Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site, located in Danville, California, preserves Tao House, the Monterey Colonial hillside home to America's only Nobel Prize-winning playwright, Eugene O'Neill.
Eugene O'Neill won the 1936 Nobel Prize in Literature and used the prize money to build what he named Tao House above Danville. O'Neill and his wife were living at home from 1937 to 1944. By the time he moved here, O'Neill had already lived in more than 35 places, but he called this isolated house his "final home and harbor." O'Neill wrote his final plays at this home: Iceman Cometh, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Hughie, and A Moon for the Misbegotten. He was unable to complete another play after 1943 due to a degenerative condition in his hand.
O'Neill and his wife, actress Carlotta Monterey, showed their interest in Asian art, decoration, and homework. The two designed a two-story, three-bedroom home from the ground up. The ceilings were dark blue to imitate the sky with dark wooden floors depicting the earth, as well as Noh masks, Chinese guardian statues, and Chinese lacquer furnishings all over the interior. Outside, Carlotta set up a garden in a zigzag pattern that Chinese tradition has shown would keep evil spirits away. Several trees have also been planted, including pine, almond and redwood. After World War II, the O'Neills moved to Boston.
The Foundation maintains an archive of Eugene O'Neill's related material at Tao House (including photographs, plays, manuscripts, posters, and O'Neill 's original phonograph record collection) and sponsors events such as the production of O'Neill's plays in the adjacent barn.
The National Park Service does not publish the address of the property, but it is widely known to be located near Kuss Road in Danville. A locked gate prevents unauthorized vehicles from arriving at the site. The site occupies 13 acres (5.3 ha) accessible by car only by private road, so it is necessary to make advance reservations. Private vehicles are not permitted. Transportation to the site is provided by a two-day free shuttle service from Danville at 10 a.m. and noon on Wednesdays to Sundays and also at 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Bookings are required except on Saturdays when tours are self-guided.
The trails of Las Trampas Regional Wilderness also lead to the site. Reservations are also recommended for those arriving on a horseback or walking tour.
Alamo, California is home to some amazing sites that any discerning visitor should definitely check out on their next visit:
Castle Rock Regional Recreation Area
Round Hill Country Club
Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Park
Diablo Foothills Regional Park
Roll With A Goal
After visiting these lovely places make sure to stop by and say “Hello” to us at our downtown Danville location, DPG Pavers Danville Location on 4115 Blackhawk Plaza Circle!