Do you have $75 million lying around? If you do, take a gander at this 5.45-acre oceanfront estate in San Clemente. It’s not just any estate. It’s known as President Nixon’s Western White House.
4100 Calle Isabella is located in Cypress Shores, up at Cotton’s Point in southwest San Clemente. It was built by Hamilton Cotton, a financial partner of San Clemente founder Ole Hanson. Cotton was a Democratic Party supporter who entertained President Franklin Roosevelt at the residence. It’s said they played poker together.
Ironically, a Republican bought it in 1969. Richard Nixon. He paid $340,000 (a fortune at the time) and dubbed it La Casa Pacifica. When Nixon resigned from office, he returned to La Casa Pacifica to write his memoirs. He moved to New York in 1980 and sold the home and 26 acres to Gavin S. Herbert and 2 developers (George Argyros and Donald Koll). You may not have heard of Herbert, but he’s a big name. He founded pharmaceutical giant Allergan with his father in 1950.
A bit about the property: It has some 15,000 square feet among all the structures, including a 9,000-square-foot main residence. Noteworthy features include: a pavilion with a grand main room, bar, guest suite and den, a two-bedroom guest house, pool and pool terrace, lighted tennis court, gazebo on the bluff, expansive lawns, vegetable and succulent gardens, a greenhouse, catering facility, four staff residences, security annexes and a private well for landscaping water.
The estate remains a historic property, even after a large part of the estate’s acreage was divvied up into lots for private residences. In 2009, Herbert entered into a 10-year preservation agreement on the home with the city of San Clemente in exchange for a tax break.
“We’ve always regarded it as a historic property,” Herbert told the City Council. “It’s like owning a big boat on the ocean. It gets a little rusted. We have projects going on literally every month to keep the property in order.” (Source)
Herbert, now 83, says it was a very hard decision to sell the property. He told the Wall Street Journal, “I think (my wife and I) felt we were caretakers. We care a lot about who the next caretakers would be.”
The property has been on the market for a little over a month. Any takers?
>> More photos (and a virtual tour) on the Sotheby’s website.