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About CPF and the Awards

The California Preservation Awards are a statewide hallmark, showcasing the best in historic preservation. The awards ceremony includes the presentation of the Preservation Design Awards and the President’s Awards, bringing together hundreds of people each year to share and celebrate excellence in preservation.

The California Preservation Foundation (CPF), a 501c3 nonprofit, was incorporated in 1978. We now support a national network of more than 30,000 members and supporters. Click here to learn how you can become a member.

Neptune Pool Repair

The Neptune Pool Repair in San Simeon is the winner of a 2019 Preservation Design Award for Craftsmanship. Award recipients are selected by a jury of top professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering, planning, and history, as well as renowned architecture critics and journalists. In making their decision, the jury noted that the audacity and scale of the work, stating, “this was such a courageous project to take on, and the craftsmanship is incredible. They did an impressive job –  the logistics, the forensics involved – it’s an important project.”

The Award will be presented on Friday, October 18, 2019 at a gala dinner and awards ceremony at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins in San Francisco. Tickets and sponsorship options are available at

About this project

William Randolph Hearst and Julia Morgan began designing the Neptune Pool at Hearst San Simeon State Historic Park, in 1924, and completed the pool basin, terraces and colonnades in 1936. The Vermont marble cladding was directly adhered to the concrete with mortar, and did not include a membrane, as was common for construction techniques of the time. Over time, cracking of the concrete substrate and the mortar allowed water to leak from the pool.  The client started the renovation project to remove and replace the marble cladding, repair the concrete substrate and install new marble cladding over an elastomeric membrane. New material was sourced from the Vermont quarries that provided the original marble, and in addition to standard tiles to duplicate the pattern of the original pool layout, the project included many specialty shaped pieces – fluted panels, straight and radiused gutters, ladder rails and decorative volutes.

Neptune Pool, an iconic part of Hearst San Simeon State Historic Monument, perfectly encapsulates the larger story of the vision of William Randolph Hearst as articulated and executed by his architect, Julia Morgan, and a full crew of craftsmen and laborers. Like the entire La Cuesta Encantada complex, it was designed and constructed, and revised and enlarged, several times until work stopped on the hilltop just after World War 2.  It was also a fully collaborative effort of client and architect, with Hearst purchasing components like the Neptune grouping – originally sited at the top of a cascade waterfall before finally coming to rest in the pedimented Temple structure – and Morgan expertly providing a poetic and wholly encompassing context for the artifacts.

Photos © Hearst Castle ® California State Parks and Risser Fine Art Conservation.

Project Team

Project Design Lead/Architect
Shelly Dildey, California State Parks

Owner/District Superintendent
Dan Falat, California State Parks

Tom Dufurrena, Page & Turnbull

Project Inspector
Emilio Torres, 4LEAF, Inc.

Owner’s Representative
Hoyt Fields, California State Parks

Preservation Historian
Dan Osanna, California State Parks

Consulting Structural Engineer
Alan Kren, Rutherford + Chekene

Consulting MEP Engineer
Matt Reynolds, Terracon

Construction Manager
Juan Ochoa, California State Parks

John Tiersma, T. B. Penick & Sons, Inc.

Specialty Sub-Contractor (Tile)
David Carnavale, Carnavale & Lohr

Stone Consultants
Ann Hubbard, Carl Schilling Stoneworks
Martin Hemm, Carl Schilling Stoneworks

Marble Fabricator
Brent Wilson, Proctor Marble Co

Erik Risser, Erik Risser Fine Arts Conservation