For Immediate Release: 9/24/2015
Roof Project Completed at Hearst Castle
Acting District Superintendent
SAN SIMEON, Calif. – Following nineteen months of careful planning, design, and installation work by California State Parks, a new roof has successfully been added to Casa Grande, the main house of San Simeon State Historical Monument (Hearst Castle).
“The successful completion of the Hearst Castle roof project was essential for us to continue our mission to educate and inspire the public’s interest in art, architecture and history through public access”, said California State Parks San Luis Obispo Coast District’s Acting District Superintendent Brooke Gutierrez.
Hearst Castle is a state historic monument and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Casa Grande is a designated historic building which required, wherever possible, original roof materials to be reused to maintain the historic fabric of the estate. In keeping with these efforts, a traditional method of fastening was used to secure the replacement tiles in order to preserve the historic character of the original roof.
The nearly 14,500 square feet of ceramic tile on the roof helps to protect and preserve the priceless art and architecture of Hearst Castle. The repair project encountered several interesting challenges, including efforts to protect sensitive bat and lichen species. This required scheduling removal of the tile outside of the bats’ breeding season as well as saving and reusing some of the original lichen-covered roof tiles.
The roofing contractor for the project was Best Construction Services, Inc. of Gardena, California and the Historic Restoration contractor was Spectra Company of Pomona, California. Architectural services were provided by the San Francisco office of Page and Turnbull.
Throughout the project, workers coordinated with the ongoing tours to ensure safety for visitors and roof contractors while having minimal impact on public access.
La Cuesta Encantada, "The Enchanted Hill" high above the ocean at San Simeon, was the creation of two extraordinary individuals, William Randolph Hearst and architect Julia Morgan. Their collaboration, which began in 1919 and continued for nearly 30 years, transformed an informal hilltop campsite into the world-famous Hearst Castle -- a magnificent 115-room main house plus guesthouses, pools, and 8 acres of cultivated gardens. The main house itself, "La Casa Grande," is home to Hearst's large collection of European art and antiques and has played host to many influential guests who stayed at Hearst's San Simeon ranch, including President Calvin Coolidge, Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw, Charles Lindbergh, Charlie Chaplin, and a diverse array of luminaries from show business and publishing industries.
For more information on this monument, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/hearstcastle. Tour reservations are strongly recommended and can be made online at www.hearstcastle.org or by calling (800) 444-4445.
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California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.