The mission of the Casa Romantica is to create a welcoming public place where people of all ages and backgrounds learn about the diversity of life in Orange County and southern California through programs about the history, ecology and culture of the region.
We achieve our mission by:
- Providing educational and cultural opportunities for people of all ethnic backgrounds and of all ages, with special emphasis on programs for children;
- Celebrating our local and Southern California history, architecture, culture and lifestyle;
- Presenting a spectrum of the performing, literary and visual arts; and
- Offering garden experiences unique to the California coastal environment.
San Clemente is one of the first master-planned cities in California. Co-founder Ole Hanson came to the site to create his ideal community, a “Spanish Village by the Sea.”
In 1927, Hanson built the Casa Romantica as his family home, and expression of his version of the California dream. The seven-bedroom, seven-bath house was designed by Carl Lindbom, who also designed La Casa Pacifica (the former Western White House).
Over the years, the house passed through various owners until Lambert and Patricia Schuyler (pronounced Skyler) bought the property in 1946 and named it Casa Romantica. The ex- Mrs. Fred Waring (of orchestra fame) purchased the home in 1952. Four years later, Mrs. Waring sold the home to Muriel and Leslie Whitehouse, who named it Casa Blanca after their name. In 1960 the property began a new life, and was operated as a senior citizens’ home until 1984 by George and Louise Welsh, who renamed it Casa Romantica.
From 1984 until 2000, the Casa was leased to a private business for special events. The San Clemente Redevelopment Agency purchased the property from the Welsh Family Partnership in 1989.
Casa Romantica was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1991.