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Aggregate square footage for all structures: 15,000 ±
Main Residence: 9,000 ±
Year Built: 1926 with additional renovations and expansions made between 1982 and 2010
Acreage: 5.45 ±
APN: 060-311-15 and 060-311-16
Architect: Carl Lindbom

Main Residence: 4 bedrooms, 5 full baths and 2 half baths
Pool Pavilion: 1 bedroom, 1 full bath
Guest House: 2 bedrooms, 1 full bath
Guest Apartment #1: 2 bedrooms, 2 full baths
Guest Apartment #2: 1 bedroom, 1 full bath
Caretaker Apartments: 3 staff apartments, 3 full baths (1 in each).
There are also two large bathrooms for events.

La Casa Pacifica, originally known as the Cotton Estate, holds a prominent place in California history. Hamilton H. Cotton reserved San Clemente’s finest oceanfront parcel for his own estate. His vision was to model his home after an Andalusian-themed manor he had seen in San Sebastian, Spain. The Cottons constructed their stately single-story residence on a gentle knoll, known as Cotton’s Point. A two-story tower, white stucco walls, wrought-iron flourishes, and hand-painted tiles played an important role in defining the historic home’s overall character. In addition, acres of impeccably landscaped grounds complemented the seaside residence. Monterey cypress trees were brought in and planted in strategic locations across the oceanfront bluff in order to diffuse the late-day sun, add shade, and lend an imposing presence to the magnificent grounds that surrounded the landmark residence. The Cotton Estate gained national prominence when, in 1927, it was featured in Architectural Digest. In 1970, the home would again appear in the magazine, this time featured as the cover photo and described as “The Western White House,” highlighting the importance of its second owner, then-President Richard M. Nixon.

La Casa Pacifica rests on one of Southern California’s largest and most scenic sections of coastal residential real estate. It comprises two parcels totaling 5.45 acres, and the site features 450 lineal feet of beachfront. The entire compound sits behind private walls and fences. The property is mostly flat with a garden that gently slopes seaward. The natural elevation is ideally suited to maintain privacy and enhance the sweeping ocean, island, and sunset views. The beach is easily accessible from La Casa Pacifica’s private gate.

The primary design language is a romantic interpretation of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. The gleaming white structures provide a perfect canvas for the vibrant colors and textures of the gardens, paving, and tile work. The period craftsmanship of La Casa Pacifica is superb—there are one-of-a-kind, hand-painted ceramic murals and tiles throughout the property, as well as original installations comprising patterned ceramic tiles characteristic of early California, Spanish, and Moorish designs.

There are approximately 15,000 square feet among all the structures on the property, including a main residence of approximately 9,000 square feet; a pavilion, with a grand main room, bar, guest suite, and den; a two-bedroom guest house; pool and pool terrace; a lighted tennis court; a gazebo on the bluff; expansive lawns, formal and cutting gardens, vegetable and succulent gardens—many with exotic specimens; a greenhouse; multiple garages; a catering facility with separate entrance; a separate staff building with multiple garages, four staff residences with separate access; security annexes; as well as a private well for landscaping water.

Indian tribes Juañenos and Luiseños occupy the area for thousands of years in Acagchemen villages along San Mateo Creek Panhe and Sajayit.
1542 – Portuguese navigator Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo landed in California
1602 – Spanish explorer Sebastian Vizcaino names San Clemente Island for a saint
1769 – Gaspar de Portola leads an expedition of Alta California for Spain scouting locations for missions and first Christian baptism in Alta California in Cristianitos Canyon
1776 – Spanish missionary Father Junipero Serra establishes Mission San Juan Capistrano, builds El Camino Real as connector between the missions
1784 – King of Spain grants a 43,000 acre grazing permit to Juan Jose Dominguez in So Cal
1798 – Felipe Carillo, nephew of Pio Pico received as gift but never used it
1821 – Mexico gains independence from Spain
1821-1845 – 700 land grants formalized in So Cal, most to military, but some to men who married into Californio families, including the Dominguez family
1833 – Act for the Secularization of the Missions of California passed by Mexican Congress – land taken from the Catholic Church by the Mexican government
1837 – John Forster becomes Mexican citizen, Catholic and married Ysadora Ygnacia Pico
1838 – Battle of Las Flores 10 miles south of property, Governor Alvarado victor
1840s – Alvarado grants Ranchos to friends
1845 – Pio Pico becomes governor of California, Juan Forster acquires over 100,000 acres, including Mission San Juan Capistrano and moves in with family
1846 – US war with Mexico, John C. Fremont’s battalion marches El Camino Real from San Diego through San Clemente, Felipe Carrillo granted 4,000 acre Rancho Los Desechos
1847 – Commodore Stockton battles through San Clemente and retakes Los Angeles, Juan Forster joining the battle and contributing livestock, aiding both sides
1848 – Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo signed ending the war Mexican-American War. California, Texas and the SW becoming part of the US. Pio Pico escapes to Mexico, then retreats to his largest Rancho Santa Margarita.
1850 – California becomes the 31st state in the USA
1864 – Pio Pico signs over deed to rancho to pay gambling debts to Forster. Juan Forster now owns over 225,000 acres and Santa Catalina Island making him the 2nd largest land owner in CA
1865 – President Lincoln returns most of the missions to the Catholic Church. Don Juan Forster gives son Marcus Las Flores land, forced to leave Mission San Juan Capistrano.
1860-70s – California drought, entry of land barons O’Neill and Irvine
1873 – Fence Law passed requiring ranchos to fence their property. Forster City founded and Juan Forster travels to Europe to recruit settlers, offer of 20 acres to each citizen. Built a wharf and post office, help pay his taxes, lawsuit between Pio Pico and Forster disputing Gov. Alvardo grand, court grants total land rights to Don Juan Forster
1875 – Don Juan Forster hands over reigns of Forster City to son Marcus, lives in adobe mansion which is now Camp Pendleton’s CO’s home, farming and grazing cattle and sheep
1882 – Don Juan Forster dies and his family sells lands to Charles Crocker of San Francisco, Forster City residents evicted and the city fades into oblivion
1883 – Crocker sells land to James L. Food and partner Richard O’Neill
1883 – Marcus Forster, son of John, purchased 3,000 acres of Los Desechos, disputing the Carillo grant, Spanish adventurer Cornelio Echenique married into Forster family and received land as gift
1888 – Santa Fe RR completes the San Diego to San Juan Capistrano Line
1889 – Orange County created, split from Los Angeles
1894 – Pio Pico dies in Los Angeles, the last Mexican Governor of California
1880-1920 – US government claims land, ownership disputes proliferate
1906 – Cornelio Echenique partnership with the Goldschmidts, build prohibition distillery
1920 – Goldschmidts and Echenique partnership severed
1920s – Rumrunning a popular business off the coast of Rancho Los Desechos, Los Angeles elite use of San Clemente as half way stop for trips to Mexico for gambling
1923 – Goldschmidts sell to Henry Hamilton Cotton
1924 – H. Hamilton Cotton assembles syndicate to purchase 4,000 acres for $7 million, builds horse stables, race track, 10 room Spanish Hacienda – 110 acres used
1925 – Ole Hanson announces the Spanish Village of San Clemente and sells first plots
1926 – Architectural Digest Vol. VII publishes story about the Cotton Estate
1928 – San Clemente incorporates as a city
1929 – El Camino Real paved/Hwy 1 through San Clemente and stock market crashes
1930s – City of San Clemente population declines by thousands, FDR visits the Cottons
1942 – FDR dedicates Camp Pendleton
1943 – JJ Elmore purchases land from the Cottons to build Rancho San Clemente
1950s – Trestles and “Cotton’s” becomes one of the best surf breaks in California, famous for its great waves
1960 – Interstate 5 completed through San Clemente replacing El Camino Real
1968 – Purchase of Cotton’s Point property by Richard Nixon Family. San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant Unit I built
1969 – Renovation and construction of helipad and prefab offices
1970 – Winter issue of Architectural Digest publishes story about “Western White House”
1969-1974 – Several heads of state visit La Casa Pacifica
1973 – Leonid Brezhnev visit and signing of Salt II Treaty
1974 – Nixons return to San Clemente after resignation
1980 – Nixons leave San Clemente for New York
1980 – Sale of property to Gavin S. Herbert, Donald Koll and George Argyros, later Gavin S. Herbert Family
1983 – Nixon Library in San Clemente proposed and designed
1984 – Gavin Herbert, George Argyros & Don Koll subdivide property creating Cotton Point Estates, selling 12 lots to private owners, retaining La Casa Pacifica
1994 – Richard M. Nixon dies and is buried in Yorba Linda
2012 – San Onofre shut down after premature wear found in generator tubes
2013 – San Clemente City Council enters into Preservation Agreement with Gavin Herbert. San Onofre Nuclear Power plant begins decommission by Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Rob Giem

Cell: 949.933.7046
CalBRE #01082750

Compass Realty

Suzanne Perkins


Sotheby’s International Realty

Bill Fandel


Telluride Sotheby’s International Realty

The Washington Post
Nixon’s Western White House in Southern California lists for $63.5 million
— October 30, 2017

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Suzanne Perkins
Cell: (805) 895-2138
Office: (805) 565-8643
CalBRE#: 0116512
Email Suzanne

Kalai Kennedy
Showings & Assistance
Office: (805) 565-8621
Email Kalai