The villa estate of William Randolph Hearst.

Designed and built over a 20 year period, it rests on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific Ocean two hundred miles south of San Francisco.

The main building is flanked by two towers, covering a "gabled projection" with a central entrance. Fireproof and braced for seismic forces, poured in reinforced concrete with tile roofs, the electic whole is southern Spanish Renaissance in style with Gothic influences weaved throughout.

Beneath the hill-top fortress, cottages, terraces, pools and gardens complete the Greco-Roman temple facade. Art objects collected by Hearst in his travels abroad, were placed in stylistic ornament settings implemented by stone-casters, plasterers, carpenters, and skilled wood-carvers.

As architect and designer Julia Morgan stated,"We are building for him a sort of village of a mountaintop overlooking the sea and ranges of mountains, miles away from any railway, and housing incidentally his collections as well as his family. The place on the hill grows -- and from a distance begins to assume the look of an old hill town."

With construction cost (1919-1942) at $4, 717, 000 and the work encompassing 127 rooms, 58 bedrooms, 49 baths, 18 sitting rooms and 2 libraries, it's no wonder it's referred to as "Hearst Castle.


Source:http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/San_Simeon.html

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