Nixon’s “Western White House” Listed for $75 MillionBreaking News
tags: Nixon, Western White House, La Casa Pacifica
In April 1969, just months after his inauguration, President Richard Nixon sold his Fifth Avenue apartment in New York City and purchased a 10-room mansion on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the quiet town of San Clemente, California. Nixon, a native of southern California, was familiar with this stretch of coastline halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego. In March 1940, he had proposed to his future wife, Pat, as they sat in his black Oldsmobile at Dana Point watching the sun set over the San Clemente coastline.
The estate, which Nixon dubbed “La Casa Pacifica” (“the house of peace”) and the “Western White House,” featured a sandy stretch of beach and a swimming pool surrounded by a bulletproof windscreen. A private group built a seven-hole golf course on the sprawling property, while helicopter pads and temporary office buildings were constructed on a nearby parcel once used as a Navy radar facility.
Nixon enjoyed walking along the beach and looking out the Spanish-style estate’s large arch windows at the ocean and the surfers catching the waves. Press photographs of Nixon at San Clemente, however, were striking for the president’s awkwardly formal approach to relaxation. He strolled the beach in his wingtip shoes and sat poolside reading newspapers in a lounge chair—again in his wingtips.