Tuesday, December 29, 2015

17th Annual Carmel Heritage Society Inns of Distinction - 2015 - Part 1 First Murphy House and La Playa Carmel

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Carmel Heritage Society
"It's Ours to Protect" 


The Valentine’s, a charming elderly couple, have been sitting on the bench just north of the recently renovated First Murphy Park since 1994. Oh the stories they tell about their years as Carmelites. Make sure to say hello as you pass by on your way to 

First Murphy House where the 17th Annual Carmel HeritageSociety Inns of Distinction begins.  



First Murphy House, home to the Carmel Heritage Society, was built in 1902 by Carmel masterbuilder, Michael J. Murphy. The house is currently decorated for the holidays. 


I hope that you took a good look around when you picked up your ticket and wine glass for the Inns Tour 
because when it reopens next February it will look quite a bit different, as an exciting new exhibit is planned for First Murphy House for Carmel’s Centennial. 

This year’s Inns of Distinction highlights eight of Carmel’s finest inns and hotels.  Each festively decorated inn featured a local restaurant for light bites and a local winery for wine tasting.  For the $30 price tag, it is one of the best deals in town.  (I always come home with coupons for restaurants and wine rooms that exceed the price of my ticket!)  And word has definitely gotten out – ticket sales were the highest to date for this event! So come along while I give the history of each inn and describe in words and pictures the 17th Annual Carmel Heritage Society Inns of Distinction.


















The La Playa Carmel 
Camino Real & Eighth Avenue 
Amenities: Complimentary Breakfast Buffet, 
Ocean View Rooms, Pool



Known as the Grand Dame of Carmel hotels, the La Playa Carmel has long time ties to some famous Carmelites. 



Christian Jorgensen a native of Oslo, Norway, was born in 1860.  At the age of 14, he came to San Francisco and was “discovered” by artist Virgil Williams as he sketched a San Francisco cityscape. 

Jorgensen, the first person to receive a scholarship to the California School of Fine Arts, would become an art instructor at the school after his graduation.  It was in one of his classes that he met his future wife, Angela (chocolate heiress) Ghirardelli.  After they married in 1883 they spend years traveling the roads of California.  A fascination with the California Missions would entice Christian to capture all 21 of the missions on canvas.  

The Jorgensen’s came to Carmel-by-the-Sea in 1905.  It took them two years to build their home/studio on the southwest corner of Camino Real and Eighth Avenue. The picture below shows the house c. 1907.


In 1909, Alida Ghirardelli, daughter of Angela’s favorite brother, drowned in Carmel Bay.  (Others have reported that it was Angela who drowned, but it was not, as Angela outlived her husband Christopher by six months dying in January of 1936.)



In 1911, the Jorgensen family leased some of the rooms of their home to Agnes Signor, manager of the Carmel Bathhouse, for use as a boarding house. Shortly thereafter, Signor purchased the Jorgensen home and with the help of her nephews, Harrison and Frederick Godwin, set about to make this property into a fashionable hotel.  The La Playa Hotel opened in 1920.

After their aunt’s death, the Godwin brothers became the owners of the La Playa Hotel.  They spent $34,500 in restoration after a devastating fire destroyed most of the property in December of 1924. 


In 1930, Fred Godwin bought out his brother and would become the sole owner until 1963.  Fred Godwin would also serve as mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea from 1946 to 1950. 

The La Playa was one of several hotels favored by Apple founder Steve Jobs for offsite meetings. Jobs booked the hotel for a team retreat in January of 1983. It is said that a prototype of the Macintosh computer was unveiled during this retreat and christened with a bottle of La Playa water. It was also during this retreat that a few other Apple secrets were revealed. 

During the retreat members of the Apple team decided to celebrate the Macintosh prototype by skinny-dipping in the La Playa pool.  For this transgression, further Apple retreats were banned from the La Playa forever! Almost. 

In 2011 the La Playa was purchased by Grossman Company Properties and Classic Hotels and Resorts and renovated at the cost of $3.5 million.  The La Playa Carmel reopened in August 2012. In 2013, the ban was lifted and Apple welcomed back.  


On the day of the Inns of Distinction Tour, I pass the quatrefoil stained glass window designed by Jorgensen to imitate the window at Carmel Mission,

walk through the entry,



to the front lobby.  I notice the Carmel Centennial Lanterns decorating glass tables throughout the hotel.  


These lanterns, developed and sold by the Carmel Chamber in celebration of Carmel's upcoming Centennial October 16, 2016, are reminiscent of a simpler time - when Carmelites would use tin cans with candles to light their way home at night. 


Today we use flashlights.

In the Library, where a Champagne breakfast buffet is served daily to hotel guests,



 tasty desserts are set out for the Inns Tour. 


  
The La Playa Carmel kitchen provided the hot chocolate, apple cider, brownies, cookies,

 and individual Pumpkin Cheese Cakes Bites. 


Paris Bakery offered the bite-size fruit tart, marzipan, and petit-fore cakes.




Local tasting room, Windy Oaks  


poured a 2013 Night Owl Red, a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre and a 2014 Windy Oaks Pinot Gris from Meador Vineyard in Monterey, County.  


Time to enjoy these treats on the Pacific Terrace overlooking Carmel Bay.


My favorite spot by the fire pit is already taken.  


Two rooms have been graciously opened for Inns of Distinction tour ticket holders to view at La Playa Carmel.  When I say graciously, I mean it.  Each inn on this tour sets aside rooms that they could otherwise sell for lodging on the day of the tour.  This tour is from 2pm to 5pm so it is possible that rooms might still be rented out for the night. But doing so would require a lot of extra work by the hotel staff. Carmel Heritage is very thankful to all the inns that set aside their rooms and time to make this tour possible. 

Village View Room 206 


Ocean View Room 205 


At 2:15pm, the fog is already rolling in - pressing my camera in between the blinds, my shot just misses the  dolphins "porpoising" in the waves. You will just have to imagine...


Next up Part 2 and Happy Landing Inn.  For a map of this years tour and the location of all restaurants and wine rooms which provided food and wine for our tour please visit this google map

Below is a video of all the venues. 



Thanks for visiting.  Until next time, Happy Adventures!

***************
For an interactive map and guided walking tour covering this and many of our other  tours please be sure to download the GPSmyCity App from the iTunes store.  The  App covers an extensive library of articles and walking tours from over 470 cities worldwide, and now features articles from  Adventures of a Home Town Tourist covering Carmel and Monterey (with more cities on the way).  Click the City Walks logo below to get your free App today. 

Get our App in the iTunes App Store



*The App is free, though a small charge will apply to activate some enhanced features.
___ 
All pictures by L. A. Momboisse except for those listed below:
Picture of Christian Jorgensen - California State Parks Museum Collection 
First black and white picture of La Playa from Harrison Memorial Library History Branch.
Second black and white picture of the La Playa taken from a picture on the wall inside the La Playa Carmel hotel.
Third 
black and white picture of La Playa from Harrison Memorial Library History Branch.  

17th Annual Carmel Heritage Society Inns of Distinction - 2015 - Part 2 - Happy Landing Inn

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Happy Landing Inn
North Side Monte Verde between Fifth and Sixth
Amenities:  Complimentary Breakfast In Your Room,
100% Dog Friendly, 7 Unique Rooms 



Happy Landing Inn was originally constructed by master builder M. J. Murphy in 1926 as a private home for two San Jose families, the Leeb's and the Blauer's.  The building permit estimated the cost to build this home in 1926 at $11,000. 

The June 5, 1926 edition of the Peninsula Daily Herald described the home this way: "... unique in design, and is built in three separate parts.  In front facing the west, is a large living room, with dining room and kitchen on the north.  The living room is large with beamed ceilings and a fine rock fireplace.  



Under this part is the servants quarters and the garages.  

To the rear is a large patio with two houses on either side.


  One for the Blauers 


and the one on the south for the Leets. There are four bedrooms in each cottage with standard bathrooms and showers and built in dressers." 



During the 1930's the compound was sold to Velma Craig who used the property as her personal residence and at times as a boarding house.  In 1975 the property was sold the the Thorngate family who began running the property as the Happy Landing.



In 2014, Mark and Shari Lasher purchased the inn and remodeled the entire property giving it a sleek new look.  The main building is now the lobby of Happy Landing Inn, and the two cottages in the back serve as the guest rooms for the bed and breakfast. 


On the day of the tour I walk up the stone steps, past the striking Japanese maple in full color into the festively decorated lobby. 



Crispy Spring Rolls and Prawns Tempura made by The Grill on Ocean Avenue call to me. 



Check out The Grill on Ocean Avenue for lunch or dinner on Ocean Avenue between Dolores and Lincoln.  But I digress.  I take a few moments to sit by the fireplace while enjoying my Spring Roll before being drawn to the courtyard by the sultry voice of Debbie Davis, who has the tour guests under her spell.



"Well hello Mr. Manzoni.  Yes I don't mind if I do." 



Mark Manzoni of Manzoni Vineyards cheerfully pours me a taste of his award-winning 2013 Pinot Gris.  He also had on hand a 2013 Pinot Noir.


When time permits you should pay a visit to Manzoni Wine Bar in Carmel in the Paseo Courtyard w/s of San Carlos between Ocean and Seventh.  Ms. Vina runs the place.  Here she is sitting in front of her antique bar. 

Anyway, it is time to tour six of the seven unique guest rooms at Happy Landing Inn.  Each one is designed to honor a different American icon.  So come along with me on this sentimental journey.  


Next up in Part 3, the Pine Inn and Lobos Lodge. For a map of this years tour and the location of all restaurants and wine rooms which provided food and wine for our tour please visit this google map

Thanks for visiting.  Until next time, Happy Adventures!

***************
For an interactive map and guided walking tour covering this and many of our other  tours please be sure to download the GPSmyCity App from the iTunes store.  The  App covers an extensive library of articles and walking tours from over 470 cities worldwide, and now features articles from  Adventures of a Home Town Tourist covering Carmel and Monterey (with more cities on the way).  Click the City Walks logo below to get your free App today. 

Get our App in the iTunes App Store



*The App is free, though a small charge will apply to activate some enhanced features.



__
All pictures are by L. A. Momboisse unless listed below: 
Early brochure for the Happy Landing from Harrison Memorial Library History Department.    


17th Annual Carmel Heritage Society Inns of Distinction - 2015 - Part 3 - Pine Inn and Lobos Lodge

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A block south of Happy Landing Inn are the next two hotels on our tour, Pine Inn (NE Corner Ocean and Monte Verde) 


and Lobos Lodge (NW Corner of Ocean and Monte Verde). 


These two inns, which sit across the street from each other have a rather entwined history. Here is a little background.  



In 1889, Delos Goldsmith, Carmel City's first builder, erected the first hotel in town on the northeast corner of Ocean Avenue and Broadway (now Junipero).  The Hotel Carmelo was a two story wooden structure with eight guest rooms. The picture below shows Hotel Carmelo c. 1890.  


In 1903, Hotel Carmelo was purchased by Devendorf and Powers of the Carmel Development Company. It was partially dismantled, hoisted onto pine logs, and pulled by mule down Ocean Avenue to its present site. (Devendorf and Powers wanted their guests to be closer to the beach.) The original front of the Carmelo Hotel (shown below) today faces west on Monte Verde 


and is the current entrance to II Fornaio.    


On July 4, 1903 the Hotel Carmelo was reopened to great fanfare as the Pine Inn.  The picture below of the Pine Inn is from the first Carmel Development Company brochure early 1900's.


In 1920, John Jordon, actor, scholar, and former mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea from 1926 - 1928, purchased the Pine Inn.  The inn had become so popular that a campground had to be added for the overflow guests.

The Sanborn fire map below from 1924 shows the tent campground on the northwest corner of Ocean and Monte Verde across from the Pine Inn. This is the lot where the Lobos Lodge would ultimately reside. In 1924 the map marked the area as Tent Cabins.
                        


John Jordan owned the Pine Inn for 20 years.  According to building permits on file at City Hall, Jordan added stucco buildings to the northwest corner property in 1924 and 1930. They were then called the Pine Inn Cottages.  The Sanborn fire map below from 1930 shows 13 structures on the Pine Inn Cottages property. 


Sometime between 1930 and 1940, Jordan sold this property to Tirey Ford who ran the property as Lobos Lodge. The 1930 - 1962 Sanborn Map shown below verifies this name change.


Tirey Ford took out three building permits during 1940 for alterations and a remodel of the cottages.  The picture post card shown below is of  Lobos Lodge c. 1940.  


Herman W. Fletcher of Pebble Beach purchased Lobos Lodge in the 1960's.  In 1973 the cottages were torn down and Will Shaw was hired to do the design,  Steven Sassoon & Associates Civil Engineers and Kraftzeck the construction of the current Lobos Lodge 


which today consists of six buildings 


with a total of 30 rooms.


Our tour of Lobos Lodge begins with a

tasting from Carmel's newest wine room, Carmel Road.  The grapes come from vineyards located on the eastern and western foothills of the Salinas Valley, but you don't need to go that far to enjoy Carmel Road wines their new wine room is located in the Pine Inn Courtyard on Lincoln. If you are a fan of Drew Barrymore stop by and try her 2013 Barrymore by Carmel Road Pino Grigio.
 The Inns of Distinction tour tasting served up two options, a 2013 Unoaked Riesling and 2013 Pinot Noir
My favorite neighborhood grocery and deli Bruno's provided meat and cheese platters that perfectly accompanied the cup of  
hearty Greek Lemon Soup.  Our soup was provided by the President of Carmel Heritage Society, Dawn Dull.  She masterfully whipped up five gallons of this delicious soup which was consumed within the first 90 minutes of the tour.

Lobos Lodge opened two rooms for viewing.  I had never toured this hotel before and was pleasantly surprised to find the that the rooms were quite spacious with very high ceilings.   


Room 51 on the lower level is an Intermediate King.  It  does not have a private patio but  has plenty of sitting area by the cozy fireplace. 
Room 44 is on the upper level  

and also an Intermediate King with a fireplace.

Now back to the history of the Pine Inn.  I left off around 1940 which was the year Harrison Godwin became the owner. Harrison had previously owned the La Playa Hotel with his brother Fred.


After purchasing the Pine Inn, Harrison closed the inn for five months for remodeling - reopening April 1, 1941. He changed the interior design to French Victorian and added 12 shops to the courtyard, a garden dining area, rooftop garden, and the Red Parlor Pub. The Red Parlor Pub was quite popular until its closing in 1995.  The area where the pub once stood, across the hall from the old fashioned Letter Box, now serves as offices for Pine Inn staff. 


The current owners, Richard and Mimi Gunner, purchased the Pine Inn in 1985.  Working with their designer Max Davis from Honolulu the Pine Inn interior was transformed once again, this time in a Eurasian Victorian style with lacquered Chinese furniture and Pierre Deux French fabrics. 

Our tour starts immediately upon entering the ornate oval beveled glass door off Ocean Avenue.  Silk tapestries and Poinsettias line the stairs 
to the silk and walnut paneled lobby 
filled with antiques from Europe and Asia.    
 The fireplace in the front lobby dates back to the original Hotel Carmelo from 1889.


Room #10 upstairs


is a Superior King  

 with a charming sitting area, writing desk, 
 and ocean view. 

(That brick chimney sticking out from the rooftop in the photo below is original from 1889.) 
Room #4 is next to the gazebo in the courtyard. 

It is a Deluxe Patio Queen


 with two queen beds, 


sitting area, 


and a spacious Jacuzzi tub. 


Back through the Il Fornaio Panetteria  


to the main restaurant. 


Il Fornaio offered a scrumptious spread with
 house made flatbread Rustichella 


and house made thin crust pizza's -
 Marherita and Vegetariana.  

With my small plate in hand I happily accepted a taste of Rancho Galante 2011 from Galante Vineyards.  

Not usually a red wine drinker, Rancho Galante 2011, a blend of Cabernet, Malbec, Petite Sirah and Merlot was a perfect match with my Rustichella.


With my tasting I received a coupon to enjoy a two for one wine tasting at the Galante Tasting Room in town. 



Located at end of Der Ling Alley off Ocean, 


or the back of Piccadilly Park on Dolores,


 just look for Slim he will point the way.  



We are only half way through our Inns of Distinction Tour - still more to come.  Next up in Part 4 we will visit Monte Verde Inn and Cypress Inn. 



For a map of this years tour and the location of all restaurants and wine rooms which provided food and wine for our tour please visit this google map

Below is a video of all the venues. 




Thanks for visiting.  Until next time, Happy Adventures!

***************
For an interactive map and guided walking tour covering this and many of our other  tours please be sure to download the GPSmyCity App from the iTunes store.  The  App covers an extensive library of articles and walking tours from over 470 cities worldwide, and now features articles from  Adventures of a Home Town Tourist covering Carmel and Monterey (with more cities on the way).  Click the City Walks logo below to get your free App today. 

Get our App in the iTunes App Store



*The App is free, though a small charge will apply to activate some enhanced features.


____
All pictures by L. A. Momboisse unless listed below:
Black and white picture of  Hotel Carmelo c. 1890 - History of the Pine Inn, Nixon files, Harrison Memorial Library History Branch.
Black and white picture of Hotel Carmelo - Hale, Sharron, A Tribute to Yesterday, 1980, Valley Press, p. 11.z
Black and white picture of Pine Inn from Carmel Development Company brochure early 1900's, Harrison Memorial Library History Branch.
3 Sanborn Fire Maps - Carmel-by-the-Sea City Hall Records
Postcard of Lobos Lodge - Mrs. D E, Nixon files, Harrison Memorial Library History Branch.
Black and white photograph of Harrison Godwin - Game and Gossip, May 1955, page 16.