1927 'Ole Hanson' bungalow
photo courtesy of Conservatory Antiques
are several signs that San Clemente will remain
a quiet village, no matter how fast or how many
new homes are built on the hills around it.
still stop to chat as they stroll down Avenida
Del Mar, the city's shopping showcase. The same
people take the same spots on the 33 acres of
beach that border the southernmost tip of Orange
County. And while newer, larger communities are
served by area malls and shopping centers, San
Clemente's local merchants still manage to serve
a large part of the community.
is the kind of lifestyle that developer Ole Hanson
envisioned when he founded the city in 1929. Hanson
dreamed of building a "Spanish Village By
the Sea" when he purchased 2,000 acres of
then-Rancho Santa Margarita for just over $1 million
built white, stucco homes with re-tiled roofs,
then a swimming club and downtown shopping area
to match. He, his family and the men who plowed
through acres of brush to make way for development
gave city streets charming, Spanish monikers to
fit the feel of the city.
as the city drew thousands to its beaches every
year, it won converts who moved their families
into the white stucco, red roofed homes as well
as the new developments.
of those converts was then President Richard Nixon,
who bought Casa Pacifica, one of the city's well-known
Spanish mansions, in 1969.
city won instant fame as the "Home of the
Western White House" and the president became
a local celebrity at area golf courses and restaurants.
C415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente
Historic Spanish Colonial Revival estate of San
Clemente founder Ole Hanson. Visiting hours are
Tuesday 1 to 4 pm & Wednesday to Sunday 11
am to 4 PM Closed Mondays