A home that former President Richard M. Nixon once occupied as his Western White House is back on the market after a major drop in price.
The San Clemente, California estate, which sits at 5.45 acres and was purchased for Nixon’s use after he won the presidency in 1969, has been on and off the market, according to the L.A. Times. Current owner Gavin Herbert, founder of Allergan Pharmaceuticals, had originally asked for $75 million. The price had been cut to $63.5 million last year and $57.5 now, which is approximately 23 percent less than the original asking price.
Needless to say, the Spanish Colonial Revival-style house has seen its fair share of history. Nicknamed ‘Western White House’ and ‘La Casa Pacifica,’ it served as the California home to the 37th president of US and his wife Pat throughout the presidency. After Nixon resigned amid the Watergate Scandal of 1974, he retired to the house with Pat and started to compose his memoirs.
“It was a place where a lot of notable events occurred,” Rob Giem, the Compass agent who holds the listing along with Linda May of Hilton & Hyland, told Inman. “It was really a working facility for the president. It wasn’t just a vacation house.”
According to the L.A. Times, former President Lyndon B. Johnson celebrated his 61st birthday at the property. Japanese Premier Eisaku Sato, South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu and former Soviet leader Leonid I. Brezhnev have all visited it at different times. The house was also equipped for Nixon’s protection and Secret Service needs, which included a 1,500-foot wall around the estate.
When it comes to celebrities, Frank Sinatra and John Wayne were also one-time visitors.
The house itself was built in 1926 and boasts 15,000 square feet. Its Spanish Colonial features include arched doorways, an orange-brown roof as well as a courtyard with a landscaped garden and a tiled fountain. It also boasts a view of Santa Catalina Island — Nixon reportedly used the ocean view office to carry out presidential work while in California.
But because the house is now nearly 100 years old, it comes with a historic property preservation agreement that would require any future owner to keep the original structure intact. According to Giem, that agreement has nothing to do with its connection to Nixon but rather the age of the building.
“That agreement carries with it certain responsibilities,” he said. “You can change the interiors to whatever specifications an owner may require but the exterior needs to stay very similar to how it is now.”
That said, the property hasn’t been the easiest sale as evidenced by the multiple price cuts. According to Giem, they have now settled on a price that best reflects the home’s true value.
“We’ve had interest and we’ve had offers,” Giem said. “After going through that process we’re pretty confident that we’ve adjusted the price to a point where we’re going to be able to make a deal happen.”