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Neptune Pool #2 of 2

Posted by
Steven (Chicagoland, United States) on 7 December 2012 in Art & Design and Portfolio.

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

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

A wonderful view of this opulent place. The home of the American royalty of the day.

7 Dec 2012 5:57am

Bill Brown from California, United States

Fantastic capture.

7 Dec 2012 5:59am

Mhelene from Villiers-sur-Marne, France

Very beautiful ! Superb composition .

7 Dec 2012 6:00am

Nigel from Avening, United Kingdom

Excellent PoV

7 Dec 2012 9:19am

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

Almost beyond belief in so many ways . .

7 Dec 2012 9:35am

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Wonderful high pov to show off the patterns of the tiles.

7 Dec 2012 9:50am

Laurette from Fourways - Johannesburg, South Africa

A marvelous perspective of this fabulous pool and very beautifully framed ! The colour combinations is beautiful. Well done !

7 Dec 2012 10:06am

Sarito from Basingstoke, United Kingdom

Nice little complex.. thanks for the history behind.

7 Dec 2012 10:28am

Phil Morris from Saskatoon, Toronto, Canada

This photo is one of your best of the series, so beautiful, and to think that he created
a paradise in a barren setting with this money. He was so amazing, going bankrupt
and still having the power to go from bankruptcy to extreme power, just like that !~

7 Dec 2012 11:55am

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

Beautiful the way you frame this epic shot!

7 Dec 2012 12:15pm

Florence from Paris, France

Extraordinary neo-classic construction. And this blue is definitely appealing.

7 Dec 2012 12:48pm

Rick from Toronto, Canada

A fantastic overview of the pool and grounds. Superb series !

7 Dec 2012 2:07pm

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

I like your PoV to show the opulence and the surrounding terrain.

7 Dec 2012 2:44pm

Heinz from Hamm, Germany

Ein Traum von einem Pool.

7 Dec 2012 3:22pm

Antoine from France

Superb and original photo with nice colors. I like it. Bonne après-midi Steven. Amicalement Antoine.

7 Dec 2012 4:14pm

Sam from Chennai, India

Excellent view here. Great shot. Wonderful series. :)

7 Dec 2012 6:01pm

RBL from Oxford, United States

Beautifully designed and amazing the length of construction time; fantastic shot!

7 Dec 2012 7:04pm

Othersideblue from Kerman, Iran


7 Dec 2012 7:09pm

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

Love the color and the variety of graphics.

7 Dec 2012 7:44pm

Alun from cheshire, United Kingdom

Wow, what a stunning place, lovely, great colours

7 Dec 2012 8:26pm

Carol from Leamington, Canada

Wow, it looks quite different from the other end and at that angle it looks much larger still. You've really covered all the bases Steven and beautifully so. I so enjoyed the views, awesome!

7 Dec 2012 10:08pm

mohammad from shiraz, Iran

what a nice blue.....its the best

7 Dec 2012 10:57pm

Ralph Jones from Detroit, United States

Great series, I LOVE to swim, scuba dive, kayak, sail, just hang out around the water, but this series makes me feel like I have been slumin' it all these years.

8 Dec 2012 1:21am

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

I love the high angle. This is just beautiful! They certainly had an eye for exquisite detail. I could sit and look at this all day. Gorgeous image!

8 Dec 2012 2:48am

Abena from Illinois, United States

Oh wow! Gorgeous architecture! I get a sense of how majestic it is... beautifully displayed! also your framing, title and the blue are excellent.

8 Dec 2012 3:50am

tataray from france, France

Une vue magnifique ... sur la piscine. Et au fond la montagne.

8 Dec 2012 8:17am

Michael Fresh from Chester, United Kingdom

I want one..... that's what you call a pool. Superb shot.

8 Dec 2012 8:02pm

franz from Baden, Austria

very clever and charming perspective of this amazing place !

10 Dec 2012 5:05pm

Francisco Romero from Carbajal de la Legua, Spain

Wonderful perspective of this incredible pool!

10 Dec 2012 11:04pm

Linda from Riga/Sigulda, Latvia

a very interesting series, enjoyed reading the descriptions as well

12 Dec 2012 8:19am