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Neptune Pool #1 of 2

Posted by
Steven (Chicagoland, United States) on 5 December 2012 in Art & Design and Portfolio.

A view of Neptune Pool (with Hearst Castle in the background).

Construction for the Neptune Pool spanned 1924-1936. Three swimming pools were built on this site, each successively larger. Initial plans for the site called for a “Temple Garden” with an ornamental pool and temple structure. On March 31, 1924, W.R. Hearst wrote in a letter to Julia Morgan, “I am sending back the plan of the temple garden with the suggestion that we make the pool longer than it is, as long as a swimming pool. Mrs. Hearst and the children are extremely anxious to have a swimming pool!” On June 17, 1924, Morgan wrote that the first swimming pool was nearing completion: “Mr. Neptune and the two ladies can be placed but the finished basins will take some time yet.”

The second version of the pool, a substantial enlargement, was created in 1926-1927. This version had a series of concrete steps at the southern side called the Cascade, down which water flowed. The Neptune and Nereid statues, presently in the temple pediment, then stood at the top of the Cascade. The dressing rooms were begun in 1928 and furnished according to Hearst’s instruction.

The present version of the pool was under construction from 1934-1936. It is unlikely that the enlargement was done to make it closer to Olympic size, as has sometimes been conjectured; Olympic pools are 165 feet long. It is more likely that the colonnades and Cassou statues, which were planned from the late 1920′s, required an enlarged treatment. Morgan anticipated further modifications of the pool for Cassou’s Neptune statuary group to be placed in the small upper pool. On July 27, 1936, Morgan wrote in a letter to Charles Cassou, “enclosed is a plan and some photographs of the ‘Neptune Pool’ in its present (uncompleted) state. The recess of the main pool and the small pool above to receive your ‘Neptune’ group I have not touched since my visit with you last year – so please do not think of them except as something yet to be done to form a proper background and sitting for your ‘Venus’ as well as your ‘Neptune’ statuary.” The “Neptune” sculpture group by Cassou intended for the small upper pool was never installed.

The final version of the pool as it stands at the Castle today is 104 feet long, 58 feet wide and 95 feet wide at alcove. It is 3.5 feet deep at the west end, 10 feet at drains and holds 345,000 gallons of water. Other unique aspects of the Neptune Pool include the oil burning heating system, the light-veined Vermont marble decorating the pools and colonnades, and four 17-century Italian bas-reliefs on the sides of the colonnades.

Photo taken August 17, 2012.

NIKON D7000 1/250 second F/8.0 ISO 100 18 mm

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Spotlight Images

Nigel from Avening, United Kingdom

This is an amazing place

5 Dec 2012 6:17am

Othersideblue from Kerman, Iran

Yes I absolutely agree with Nigel! Marvelous capture

5 Dec 2012 8:02am

Laurette from Fourways - Johannesburg, South Africa

A wonderful perspective of this very beautiful pool. Marvelous colour combinations. Looks like a beautiful place to visit. Beautifully captured !

5 Dec 2012 10:10am

Sarito from Basingstoke, United Kingdom

Great view.. lovely shot

5 Dec 2012 10:55am

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

A playground for the gods! Beautiful capture and serene view.

5 Dec 2012 12:06pm

Yonatan from New York, United States

Great shot showing off the beauty of this pool and wonderful architecture around it. It must be incredibly tempting to try and take a dip in this pool during the summer!

5 Dec 2012 12:46pm

Mhelene from Villiers-sur-Marne, France

A wonderful composition .

5 Dec 2012 12:56pm

Rick from Toronto, Canada

Great POV across the pool. Quite the landscaping and luxury.

5 Dec 2012 1:43pm

Francisco Romero from Carbajal de la Legua, Spain

This is a spectacular image showing this amazing building. The water impression is fantastic.

5 Dec 2012 3:05pm

Phil Morris from Saskatoon, Toronto, Canada

Good to see the grounds have been taken well care of, some of the original photos of them planting
those massive palms were wonderful and here is the full fruition, beautiful photo !~

5 Dec 2012 3:36pm

Judy aka L@dybug from Brooksville, FL, United States

I think about how he lived (and some do today as well), and how much good they could have done and do for those less fortunate.

5 Dec 2012 5:17pm

tataray from france, France

Magnifique et impressionnant.)

5 Dec 2012 5:30pm

Sam from Chennai, India

Beautiful view. Great shot. :)

5 Dec 2012 6:08pm

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

Lovely POV and framing. I love the pops of blue throughout.

5 Dec 2012 6:24pm

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

This is absolutely beautiful! Who would want to leave this place! I could sit here and just look at the pool all day!

5 Dec 2012 6:58pm

Florence from Paris, France

I imagine easily myself here. :-)

5 Dec 2012 7:50pm

mohammad from shiraz, Iran

there is so good
i want :)

5 Dec 2012 8:11pm

RBL from Oxford, United States

Exquisite ... beautifully captured ... this is one amazing place!

5 Dec 2012 8:29pm

Michael Fresh from Chester, United Kingdom

Very beautiful indeed, styling from yesteryear.

5 Dec 2012 9:14pm

Carol from Leamington, Canada

Quite an elaborate setting... the stairways on either side leading up to the terrace is lovely. They sure knew how to relax and enjoy life. Nice detail here Steven, beautiful!

5 Dec 2012 9:56pm

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

fine graphics

5 Dec 2012 10:47pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

A gorgeous capture! A most wonderful series.

6 Dec 2012 4:17am

LauraS from Chico, United States

Ah, yes. Love the Hearts Castle grounds, and pools! Nicely shared.

6 Dec 2012 4:21am

franz from Baden, Austria

definitely "a pool with a view" ;-)

10 Dec 2012 5:04pm