In 1950, Mr. and Mrs. Hansen started construction of what is known today as The M Solvang. It was originally opened as an apartment building known as “Solvang Gaard”. The word “gaard” translates to a building or buildings placed in a square with an open courtyard. The building was constructed along Danish provincial architectural lines, with Viggo Brandt-Erichsen, Solvang sculptor and artist responsible for the architectural planning.
Then in 1953 Mr. and Mrs. Hansen announced the opening of “Solvang’s first motel”, converting the apartment/house structure into a motel.
Mr. and Mrs. Hansen felt that there was a definite need in Solvang for motel accommodations considering the fact that thousands of tourists visit Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley each year. Therefore, the traditional Danish style building was converted into a motel to accommodate the influx of tourism.
In 1999, gardens were added and the name was changed to the Solvang Gardens Lodge. Now, The M Solvang has taken over and is currently in the process of restoring the motel's original 1950s Danish mid-century modern appeal.