Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Citizen Kane’

“Pullitzer and Hearst they think they got us, do they got us? No!” — Newsies

DSC_0401.JPG

Be still my media-history-and-disney-musical-loving heart. The last major visit of our short Carmel trip before heading home was to a glorious place just north of Los Angeles (in San Simeon) called Hearst Castle.

There are ZEBRAS there (but we didn’t get to see any.)

DSC_0644.JPG

They kept bears here in the heyday

DSC_0648.JPG

Some of the wildlife still on property

More importantly Hearst Castle is the lifelong project of Mr. William Randolph Hearst — the newspaper/media mogul of the 20s-40s who was the real-life inspiration for the movie Citizen Kane.

DSC_0417.JPG

Hearst Castle is also the inspiration for Xanadu in the movie.

DSC_0426.JPG

Mr. Hearst is also the bad guy in the musical Newsies — the true life story of the Newsboys Strike of 1899 (in song!)

DSC_0465.JPG

But back to the estate…

The castle is built on land that Hearst’s parents purchased in 1865 — his mother was completely against his plans to build a lavish home on the land. So he waited until she died and then did it anyway. Construction on the castle estate started in 1919…and continued for the next twenty-eight years until William Hearst got sick in 1947 and halted work on the grounds.

DSC_0540.JPG

Everything behind us (waaaay in the distance) is part of the estate

DSC_0509.JPG

According to our very informative tour guide, Mr. Hearst had a huge shopping addiction, which explained why there were SO many knickknacks (very expensive, one-of-a-kind knickknacks…) on the property. There were SO many gorgeous marble statues. His shopping was actually so out of control that he had to send his employees out to buy things for him — if an art seller or antique dealer knew it was Mr. Hearst looking for a piece, they would automatically TRIPLE their prices!

DSC_0507.JPG

The entire property sits at the very top of a hill, and is absolutely drop-dead gorgeous. It consists of the main house Casa Grande:

DSC_0520.JPG

Casa Grande

DSC_0552.JPG

The main parlor -- and Charlie Chaplin hang out spot

DSC_0567.JPG

This solid silver lamp belonged to Hearst's mother

DSC_0571.JPG

A lot of European inspiration...

DSC_0573.JPG

The formal dining room (seated 22!)

DSC_0584.JPG

A fan of Heinz ketchup, I see.

DSC_0594.JPG

Overstated opulence...and paper napkins

DSC_0613.JPG

His personal movie theater

DSC_0615.JPG

DSC_0536.JPG

I've always wanted a chair like this

DSC_0618.JPG

And three “smaller” (a relative term) guest houses:

DSC_0495.JPG

Inside Casa del Sol -- the medium sized guest house

DSC_0502.JPG

Lovely fashion choices of the time

DSC_0481.JPG

GORGEOUS ceilings

DSC_0504.JPG

Delicate details everywhere

There’s also an outdoor pool, and an indoor pool.

DSC_0454.JPG

Neptune Pool

DSC_0627.JPG

The tile of the indoor pool is made of pure gold.

DSC_0619.JPG

The estate also has its own airfield, which was used by entertainment and political persons. Getting an invite to Hearst Castle could propel a Hollywood career to superstardom — frequent guests included Charlie Chaplin (whom guests nicknamed the court jester, he was there so often), the Marx Brothers and Clark Gable.

Hearst Castle is now a California State Park and a historic landmark, which is why large pieces of the property are open to tours.

DSC_0399.JPG
We were on the entry level tour — it gives a great overview of the estate. I’m considering going back sometime between April and October for a garden tour since all the tours are so reasonably priced. It’s a really great place for film buffs and historians alike, and I highly recommend it if you’re in the area!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: