A photograph promoting poolside life at the Garden of Allah, 1950s
A photograph promoting poolside life at the Garden of Allah , 1950s

A Succession of Owners

In 1930, after Central Holding Corporation bought the Garden of Allah Hotel from William Hay, the new owners upfitted the villas and made improvements throughout the hotel. Afterward, however, there were no known improvements to the hotel until 1955. After the war, the lack of upkeep began to show.

Writing for Collier’s magazine in 1947, Amy Porter, a frequent Garden resident, explained the hotel’s decline. “In its early days it was the very center of things social,” Porter wrote, “the spot where all the major movie functions took place. Then, as the movie colony grew to a point where the Garden’s party room (with the antlered deerskin rug growing dangerously out of the floor) could not accommodate the crowds, the big functions shifted to the larger hotels farther out.”

In the mid-1950s the Garden would be put up for sale. Afterward a succession of owners bought the hotel, two of them oversaw upgrades to the villas and the main building, but nothing seemed to help. The final owner had a different plan – one that would bring the story of the Garden of Allah to an end.