In its heyday, the California Hotel in San Bernardino, California — — built in an imposing Spanish-Renaissance style — — attracted the queens of the silver screen including MAE WEST. Journalist Julie Farren researched the history of the California Hotel on Fifth Street and other local "grand dames" and here is a brief section from her intriguing article.
• • California Hotel
• • The Spanish Renaissance-style hotel that stood at 522 Fifth St. in San Bernardino played host to future presidents, Supreme Court justices, and served as headquarters for an army general during World War II.
• • The hotel's U-shaped open court faced E Street. The south wing had several small shops on the ground flood, a rooftop garden, and a ballroom and banquet hall. The north wing had 106 guest rooms as well as apartments, stores and offices.
• • Future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren and future President Richard Nixon had their hair cut at the hotel barbershop. Other guests included actresses Mae West and Elizabeth Taylor.
• • During World War II, Army Gen. George S. Patton set up his headquarters at the California Hotel.
• • Roy Durbin was the hotel's first owner, followed by Dale Gentry and Frank Solt. Later owners included the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Loma Linda and San Bernardino resident Steve Rehwald.
• • The hotel, which went into bankruptcy under Rehwald's ownership, remained empty for 12 years before demolition began in 1985. . . .
— — Excerpt: — —
• • Article: "Some historic sites still call San Bernardino County home"
• • Byline: By JULIE FARREN
• • Published in: The Press-Enterprise
• • Published on: Sunday — 31 August 2008
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • none • •