Shapery Enterprises
Creating Excellence in Harmony with Nature

Del Mar Castle

The Del Mar Castle which sits on the top of a hill overlooking the ocean and the community of Del Mar was built in 1925 by Ruth and Marston Harding who relocated from Massachusetts. The Castle contains approximately 10,000 sq. ft. including a detached guest house. It was designed by famous local architect Richard Requa who went to Europe to study the best design and returned with authentic stained glass, doors and hardware from castles in the south of Spain. The Castle was acquired by Mr. Shapery in 1978 in poor condition and involved a complete restoration plus the addition of a swimming pool and Jacuzzi (for which Mr. Shapery received a design award from the Swimming Pool Contractors Award competition). Other improvements included a sauna, major landscaping improvements and extensive surveillance equipment along with the addition of electronic gates to the circular drive and an upgraded kitchen and a number of upgraded bathrooms. Crumbling fountains and fish ponds were again made operational and the furnace and electrical systems were extensively upgraded. The Del Mar Castle became the Designers Showcase home for 1983 which was a collaboration between the San Diego Historical Society and the local chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers. Each room was assigned to a different design team. Click Here to See the San Diego Home and Garden Issue documenting the Showcase

During Mr. Shapery's ownership the castle become the center of North County activities as "it was just too big and spread out for normal living" so Mr. Shapery made it available to charitable organizations for fundraisers where on most weekends the celebrations benefited the local nonprofit organizations.

The Castle received more than its share of notoriety, having been under contract to sell to Mr. Jerry Dominelli, who was later convicted of swindling 150 million dollars from local investors and running off to the Caribbean. Mr. Shapery continued to lease the property after he moved to an oceanfront home in La Jolla. One group approached him to rent the property for a weekend yoga retreat until a local radio station declared that a sex orgy was planned at the Castle when they read the newspaper ad which described the workshop as a “cosmic orgasm”. The seminar was forced to find another location. Other famous tenants included Dr. Fredrick Lenz, a self proclaimed guru who touted his ability to levitate himself in the presence of his followers but could not do it in public. The Castle was leased to the Saudi royal family during the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and finally leased to the motivational speaker Tony Robbins who leased it for several years and bought the property in 1987.

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Click the image below to the see the San Diego Home and Garden Issue documenting the designer showcase.

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