In a strange piece of strange to kick the morning off right, George Lucas is doing something a little bizarre: he’s preparing to build his own Citizen Kane Xanadu. In Marin County, just outside of San Francisco, the filmmaker has proposed building a new office complex that looks remarkably like William Randolph Heart‘s famous Casa Grande section of Hearst Castle, the portion of the gigantic estate the newspaper baron built in the 1920s that everyone seems to just refer to as the entire “Hearst Castle.” So much does Lucas’ building look like Hearst’s that questions of architecture copyright have been raised (though most think he won’t run into any snags along the way, considering how difficult that sort of copyright is to enforce, particularly with the original being nearly a century old). And while everyone who compares A to B seems to immediately see the similarities, Lucas’ people are completely denying it, saying this is 100% originality from the mind of the filmmaker:
“The concept, design and details for every one of George’s buildings – down to landscaping, layout and interior decor – originates from him,” [Lucas spokeswoman Emilie Nicks] said.
Lucas denies, however, that his design was copied from the Casa Grande building.
“The inspiration for [Grady Ranch] came from George’s admiration for the design of the St. Vincent’s School for Boys,” a residential treatment home near Marinwood, Nicks said. “George worked to make the design of Grady Ranch reminiscent of the school’s architecture while also leveraging work done by architect Julia Morgan for inspiration.”
Aren’t you impressed? We made it through this whole post about Lucas without even mentioning once how he ruined Star Wars and Indiana Jones forever. We were tempted before that pull quote to question the originality of a man who could do such horrible things, or talk about how his Hearst-like tendencies have grown over the years so this all makes complete sense, but we didn’t because we’re bigger than that. You’re welcome.