Page 82 - The Montecito Journal Magazine Winter Spring 2008

Basic HTML Version

spr ing
Where the Surf Meets the Sand
ne hundred thirty two years. That is how long a
certain stretch of beach in Montecito has been, in
one way or another, a destination for locals and
tourists alike. A certain stretch of land, fondly
called The Miramar property. The property in
its present state – a partially demolished hotel that many in Montecito
cannot wait to be re-developed – is waiting for someone to save it. On the
cusp of what may be the green light for the re-birth of the historic hotel,
we take a look back at what recent owners of the property had envisioned
for their version of the Miramar.
The Original Miramar
Paul Gawzner
, who acquired the property in 1939, created the
iconic blue and white color scheme for the cottages the Miramar is best
remembered by. Gawzner made significant changes to the hotel during
his ownership, mainly because modern guests no longer arrived by boat
or train and stayed all summer; the “highway” brought tourists traveling
in automobiles who cared only to stay for the weekend. Described as
a colonial-style revival, the main building, which contained the lobby
and part of the dining room, was moved closer towards the “highway,”
what we now know as Highway 101. A few years later, he erected the
famed neon Miramar sign, and built cabanas and beachfront cottages.
A boardwalk was built using planks salvaged from a pier built in 1906,
allowing guests to soak up the sun above the sand.
by Kelly Mahan