Nixon’s Western White House Resurfaces After a Selling Hiatus

La Casa Pacifica Is Back on the Market and Asking for $63.5 Million



fter taking a small break, La Casa Pacifica returns to real estate listings. The former home of Richard Nixon appears on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) with a price of $63.5 million.


All of the estate’s structures add up to approximately 15,000 square feet. This includes the main residence, which totals to about 9,000 square feet. Beyond the nine bedrooms in the main home, La Casa Pacifica also boasts a two-bedroom guest house and a pavilion, which is equipped with a guest suite, den and bar. The property also features a pool, pool terrace, tennis court, spacious lawns, greenhouse and three types of gardens: formal, vegetable and succulent. The beach is easily accessible through the private gates, and the gazebo on the bluff is ideal for watching beautiful Californian sunsets.

The one-story home rests on San Clemente’s most prime location, known as Cotton’s Point, and has an expansive, yet private view of the Pacific. The 5.45 acres are comprised of two land parcels, making La Casa Pacifica one of Southern California’s most extensive sections of coastal real estate. The hand-painted tiles, white stucco walls, wrought-iron detailing and two-story tower are reminiscent of Spain. The Spanish Colonial Revival style is very apparent in its design. And seeing that San Clemente is known for being “The Spanish Village by the Sea,” the estate’s design fits in perfectly.

La Casa Pacifica holds a special place in historic California’s heart. It was initially known as the Cotton Estate, named after its first owner, Hamilton H. Cotton. Cotton built the home in 1926 with the vision of an Andalusian-themed manor in mind. The Cotton Estate achieved national prominence in 1927 thanks to its appearance in Architectural Digest. It is reported that 17 heads of state visited the Cotton Estate and that Cotton hosted an evening of cards with Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The second time the estate appeared in Architectural Digest was in 1970, during Richard Nixon’s presidency. Architectural Digest called it “The Western White House,” while Nixon endearingly dubbed it “La Casa Pacifica.” After his resignation, Nixon retreated to the seaside manor to write his memoirs. Then in 1980, he moved to New York and sold the property and 26 acres to Gavin S. Herbert, CEO and founder of Allergan Pharmaceuticals.

Herbert has owned the Western White House for nearly three decades. Since his ownership, a significant portion of the property’s acreage was sectioned off to build private residences. But despite this, La Casa Pacifica is still considered a historic landmark. In 2009, Herbert and the city of San Clemente signed a ten-year Historic Property Preservation Agreement on the property in exchange for a tax break. “We’ve always regarded it as a historic property,” Herbert said to the City Council, “We have projects going on every month to keep the property in order.”

Herbert initially put the estate for sale in April 2015 with an asking price of $75 million but removed it from listings in September 2015. Then in April 2016, La Casa Pacifica returned to the market at $69 million, but Herbert removed it once again that October. According to the Wall Street Journal, Herbert said that putting the home on the market was a difficult decision. “I think [my wife and I] felt we were caretakers. We care a lot about who the next caretakers would be.” The Western White House appeared on the MLS in February 2017 with its current price of $63.5 million.

The listing agents are Rob Giem of Compass Realty, Suzanne Perkins of Sotheby’s International and Bill Fandel, Telluride Sotheby’s International Realty.


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