Chapman House

Welcome

The Chapman Estate has been an integral part of the Shell Beach community since Clifford Chapman purchased the property in 1962. He and Don Shidler, Chapman’s partner of almost 50 years, collected art and treasures from around the world that are now displayed in the house and on the grounds. They hosted numerous parties and opened the Estate for non-profit events. Clifford Chapman’s generous gift of his Estate to the City of Pismo Beach enables the Chapman Estate Foundation to continue these valued traditions, and to provide innovative cultural and artistic experiences while engaging patrons who wish to support the Estate.

The mission of the Chapman Estate Foundation is to advance Clifford Chapman’s legacy through the continued support of cultural experiences and provide for the preservation and operation of the Estate.

History

The original name of the house was Artede

The Chapman Estate, located at 1243 Ocean Boulevard, was developed over an extended period of years. The Guest House, known as Gull Cottage, is the oldest building on the property and was built 1914 - 1915 by an unidentified artist. It was sold to Arthur and Celia Rogers when they purchased the property. They purchased the first 3 lots for $10.00 in 1929 and gradually purchased 4.5 additional lots. The Rogers completed the original home, an English Tudor mansion formerly known as Artede, in 1930 and during their ownership, made improvements to the Estate. Arthur Rogers founded the Navy Oil Corporation in the Central Valley. The Rogers visited on weekends and moved to Shell Beach permanently in 1946. Clifford Chapman purchased 2.5 additional lots after acquiring the Estate in 1962.

The original home featured a driveway and garage which was later converted to the main entry and “refectory” or dining room. The front walkway replaced the driveway and included features such as the fountain, visible from the main gate. Rogers added the garage that opens onto Ocean Boulevard in 1948.

The windmill was added in 1934. A large pump, housed under the windmill, pumped the seawater directly into the pool. The windmill ran a smaller recycle pump taking the water out of the south end of the pool, over terra-cotta tiles covered with glass as a magnified solar heater, and returning heated water into the north end of the pool. No longer used for that purpose, the windmill is the iconic feature identifying the house both from the neighborhood and for boats or kayaks gliding along the ocean. The Estate is often referred to as the “Windmill House.”

The lighthouse is one of the iconic features of the Estate

The original concrete seawall was built in response to a hurricane or very large storm in 1935. Mr. Rogers filled an entire railroad car with cement and the seawall was built by hand. The lighthouse was built by Rogers in 1948 to provide privacy from adjacent properties. It was rebuilt by Clifford and Don when it began to deteriorate. The rip-rap seawall was added by them to protect the lighthouse and cliff. The wall surrounding the property on Ocean Boulevard was added as well as the new iron fence and gates.

Clifford Chapman was born and raised in Guadalupe. After serving in the Navy in Korea (1950 - 54), he returned to the Central Coast to attend Cal Poly and received 2 years of credit for his Naval training in Electrical Engineering. While attending Poly he took odd jobs and was hired by Arthur Marshall, owner of Marshall’s Jewelers in downtown San Luis Obispo. Chapman developed an interest in jewelry design and eventually became the manager. He purchased the store in 1960 and operated it until his retirement in 1993.

Chapman purchased the Estate in 1962. As a young child, traveling with his father along the coast, Clifford would often see the house. It came to have great meaning for him. Chapman and his longtime partner Don Shidler “got together on August 28th, 1964” according to an interview with Shidler (see video interview below). Don attended Cal Poly and received a B.S. in English. He later taught English in Santa Maria.

The Koi Pond was built prior to 1991, and the “Pavilion of 1000 Moons” was constructed in 2001 to shelter the koi from birds in search of a meal. Designed by local architect Steve Puglisi, it was built with materials from China. The solarium, which opens onto the main lawn, was also designed by Puglisi.

The driveway would later become the main entry

The Tudor style mansion became a hub for local and worldwide artists, musicians and writers after it was purchased by Clifford. It also became the location for non-profit fundraising events as well as neighborhood celebrations. Clifford and Don hosted annual fundraisers for Opera SLO, SLO Symphony, CAPSLO’s "Afternoon of Epicurean Delights.". They also hosted weddings and gatherings for family and friends.

In the trust, Clifford Chapman gifted his Estate to the City of Pismo Beach and in December of 2013 the City accepted the property. Per Clifford’s directives, the Estate will be open for neighborhood gatherings, private occasions and other activities as well as to the designated non-profit organizations. No tours of the home are available at this time.

Foundation Board

The Chapman Estate Foundation was established in February of 2017, when former Chapman Estate Advisory Commissioners (CEAC) became members. They have brought invaluable knowledge of the Estate and its history, along with a working relationship with the Pismo Beach City Council, officials and staff. We continue to recruit additional board members.

Board Members

Kathy Teufel President, CEO
Katchy Andrews Vice Pres.
Beverley Pratt Treasurer, CFO
Susan Wagers Director  
Judith Kambestad Director
Lyndon Schaeffer Director
Jay Bond Director

City of Pismo Beach Liaisons

Gordon Jackson Conference and Visitors’ Bureau Executive Director
Mary Ann Reiss City Council member

Calendar

Gates Open

Gates open for the Neighborhood Season: April-October. Tuesdays and Thursdays “lunches” 11 AM - 1 PM; Friday Evenings “Sunset Walks” 5 PM until dusk. The message board located outside the main gate of the Estate displays the calendar of activities. The City of Pismo Beach is responsible for these Estate openings and maintains the calendar. Note: Friday night openings may be cancelled when setup for private rental occasions or Estate fundraisers occurs.

Interview

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance of San Luis Obispo interviewed Clifford and Don for the LGBT History Project in 2006 at the Estate. The 30-minute interview gives unique insight into their personalities and includes many interesting details of their lives.

Volunteer

Photo Credit: Amy Joseph

Docents are Ambassadors for the Chapman Estate Foundation and the City of Pismo Beach. They provide information and guidance to enhance visitors’ time spent on the Estate, and to increase public awareness of the Chapman Estate to the community. During our “Gates’ Open” activities, docents are available for tours of the grounds.

Docents will learn about the Estate history and structures such as the Windmill, Begonia House, and Lighthouse. This information and identification of flowers, trees, sea animals and birds are included in the Docent Manual. The Manual also includes duties and responsibilities as well as procedures.

Tours of the house are not currently available because Mr. Shidler is a resident.

Volunteers are also needed for the annual Fundraiser for the Chapman Estate, “Swingin’ by the Sea” each September. The Chapman Estate Foundation produces this Fundraiser. Additional volunteer opportunities include gardening and begonia care, and projects on the Estate.

Please complete the form at this link and a board member will contact you shortly.

Gallery

The Pavilion of 1000 Moons was constructed in 2001 to shelter the koi from birds in search of a meal. Photo: Blake Andrews | SLOtography Marshall’s stained glass window showcases Rose Chapman’s prize-winning begonias. Photo: Blake Andrews | SLOtography Refectory: Originally there was a fireplace where the window overlooks the Pacific. Photo: Blake Andrews | SLOtography The windmill is the feature that identifies the Estate from the neighborhood and for boats and kayaks on the ocean. Photo: Blake Andrews | SLOtography

Donation Levels

If you are interested in donating to the Chapman Estate, please complete a donation form here. We would like to thank the following people and businesses for their ongoing support:

Sustainers

Bill Pardini
Premier Valley Bank

Ambassadors

David & Lillian Jewell
Shirley Boydstun
Lightshine Enterprises - Jonathon and Christina Mielziner
Conceptualize Global Inc. - Sue Beckett
Christine Jenkins
David & Sharla Gaddis
Opera San Luis Obispo

Supporters

Dianne Long
Katchy Andrews
Kathy Teufel
Judy Kambstead
Philip Stump
Hoagies

Friends

Bev Pratt
Jennifer Alton
Harvey Green
Carol Florence
Brooks Burgers
Shaka Shak
Hanohano Shave Ice
Shell Beach Improvement Group
SLO Symphony

Providing Services & Materials

Worth Brown
R C Plastering
Villas at Rancho Pacifica
West Covina Nurseries
California Rare Fruit Growers, Central Coast
Ed Cuming Construction
Kristen & Brady Teufel
Paul Carlisle
Les Ferreira

Contact


ChapmanEstateFoundation@Gmail.com