Tuesday, April 8, 2008

National Historical Landmark, The Hearst Castle (Part 9)

On the way to San Francisco, we are passing another United States Landmark - The Hearst Castle. The history of Hearst Castle is way too long for me to remember each and every details. Luckily we have wikipedia to help if you want to know more about Hearst Castle history please read the following or skip to the photos.

Hearst Castle is the palatial estate built by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951). It is located near San Simeon, California, on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Donated by the Hearst Corporation to the state of California in 1957, it is now a State Historical Monument and a National Historic Landmark, open for public tours.

Hearst Castle was built on a 40,000 acre (160 km²) ranch that William Randolph Hearst's father, George Hearst, originally purchased in 1865. The younger Hearst grew fond of this site over many childhood family camping trips. He inherited the ranch, which had grown to 250,000 acres (1000 km²), from his mother, Phoebe Apperson Hearst, upon her death in 1919. Construction began that same year and continued through 1947, when he stopped living at the estate due to ill health. San Francisco architect Julia Morgan designed most of the buildings. Hearst was an inveterate tinkerer, and would tear down structures and rebuild them at a whim, so the estate was never completed in his lifetime.

The estate is a pastiche of historic architectural styles that Hearst admired in his travels around Europe. For example, the main house is modeled after a 16th century Spanish cathedral, while the outdoor swimming pool features an ancient Roman temple front transported wholesale from Europe and reconstructed at the site. Hearst furnished the estate with truckloads of art, antiques, and even whole ceilings that he acquired in their entirety from Europe and Egypt.

Hearst Castle was like a small self-contained city, with 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, 19 sitting rooms, 127 acres of gardens, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, a movie theater, an airfield, and the world's largest private zoo. Zebras and other exotic animals still roam the grounds. Morgan, an accomplished civil engineer, devised a gravity-based water delivery system from a nearby mountain. One highlight of the estate is the Neptune Pool, which features an expansive vista of the mountains, ocean and the main house.

Invitations to Hearst Castle were highly coveted during its heyday in the 1920s and '30s. The Hollywood and political elite often visited, usually flying into the estate's airfield or taking a private Hearst-owned train car from Los Angeles. Charlie Chaplin, Cary Grant, the Marx Brothers, Charles Lindbergh, Joan Crawford, Calvin Coolidge, William P. Clark, and Winston Churchill were among Hearst's A-list guests. While guests were expected to attend the formal dinners each evening, they were normally left to their own devices during the day while Hearst directed his business affairs. Since "the Ranch" had so many facilities, guests were rarely at a loss for things to do. The estate's theater usually screened films from Hearst's own movie studio, Cosmopolitan Productions. Hearst Castle became so famous that it was caricatured in the 1941 Orson Welles film Citizen Kane as Charles Foster Kane's "Xanadu". The estate is portrayed as a gloomy and ridiculously self-indulgent barony.

Hearst Castle from far. (approximately 10km away)

On top of the Enchanted Hill, The Hearst Castle over seeing the Pacific Ocean. (indeed very good feng sui Mansion)

I stand on a higher position to get a better angle to catch the entire swimming pool right outside of the main entrance of the Hearst Castle. OMG how i wish i owned one of this at my house.

After the outdoor shooting, we went inside the Hearst Castle, all the rooms are spacious and each and every of the room has its own and unique theme created by Julia Morgan as requested by Mr Hearst. A kind of strange feeling when i step inside the house like you are back to the past. Every piece of furnitures and arts and the renovations are so well maintain and reserved.

One of the painting hanging on the wall at the guest's living room. Very huge.

The dining table. Impressive!!!

After taking more than 1.5 hours walking and browsing within the Hearst Castle, we thought we have come to the end but the Guide told us it is only half of the Hearst Castle. OMG... this is bloody huge man...

Well, which is the unforgettable statutes or arts that left in mind.. This is the one that really ink in my heart after the entire trip. The Indoor Swimming Pool in Hearst Castle. All marble used to built the swimming was fully imported from Italy and between the marble there are GOLD on the floor as well as the wall. The easier way to recognise GOLD is when u look down to the pool any object is yellowish and blinking that is GOLD. In fact, the indoor swimming pool is very well designed as you could see 2 different views - The Hill view or the Ocean view.
If really can swim inside there SOOOOOOOG AR!!!

To know more about Hearst Castle. Click here.


Francis Deblauwe said...

Ironic that Mr. Hearst is nowadays barely more famous than his architect, Ms. Morgan. See my Word Face-Off blog post with several photos.

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