Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Don't be a NITT WITT! Or in this case, do!

High atop a hill on California's central coast stands a monument to man's ingenuity and his appreciation of beauty.  Years of design, desire and dedication went into the creation of this historic and oft-visited structure.  Made without the employ of a professional architect or legitimate construction equipment, Nitt Witt Ridge is known as "the poor man's Hearst Castle."  Constructed mostly of rebar, cement, Pismo clam shells and other salvaged materials, Nitt Witt Ridge was the home and artistic expression of Art "Der Tinkerpaw" Beal - Cambria's first and most forward-thinking trash collector and arbiter of wacky tacky. Nitt Witt Ridge is not only the best thing about Cambria, it is really the only reason to stop!  It may sound hackneyed, but for Der Tinkerpaw, one man's trash was truly another man's treasure.

Nitt Witt Ridge

Nitt Witt Ridge is a California State Historic Landmark.  As such, one might think that funding is available for maintenance and preservation.  Unfortunately, this is not the case and the current owners rely on the $10 tour donation for the upkeep of NWR. 

Views of Der Tinkerpaw's creation from the road

The abundance of toilets almost hides the outdoor cooking station

Mike, the owner of NWR, lifts the lid for Will Rogers

 A few examples of the things we wanted to steal from Nitt Witt Ridge
(we didn't)

The structure is left almost entirely as Mr. Beal left it.
Food still occupies the cupboards and wine still finds 
its home on the sideboard.

A view from the Living Room

 The decoupage, wallpapering technique found in the kitchen

The hillside is terraced with extensive gardens and walkways

And the winner for best use of Pismo Clam Shells goes to...

Mike points out a cast-off that was salvaged 
from the construction of Hearst Castle

Nitt Witt Ridge
881 Hillcrest Dr.
Cambria, CA

Call for tour reservations - (805)927-8800

If you've the inclination, you can also drive 15 minutes up the road and visit Hearst Castle (also worth the drive).


Mr. Tiny

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