The Hearst Castle - San Simeon CA

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 DRE# ER40011786

 

A Castle in San Simeon California was built on Camp Hill that started as "building a little something" on a hill overlooking the ocean.    This land was owned by the Hearst Family and William Randolph Hearst was most happy spending time camping here.

 

William contracted with an architect out of San Francisco named Julia Morgan and this began 28 years of construction.   While traveling with his mom throughout Europe, he fell in love the looks of castles, and knew he wanted to live in one.  William was 56 years old when he began this endeavor.    It was 6 miles straight up a hill where he decided to start building, amongst rattlesnakes and tarantulas.   There are 127 acres and was called La Cuesta Encantada - translated to The Enchanted Hill.

 

It began with building guesthouses - three total - Casa del Mar (House of the Sea) 5,350 sf with 8 bedrooms, Casa del Sol (House of the Sun) 3,620 sf with 8 bedrooms and Casa del Monte (House of the mountains) 2,550 sf with 4 bedrooms.     Each cottage was named for its view on top of the hill.      These cottages were constructed first and used to house guests and family.   Hearst's family occupied Casa del Mar until 1928, at which time Casa Grande became their new home.   All 3 cottages contain bedrooms, bathrooms and sitting rooms, none of the little houses have kitchens or dining areas, as guests were encouraged to go to the main house for their meals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William found fine art and furniture along with ancient painted ceiling panels and huge marble fireplaces (41 in total), wood doors and golden chandeliers on his many travels to Europe.  He enjoyed all his wonderful treasures in every room with Greek, Italian and Roman influence.

 

He then needed huge outdoor swimming pool which was Neptune Pool (which was named for the Roman God of the Sea) with a pool house that had 17 dressing rooms.   This pool was constructed between 1924-1936, which was added on to throughout the years to give more room for his guests to enjoy.   Today is is still the largest outdoor heated swimming pool in the world holding  345,000 gallons of water.  This pool is currently going through restoration and will take one year to finish.  There was also an indoor swimming pool resembling a Roman pool decorated with golden leaves.   This pool is 81 feet long and 10 feet deep and holds 205,000 gallons of water.   He built two tennis courts just outside the Roman pool.

 

 

 

Casa Grande  is the grande house and has a Mediterranean style with architecture of Southern Spain.   The design for the bell towers came from a cathedral in Ronda Spain.   Casa Grande has approximately 68,500 square feet with 115 rooms - 38 bedrooms, a library, kitchen, billiards room and living quarters for the staff.  There was a movie theater added that seats 50 people, and always had a pile of fur coats to keep everyone warm.   The movie always played twice a night - one for his guests and one for the servants.  The formal dining room seats 80 guests, and William always sat in the middle of the table.   Today there is still ketchup and mustard on the table, as he always wanted everyone to know, it was still a ranch.   He has a multitude of phones in every building for his guests to make calls anywhere in the world.   In the early years, fireplaces were lit to keep the home warm, and later gas forced air furnaces were added.

 

William wanted his guests to enjoy visited his home, and started accumulating zoo pets.     He had zebras, giraffes, yaks, camels, goats, bears, and today on the tours you still may see sheep.  On the tour today, you will see some existing enclosures that were for the bears.

 

 

In the day, he would invite many from the entertainment industry, political leaders or art experts.    One thing he would not put up with - over indulgence of alcohol.    

 

As William reached the age of 84 in 1947, he was wearing down, and decided to stop adding on to the castle, and never was finished after this point.    At the age of 88 William died in 1951, and left behind businesses worth more than $400 million.   Six years after his death, the Hearst Corporation gave the castle to the State of California and now has 7 day a week tours.   William's grandson George heads the Hearst Corporation today.   Julia Morgan died in 1957 at the age of 85.

 

This was a destination of my last vacation, and completely enjoyed this tour and encourage others to include it in a vacation if you get close to San Simeon CA.

 

 ** posted for Photography challenage = Miscellaneous

 

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Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc.House to Home

GRI, CRS, CNE, e-Pro  

Broker/Owner

Joan@JoanCox.com

720-231-6373

 

Denver Real Estate

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Roy Kelley 12/26/2017 01:00 AM
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Rainmaker
3,187,053
Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Sharon Tara you should get there on a trip to CA.  You won't be disappointed.

Oct 16, 2017 11:00 AM #24
Rainmaker
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Elva Branson-Lee
Solid Source Realty GA - Atlanta, GA
CDPE - Atlanta Real Estate & Short Sale Agent

Great pictures Joan. I've been there. It's very impressive, but the guest bedrooms were much smaller than I would have expected.

Oct 16, 2017 01:42 PM #25
Rainmaker
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Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Wow, that is very cool.  We have something similar to that near where I live, but it isn't open to the public.  They did a weekend where it was open to the public, so I had to go and check it out.

Oct 16, 2017 01:57 PM #26
Rainmaker
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Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Joan Cox - One of my favorite sites on the California coast. I have been on 3 separate tours of this opulent property. You have done a great job of sharing the information about it. This is not one to be missed. 

The story of building a port below for the ships to unload the construction from the ships to the top of the hills several miles away is a feat in itself! If I remember correctly, this was done with pack burros and carts. 

Oct 16, 2017 04:48 PM #27
Rainmaker
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Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond

Joan, this is a great CA blog for people to read & appreciate...it is such a beautiful place.

Oct 17, 2017 04:26 AM #28
Rainmaker
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Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Elva Branson-Lee I wanted to take that tour too, but the one tour took more time than thought.

Oct 17, 2017 08:21 AM #29
Rainmaker
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Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Brian England what is your castle called?   Never heard of one down there, and maybe will need to get that scheduled on my next trip to AZ.

Oct 17, 2017 08:22 AM #30
Rainmaker
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Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Sheri, it was simply a wonderful trip chock full of history and very interesting.   Wish I could seen the other tours too.

Oct 17, 2017 08:23 AM #31
Rainmaker
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Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Ginny, we did have a great time that day, and definitely would recommend it to others thinking of a trip.

Oct 17, 2017 08:23 AM #32
Rainmaker
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Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I love your photos and story, Joan. Did you make it to the Celestial Room? I also read somewhere that Lady Gaga donated a quarter of a million dollars to film a video at the Neptune Pool. And another tidbit, did you know that Julia Morgan also designed homes in Sacramento?

Oct 17, 2017 10:18 AM #33
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Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

I think we will be clsoe to there in February and will have to do that. Thanks for the recommendation, Joan.

Oct 17, 2017 06:51 PM #34
Rainmaker
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Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents NO, only took the grand rooms tour, that took most of the day.   Could have spent many more hours there, was SO interesting!   Interesting details about Lady GaGa, and can see that being done, and knew Julia Morgan had many other jobs in CA.

Oct 18, 2017 06:40 AM #35
Rainmaker
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Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Debbie, you won't be disappointed, it is a great tour! 

Oct 18, 2017 06:40 AM #36
Rainmaker
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Rebecca Gaujot
Perry Wellington Realty, Adam Conrad, Broker - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

I've been to California a few times, but never visited the castle. Perhaps next time as it is very impressive.

Oct 25, 2017 06:40 PM #37
Rainmaker
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Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Rebecca, if you get a chance, you should visit, you won't be disappointed!  

Oct 31, 2017 07:09 AM #38
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Paul McFadden
Paratex - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

I remember visiting this as a child. Beautiful and remarkable!

Nov 14, 2017 04:34 PM #39
Rainmaker
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Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Paul McFadden that was my first, and won't be my last.  It was beautiful and remarkable!

Nov 14, 2017 04:44 PM #40
Rainmaker
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Michael Eisenberg
eXp Realty - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Real Estate Guy

Thanks for the reminder, I visited there years ago on a trip along the California coast.

Nov 14, 2017 04:53 PM #41
Rainmaker
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Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Michael, bet is was impressive for you also!

Nov 14, 2017 05:13 PM #42
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Paul McFadden
Paratex - Seattle, WA
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Cool!

Nov 15, 2017 08:21 AM #43
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