Home Libraries: William Randolph Hearst

by Anna Blanch on March 25, 2013

To call this week’s Home library does seem a little of an understatement. Maybe we should just call it “The Home Library” but this was a library in the home of William Randolph Hearst. Hearst was a very rich man. Very rich people seem to own lots of stuff.

Hearst was such a prolific collector of art, books, and antiques, that his castle was purpose built around how to display the collection that had formerly been sitting in warehouses. All of his books still didn’t fit into the castle’s two libraries however, leading him to stick them in odd places, such as in bookcases that lined the walls of his movie theater room.

Personally, I love the idea of bookshelves in pretty much every wall cavity!

Built in San Simeon, California by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, Casa Grande, or Hearst Castle as it is now known, boasted 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, 19 sitting rooms, 127 acres of gardens, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a movie theater, tennis courts, an airfield, and the world’s largest private zoo. Hearst himself lived in the castle’s third floor Gothic Suite. The floor’s library (seen above) housed more than 4,000 books, along with 150 vases from ancient Greece.

Hearst had more than one library in his home! He called this space, The Gothic Study. It held Hearst’s most prized books and manuscripts along with 3,000 books. The room served as a private library and office from which Hearst controlled his media empire and as an executive boardroom.


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