Hearst Castle, San Simeon, is a National Historic Landmark and California Historical Landmark located on the Central Coast of California in the United States. The joint concept of William Randolph Hearst, the publishing tycoon, and his architect Julia Morgan, it was built between 1919 and 1947. Known formally as "La Cuesta Encantada", (The Enchanted Hill), and often referred to simply as San Simeon, Hearst himself called his castle the "Ranch". His father George Hearst had purchased the original 40,000 acre estate in 1865 and Camp Hill, the site for the future Hearst Castle, was used for family camping holidays during Hearst's youth. Following his mother's death in 1919, Hearst inherited some $11,000,000 and estates including the land at San Simeon. Hearst used his fortune to further develop his media empire of newspapers, magazines and radio stations, the profits from which supported a lifetime of building and collecting. Within a few months of Phoebe Hearst's demise, Hearst had commissioned Julia Morgan to build "something a little more comfortable up on the hill", the genesis of the present castle. Morgan was an architectural pioneer; "America's first truly independent female architect", she was the first woman to study architecture at the School of Beaux-Arts in Paris, the first to have her own architectural practice in California and the first female winner of the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal. Working in close collaboration with Hearst for over twenty years, the castle at San Simeon is her most renowned creation.
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