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Location DB > United States > California > Capitola > Rispin Mansion
Rispin Mansion
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 Database Info
created by bonnie&clyde on 4/8/2010 11:03 PM
last modified by ZAZ on 7/26/2018 4:00 AM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled by its creator as Public, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
You will find the concrete remains of a once great mansion. It is heavily vandalized & the middle section has been burned. It is still worth a wander around. A main walkway goes through the property so access is easy.

2013 Update: It has been boarded up and repainted.

2015 Update: All doors and windows Have been boarded, then covered in stucco or concrete entirely (except possibly the back one, which has two deadbolted gates and I couldn't see the actual door, so maybe they cemented that one too). No security guard though, and I was lightpainting the outside, and not too discreet since it was only the outside. Nobody said anything.
 Basic Information
Type: Building
Status: Abandoned
Accessibility: Difficult (all entrances have been fortified with concrete slab (except for one that is sealed tight)
Recommendation: check it out if you're nearby
 Physical Information
2004 Wharf Road
Capitola, California
United States
Owner: City of Capitola
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
  • unsafe flooring
  •  Interesting Features
    Great architecture. Love how the ivy & wildlife is slowly taking over.
     Security Measures
  • fences
  • barbed wire
  • part-time guard
  • wooden boarding
  • All windows, doors and openings have been permanently sealed except for one. It has been freshly painted over the tagging, and the slab/stucco in the entrances looked new as well (November 2015)
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1900
    Closed: 1957
     Required Equipment
  • flashlight
  • long pants / sleeves
  •  Recommended Equipment
    Ur Wits
    Rispin Mansion has been abandoned for over 25 years. It was built around the turn of the century by Fredrick Hihn. When Capitola's owner F.A.Hihn died in 1913, his daughter, Katherine Cope Henderson, put the resort up for sale. H. Allen Rispin, a wealthy San Franciscan, bought it at the end of World War I. Although he had grand plans to develop "Capitola by-the-Sea," Rispin overextended himself and was broke by 1928. He lost his elaborate 22-room mansion and most of his holdings in 1930-31. This picture (below) was taken after the Rispin home had been sold to Burlingame millionaire Robert Hays Smith. The Smith family ran into financial problems during The Great Depression and surrendered the mansion in 1939. It was then sold to the Catholic Church for use as a convent by the Order of Poor Clares. The nuns resided at the complex until 1957. The mansion has since been vacant of permanent residents, and is now owned by the City of Capitola.

     Media Coverage
     Future Plans
    They are all over the place. From the next library to a hotel. Who knows. Till then we get it.

    2013 Update: The city voted to restore and seal up the mansion at its current state before it is converted to a park at some undefined point in the future. A patrolling guard moving along the short trail outside stated the effort was to keep the gangs out. Unfortunately doesn't seem that interesting now.

    Add your own story
     Photo Galleries
    Click to view gallery
    Classic Pix
    Thu, Apr 8th, 2010
    posted by Anonymous
    13 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Pix from our trip
    Fri, Apr 9th, 2010
    posted by bonnie&clyde
    25 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Sat, Jun 7th, 2014
    posted by Clostridium
    2 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Guarded by Cement (and quite effective)
    Thu, Mar 17th, 2016
    posted by Dee Ashley
    12 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    A quick visit
    Sat, May 6th, 2017
    posted by ZAZ
    6 pictures

    Add your own photos

    Mark all galleries as Seen
     Web Links

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     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

    This location has not yet been rated by a moderator.
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Emperor Wang on 7/27/2018 2:32 AM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Jul 27 18 at 2:32, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Jul 26 18 at 4:00, ZAZ changed the following: Latitude, Longitude
  • on Jul 26 18 at 3:54, ZAZ changed the following: Latitude, Longitude
  • on May 14 18 at 9:18, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on May 14 18 at 9:16, Emperor Wang changed the following: Street Address
  • on May 13 18 at 20:14, ZAZ updated gallery A quick visit
  • on May 13 18 at 20:14, ZAZ updated gallery A quick visit
  • on May 13 18 at 20:13, ZAZ updated gallery picture DSC_0745.jpg
  • on May 13 18 at 20:13, ZAZ updated gallery picture DSC_0743.jpg
  • on May 13 18 at 20:12, ZAZ updated gallery picture DSC_0739.jpg
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