Inside the Museum
Inside the Museum
Nixon Presidential Library

La Casa Pacifica

The Western White House

Posted Monday January 22nd 2024

LA CASA PACIFICASan Clemente, California
The Nixon family had lived in New York since the early 1960s. When Nixon was elected, he decided to buy a home in his native California.

He felt it was important for the first native-born Californian to be elected President to make the West Coast feel - and be - included in the work of the Government based all the way across the continent.

The Nixon's found a historic old Spanish Colonial style home in the small town of San Clemente. In the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had been a guest at the house, and played poker in its small gazebo overlooking the ocean.

The President named their new home La Casa Pacifica - "The House of Peace." The media and the Administration dubbed it the "Western White House."

Many historic events took place at La Casa Pacifica. South Vietnam's President Nguyen Van Thieu came for meetings after the Paris Peace Accords ended the Vietnam War. In the summer of 1973, Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev stayed overnight as the two leaders conducted a series of discussions about the Middle East and signed an agreement to work together toward the prevention of nuclear war.

La Casa Pacifica The House of Peace
  • La Casa Pacifica
    An aerial view of La Casa Pacifica in December 1969. The Western White House complex is at the upper right.
  • Leonid Brezhnev
    President Nixon and Soviet Leader Brezhnev shake hands outside La Casa Pacifica after signing the 1973 Joint U.S. - U.S.S.R. Communique at the end of the Second Soviet Summit in June 1973.
  • Golf Cart
    When the Nixon's Arrived on the helipad at the Western White House complex in San Clemente, they used a golf cart for the ride to their home, La Casa Pacifica.

LA CASA PACIFICANixon's Western White House
The estate was built by Hamilton Cotton in 1920.

The home was purchased by President and Mrs. Nixon in 1969, and served as his working Western White House through August of 1974.

  • President and Mrs. Nixon hosted various head of state officials at La Casa Pacifica, including South Vietnamese President Nguyer Van Thieu and General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev from the USSR.

The Nixon's lived at the home continuously from his resignation until 1980.

La Casa Pacifica Brezhnev
Leonid Brezhnev
  • During the Second Soviet Summit, President Nixon and General Secretary Brezhnev talk informally in Nixon's upstairs study at La Casa Pacifica

LEONIC BREZHNEV:I would very much like that the name of this house, La Casa Pacifica, would be symbolic. I would very much like that our relations go down in history as relations of peace, of friendship, of mutual respect between our peoples so that there is no more war.

- Leonid Brezhnev, June 1873

La Casa Pacifica South Vietnam
Nguyen Van Thieu
  • President Nixon says goodbye to South Vietnam's President Nguyen Van Thieu after their April 1973 meeting at the Western White House.

HERBERT KLEIN:Government is not an exclusively Eastern institution ... The San Clemente operation gives Westerners a symbolic share in the business of government, pulling West closer to East and unifying the nation.

-Herbert Klein, White House Communications Director, July 1970

La Casa Pacifica John Wayne
John Wayne
  • Nixon and actor John Wayne in the President's office at the Western White House.

La Casa Pacifica Dinner Party
Dinner Party
Before a dinner party at La Casa Pacifica, the Nixon's sit with their guests
  • Comedian Bob Hope
  • Tricia Nixon
  • Pat Nixon
  • Congressman Gerald Ford
  • Deloris Hope
  • President Nixon
  • Betty Ford
  • Henry Kissinger
  • Golf Pro Arnold Palmer

La Casa Pacifica Reagans
The Reagans
  • Governor and Mrs. Reagan with Mrs. Nixon and President Nixon at La Casa Pacifica in July 1970

La Casa Pacifica Scientific Leaders
Scientific Leaders
  • President Nixon meets with West Coast scientific leaders at the Western White House - April 1971

La Casa Pacifica Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
  • President Nixon greets Henry Kissinger on the helipad at the Western White House as the National Security Advisor returns from Polo 1 - his first secrete trip to the People's Republic of China- July 1971

LA CASA PACIFICA3,000 miles from Washington D.C.
During the time President Nixon spent in San Clemente, the Government was run from the Western White House.

The formal entertaining and social functions took place within the beautiful 14 rooms of La Casa Pacifica or around the swimming pool the Nixon's installed in place of a tennis court.

The rest of the work, including Cabinet and National Security meetings, took place in the collection of temporary office buildings that transformed the adjacent Coast Guard station into a working White House. These included a small suite of offices, conference and briefing rooms, and all the communications and office equipment necessary to conduct the country's business 3,000 miles from Washington, D.C.

La Casa Pacifica Press Conference
Press Conference
  • President Nixon holds a press conference in front of La Casa Pacifica- August 1973

La Casa Pacifica Timahoe
King Timahoe
  • The President with his Irish Setter King Timahoe outside La Casa Pacifica

La Casa Pacifica Aerial View
Aerial View
  • Shows the original "La Casa Pacifica," close to Trestles Beach in San Clemente, California, December 11, 1969.

La Casa Pacifica Aerial
Aerial View
  • Helicopter Pad
  • Western White House
  • La Casa Pacifica

La Casa Pacifica Living Room
Living Room
  • The President and Mrs. Nixon in the living room of their San Clemente home La Casa Pacifica

La Casa Pacifica Study
Nixon's Study
  • Re-creation of President Nixon’s study at La Casa Pacifica

La Casa Pacifica Desk
Western White House Desk
  • At his Western White House desk, President Nixon signs Executive Order 11588 providing for stabilization of wages and prices in the construction industry.

La Casa Pacifica Administration Building
Administration Building
  • President Nixon, Governor Ronald Reagan, and other officials emerge from meeting in the Administration Building at the Western White House - April 1971

La Casa Pacifica Swimming Pool
Swimming Pool
  • President Nixon enjoys some reading by the pool at La Casa Pacifica - March 29, 1971

La Casa Pacifica Driveway
  • A view of La Casa Pacifica from the driveway

La Casa Pacifica Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
  • The Nixon's sit on a carved log bench overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the grounds of their home, La Casa Pacifica, in January 1971

La Casa Pacifica Scale Model
La Casa Pacifica Scale Model
  • by artist Malcom Wilson 1999