserve their landmarks, the loss of the Garden of Allah is as sad as the loss of Pickfair. Tragic.

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