For Gavin Herbert, the retired founder and CEO of Allergan—the nearly $70 billion pharmaceuticals company—it was a lifelong love of gardening that led to his ownership of one of Southern California’s most storied and valuable coastal properties: President Richard Nixon’s so-called Western White House.
Now, it will hit the market for $75 million. Mr. Herbert, 83, is selling the estate after 35 years of ownership and is looking for a buyer who will continue to care for the property. The 5.5-acre estate in San Clemente, Calif., has more than 15,000 square feet of living space over a main house, guesthouses and staff quarters, and 450 feet of ocean frontage.
In 1969, six months into his presidency, Mr. Nixon and some business partners bought the property, then 26 acres, for $1.4 million from the widow of original owner, Hamilton Cotton, according to reports from the time. He dubbed it La Casa Pacifica.
You could make a case that Del Mar Terrace is under-valued, compared to the rest of Del Mar. The views are bigger due to fewer trees, and you can get to the freeway or beach in five minutes – how many places can say that?
Ken Rochetti was the architect of the featured home above, and quite a few others in the north coastal region – here’s one on Whale Watch in La Jolla with some trick drone work:
Those familar with the mid-century modern homes have probably heard of the Case Study houses, which wiki calls ‘experiments in American residential architecture’. Unfortunately this video is of the corner house which is two doors down, and then only drives by the Case Study House #23A:
Case Study “Triad” House A – standing
2342 Rue de Anne, 1960
One of three related houses where the earlier Arts & Architecture puritanical vocabulary of post, beam and glass are now played off against water (reflecting pond). One of only three (hence “Triad”) San Diego examples of the 36 building Case Study program sponsored by Arts & Architecture magazine editor John Entenza and USC’s School of Architecture (1945 -’66) to promote modernism as a stylish, livable architectural form. Situated three feet below street level, House A’s 10-foot front door is reached via a pre-cast concrete path floated over a shallow reflecting pool. This 6-room modified U-plan is the most complex of the three resawn tongue and groove redwood boarding houses decoratively enhanced by the (wood and steel) post and beam (laminated wood) motif.
The only adobe structure designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the late 1920s was supposed to be built in El Paso, TX. But due to circumstances — rumored to be differences of opinion between Wright and the homeowner — the project never came to be, and by the end of the 1940s, the plans were shelved.
Nearly 30 years later, Minneapolis developer Charles Klotsche inquired with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation about using the adobe plans. Working with architects who once trained alongside Wright, Klotsche produced construction plans for the design, increasing the square footage from 2,400 to 4,900.
“The floor plan was maintained essentially,” explained David Fries of Sotheby’s International Realty. “It’s one of 16 houses that have been designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built after his death and approved by the foundation. The architects that worked with Frank Lloyd Wright were the same ones who did the construction documents with this property.”
Construction began in 1984, and the home was completed in 1985. And even though Wright himself didn’t see the finished structure, the foundation recognizes the home as a Wright piece.
The 5-bed, 4-bath home sits on a 9-acre promontory that “really feels like you’re perched on a mountain,” Fries said. Views of Santa Fe below are visible from the half-moon pool and several of the home’s rooms.
The pool in itself is unusual; a small canal leads the swimming pool into one of the bathrooms.
Throughout the rest of the home, Wright’s trademark of combining nature with architecture is visible — from the rounded walls, large windows and central courtyard.
“It’s a piece of artwork,” Fries said. “People have said living in a Frank Lloyd Wright home will change you. The best feature of this home is just the design itself.”
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