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America in Color:

Why Hearst Castle Cost $700 Million to Build

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»American Royalty

Why Hearst Castle Cost $700 Million to Build

Short | 01:46

In 1919, William Randolph Hearst built his famous castle in the hills of San Simeon, California. With 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms and a 127-acre garden, it was the most opulent home in the country.


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American royalty: a potent combination of popularity, glamour, money, and power. In the early 20th century, the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts build empires and spend fortunes. The Roosevelts and Kennedys spawn political dynasties. And news magnate William Randolph Hearst records it all, using film to cash in on the glitzy lives of the rich and famous. Now, through rare archival footage and home movies, get a colorful inside look at these storied families working hard and playing hard.

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