SAN SIMEON, the publisher William Randolph Hearst's estate, was designed by architect Julia Morgan. It is situated on the central coast of California, in the Santa Lucia Mountains, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Beginning in 1919 and for the next thirty years, Hearst spent hundreds of millions of dollars constructing a Mediterranean-style village, with swimming pools, tennis courts, and a full-sized zoo, enclosed within a working cattle ranch. The focal point of the estate was Casa Grande, or the "castle," and three guest villas, with 165 rooms in all. During the 1920s and 1930s Hearst's guests at San Simeon included movie stars, Hollywood producers, publishers, world leaders, and politicians.
Kastner, Victoria. Hearst Castle: The Biography of a Country House. New York: H. N. Abrams, 2000.
Nasaw, David. The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.