There is a very striking Scandinavian presence in southern California, and not just in Danish-themed Solvang. Ole Hanson, also of Danish descent, was the founder of San Clemente. Mr. Hanson built a clifftop residence, Casa Romantica, in 1927, and partnered with the builders of what became Richard Nixon’s Western White House (Casa Pacifica, now a private residence). I have two albums on Casa Romantica- one featuring the exquisite gardens which surround it, and the other, featuring the interior of the home and the ocean views which inspired its location.
Here are some selections from those albums.
From start to finish, Casa Romantica is about gardens, fragrance, romance- and weddings.
The Frog Fountain greets visitors, charming us with its Italianate tiles.
The holiday season, and its arboreal majesty, were still much in evidence on Dec. 29, 2011.
This being southern California, though, the palm tree was essential to any ambiance.
What attracted Mr. Olson in the first place was the glorious Pacific Ocean. San Clemente’s harbor and pier are as fine as any in this part of California.
The staff and benefactors of Casa Romantica were as varied as California itself.Mr. Olson was a dedicated father, and entertained his children with such as this toy train and track.
The aura of a northern Christmas was transplanted here, in the person of Grandfather Frost.