Friday, January 14, 2011

San Simeon: Library

Located above the assembly room is the main guest library of the estate. Here guests could borrow a book or spread out and work during their free days visiting Hearst.This was not Hearst's private library, but rather another public space for his guests. He chose this wood paneled room to display his collection of ancient Greek pottery, housed along the top of the shelves. Before entering the library ( #1-3 on the map above) you first enter the hall or lobby.
Again paneled in wood, this area is reached by the winding staircases on either side of the Refectory.
After the grand spaces on the first floor, this large room feels positively cozy with lower ceilings and all of the wood paneling.
Below you can better see how some of Hearst's extensive Greek pottery collection was displayed. The view out the windows is onto the main 'square' of the hilltop estate and was a great meeting spot for guests.

As with all of my San Simeon posts, written permission was kindly granted to post my interior photos of the state on this blog only. Please respect that and do not copy. Thanks!

12 comments:

Renee Finberg said...

what a way to live!!!

gorgeous

xx renee

quintessence said...

I would actually be quite comfortable to sit a while in this cozy room perusing the fabulous collection. The depth of the coffering on the ceiling is amazing - really makes one feel enveloped in the space.

VoiceTalk said...

I find it interesting that he robbed Europe of great material and made it into a home. The fabulous coffered ceiling in this case. It seems too 'big' for the room. One can imagine that it was originally used in a much taller space. While I love the grandness of this space anyway, there isn't much comfort in reading in this room with the harsh overhead lighting. For that you need lamps close to chairs and a surface on which to park your drink. Was this room more for show than utility? That's what I'm wondering.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

VT, all valid points. I think you're right and that most of san simeon is NOT comfortable at all. It was meant to impress Hearst's guests and was not a home but it was a fantasy weekend retreat. It fullfills that requirement admirably.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Renee and quintessence, the room is one of the more cozy public spaces on the property. If I were a guest, this is where I would cozy up with a book for sure!

Gregory Piccini said...

the ceiling is fantastic!

The enchanted home said...

Having been to San Simeon I left with a haunted feeling....just something strange about the whole place. I didn't walk away feeling like i had gone back in time as I did when I go to Newport and tour all the grand homes there. Agreed with someone above about the ceiling appearing too top heavy and just not in scale unless its the picture. Anyway that cruise ship below is unreal! I am not a cruise person but that could almost make me a convert!
Please check my new blog its about the building of our new dream home and my passion for authentic decor and design, obviously you are someone after the same thing! Thanks...great blog btw.

www.theenchantedhome.blogspot.com

Robert webber said...

Just been catching up on your San Simeon tour. We are privileged to have it. I wonder whether the outside light and warmth makes the inside seem less heavy if your living in it, compared to say me being in grey UK. After a while fascinating though it all is you long for a change of pace. Not your's, Hearst's!! Something restrained and pale.
Hope you will post about Vizcaya. that has fascinated me for a long time.
Thanks again
best
Robert

Francine Gardner said...

I have never visited San Simeon, but summered in Newport for so many years. The library reminds me of some of the houses's private libraries, very grand, dark and stark.I actually like this atmosphere in a library and could spend hours reading in my mother in law's library, sitting in the most uncomfortable chairs. I could not resist the smell of old leather books, of bees wax, the creaking floors...

Melanie Royals said...

I was so excited to have a friend point me to your blog this weekend!
I have decorative stencil and custom pattern companies (Royal Design Studio and Modello Designs)and we have recently become licensees for the Hearst Castle Collection to create patterns from the endless visual resources in this amazing place. We went up there from San Diego last weekend for a private tour with the Hearst Collection Archivist and it was MAGICAL! My personal favorite rooms are in the guest houses, where all of the architectural features (ornate ceilings, doors, tiles, light fixtures, etc) were designed by the architect Julia Morgan (a fabulous story unto herself) and created by artisans on site and in SF. As I licensee I have access to scans of all of Morgan's architectural drawings and thst was one AMAZINGLY talented woman! There are really SO many stories to tell about this place. It's truly a national treasure, IMHO. I feel honored to be a teeny little part in telling some of those stories and helping to contribute a little to financially the care and custody of this place. As you can imagine, the state of CA isn't being very generous with funds these days! Great to find your blog!

Logan said...

Gorgeous. I can see your point, I'd be afraid to touch anything. Then again, I'd feel compelled to touch everything. Architectural detail... you can't find that much anymore. Everyone is settling for suburbia...

EFT Manual said...

Oh my! The library is just amazing!