Water begins to fill Hearst Castle’s Neptune Pool after renovations

Posted at 4:20 PM, Aug 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-14 19:20:34-04

Tuesday was an exciting day for the folks at Hearst Castle.

Renovations to the Neptune Pool are complete and it’s being filled with water permanently for the first time in four years.

The pool started filling up at around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. It’ll take roughly two days to complete.

"The Neptune Pool is one of the most iconic features at the castle," said Dan Falat, California State Parks Superintendent. "One of the most viewed and one of the most photographed."

The wait is over. After two years of work on the iconic Neptune Pool, it’ll be filled to the brim.

"I think it’s spectacular to see the water going in and the amount of water that’s needed to fill up that pool," said Holly Highfill, visiting from Las Vegas, Nevada. "It’s incredible."

The pool will hold 345,000 gallons of water.

Tourists snapped photos of the history before their eyes.

"It’s just thrilling to be here, especially with the pool being filled," said Hilary Marold, visiting from Corpus Christi, Texas.

In 2014, it was drained. Two years later, construction got underway to fix two major cracks and about 180 leaks.

"We were losing anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 gallons a day," Falat said.

Now not only leak-proof, the new pool is keeping the history alive with tiling from the same quarry in Vermont that sourced the original pool.

"Every one of those tiles is laid by hand. Every one of these cracks has been checked and reviewed," Falat continued.

The statues along the edge of the pool have also been revamped.

"It’s monstrous. It’s the materials that it’s constructed from that are just so fantastic; the marble and the surfaces," Highfill added.

"When Mr. Hearst built it originally, when it was originally built in the 1920s, it was a much smaller pool. It was expanded two times to what we have today," Falat said.

The pool is three feet deep in the shallow end and 10 feet in the deep end. It’s 104 feet long and 58 feet wide.

"It’s a once in a lifetime to take on this project and hopefully it’ll last for another 100 years," Falat concluded.

The project has a price tag of $5,400,000.