AKA: Las Milpitas, Fort Hunter Liggett, Jolon, CA; Milpitas Ranch House, Fort Hunter Liggett, Jolon, CA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Morgan, Julia H., Architect (firm); Julia H. Morgan (architect)

Dates: constructed 1929-1930

Fort Hunter Liggett, Jolon, CA 93928

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For 20 years following 1900, William Randolph Hearst bought large land parcels around the town of Jolon, CA, near Mission San Antonio de Padua. These parcels had composed some of the ten Mexican land-grant ranchos (agricultural estates) that operated in the area in the 19th century. Hearst had this hideaway, capable of housing 30 workers, built on the site of the previous adobe Rancho Milpitas farmhouse in 1929-1930. Mindful of earthquakes, Hearst constructed his ranch house of reinforced concrete at a cost of $200,000. Although accommodations for ranch workers were erected, an extensive wing consisting of Hearst's private residence was never built. He held onto the property for 10 years before selling it to the War Department in 1940. The U.S. Government utilized it as Fort Hunter Liggett, an ancillary training area for Fort Ord (established in 1917), the large U.S. Army base 50 miles to the north. The Hearst Hacienda was re-purposed to serve as Fort Hunter Liggett's Officer's Club and its Commander's Quarters, but was vacated by the 1970s. When Fort Ord ceased operation in 1992, the Hacienda was sold to private developers who reutilized it as an inn and restaurant. The restaurant ceased its operations c. 2005. The inn's telephone number in 2010 was 831-386-2511.

San Francisco architect Julia Morgan designed this Mission-Revival ranch house for the newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951); it was less than one mile from Mission San Antonio de Padua, the third Catholic colonial outpost in Alta CA. Morgan designed a number of commissions for the frenetic Hearst, including his crown jewel, San Simeon (1919-1947).

PCAD id: 199