Hearst Castle was a meal ticket for architect Julia Morgan for twenty-eight years, and the estate now includes the hotel sized big house and three guest cottages the size of mansions. Here’s one of the cottages.
William Randolph Hearst was a collector with the artistic sensibilities of a rabid magpie. He collected coffins, ceilings, floors, tapestries, and fragments of temple as well as more conventional artwork such as painting and sculpture. Morgan incorporated some of these fragments of antiquity into the building itself. The facade of the big house is littered with the plundered artistic wealth of Europe (don’t worry, they have plenty), arranged on reinforced concrete without regard to period and style.
Hearst used paper napkins for his celebrity guests. Our guide said it was because he considered them more hygienic (his mother died in a flu epidemic), but it could also be because he was promoting the Hearst organization’s vast holdings in forestry for paper production.