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These Historic SoCal Buildings Are Making Waves
June 10, 2021

These Historic SoCal Buildings Are Making Waves

by The CE Shop Team

SoCal Architecture Is a Slice of Paradise

From Hollywood to Joshua Tree, Southern California has more than its fair share of iconic contributions to society. But did you know that this California love also extends to architecture? While the history behind Griffith Observatory and Disneyland may be a little more mainstream, the backstories of these three SoCal compounds might surprise you.

Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá


Established back in 1769, Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá, or the San Diego Mission Church, was California’s first official Spanish mission. While former iterations of the building were damaged by fire, the current structure dates back to 1813. The mission has not only hosted religious activities but was also a U.S. Cavalry base and a schoolhouse over the years. The church is now considered a National Historic Landmark, and it provides cultural and religious services throughout the week. In the age of COVID-19, you can also tune in for a virtual walking tour of this historic site:

Hearst Castle

Image source: Flickr

This structure is a stunning slice of SoCal history. The story begins in 1919, when publisher and politician William Randolph Hearst set to work building a luxurious escape on his nearly 250,000 acres of coastal land. With the help of pioneering female architect Julia Morgan, the castle, affectionately referred to as La Cuesta Encantada, or “enchanted hill”, was born. Unfortunately, in declining health, Hearst was forced to leave his personal palace in 1947. At the time of his departure, though, the home boasted a whopping 165 rooms, sprawling gardens, sparkling pools, and priceless artwork. Today, the breathtaking building is a home museum, so stop by for a walking tour or to catch a show. Both offer great opportunities to soak up the opulence and imagine what a life of luxury might have looked like for Wiliam Randolph Hearst.

Wayfarers Chapel

Image source: Wayfarers Chapel

Elizabeth Sewall Schellenberg, a Palos Verdes Peninsula resident in the late 1920s, was struck with the vision of a breathtaking chapel nestled in the hills above the Pacific Ocean. She dreamt of a spiritual space where passersby could rest, meditate, and otherwise connect with God. Lloyd Wright, son of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, drafted plans accordingly. Completed in 1951, the nature-focused design draws inspiration from the nearby Redwood trees and maximizes access to the coast’s breathtaking views. It is still considered one of the best examples of organic architecture, earning a place on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, you can enjoy a free virtual tour of the space or even host special events, like baptisms, vow renewal ceremonies, memorials, and, of course, weddings here. In terms of cost, you can make your nuptial dreams come true by renting the chapel for the low price of $2,900 (Mondays - Thursdays) or $3,900 (Fridays - Sundays).

Architecture and Real Estate

So, how exactly do these feats of engineering apply to your real estate practice? We promise we’re building up to something! Understanding and appreciating architectural design styles can help you become a more informed and helpful agent. Taking some time to learn about and reflect on different architectural styles can help you steer clients to the right home, whether they’re seeking a Craftsman or a Colonial. 

Plus, in-depth knowledge of your market is critical as an agent. Southern California’s real estate market is quickly heating up, so there’s no better time to grow your knowledge, build on your career, and differentiate yourself from the competition.

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