President Richard Nixon's Western White House, an oceanfront San Clemente estate owned by retired Allergan CEO Gavin S. Herbert, is for sale at $75 million.
Herbert, 83, is selling the 5.45-acre estate after owning the property for 35 years.
“It's one of the most extraordinary pieces of oceanfront property in Southern California,” said Rob Giem of Hom Sotheby's International Realty, the listing agent.
Nixon bought the sprawling estate on a secluded coastal bluff at the southern end of San Clemente in 1969. He dubbed it La Casa Pacifica.
The president said he liked watching surfers during long walks on the beach.
The property, set behind private walls and fences, has some 15,000 square feet among all the structures, according to the listing, including a 9,000-square-foot main residence.
The estate boasts 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.
When Nixon resigned from office, he returned to the seaside retreat to write his memoirs. He moved to New York in 1980 and sold the home and 26 acres to Herbert, who founded Allergan Pharmaceuticals with his father in 1950, and developers George Argyros and Donald Koll.
Herbert later became chairman emeritus of Allergan, the company that grew from making eye drops to producing Botox and breast implants. He also has owned Roger's Gardens, a lavish home and garden store in Corona del Mar.
The Western White House 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."
He noted that 17 heads of state visited the estate during the Nixon era. But the property's historical past goes back well before then. Hamilton Cotton, a financial partner of San Clemente founder Ole Hanson, built the home in 1926. Cotton was a Democratic Party supporter who entertained President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the residence. The pair, the story goes, played poker there.
Herbert called selling the home “a very hard decision,” according to 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.”
Author:Marilyn Cortez Phone: 956-587-1633 Dated: January 25th 2017 Views: 233 About Marilyn: Always ahead of the highly competitive RGV real estate market, Marilyn Cortez is a Spanish speaking ...
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Always ahead of the highly competitive RGV real estate market, Marilyn Cortez is a Spanish speaking native of the Rio Grande Valley. Born and raised in Mission, Marilyn is committed to her clients, and is recognized as a Top Agent in the Greater McAllen Real Estate area, and within Keller Williams Realty. Since the start of her Real Estate career in 2007, she has sold over 40 million dollars of real estate. Known by her fellow real estate agents to be hardworking, honest, dedicated and motivated, Marilyn is knowledgeable in all areas of Real Estate and has built her business on results, with more than 70% of her clients being repeat clients.