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Whittell Estate
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
Nearest city: Incline Village, Nevada
Area: Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Architect: Frederick De Longchamps
Architectural style(s): Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals, Other
Governing body: State, Thunderbird Lodge Preservation Society
NRHP Reference#: </ref>

The Thunderbird Lodge (also known as the Whittell Estate) is a 6 acres (2.4 ha) waterfront estate in located on the east shore of Lake Tahoe.[1] It was built in 1939 as the summer home of George Whittell Jr., an heir to one of San Francisco's wealthiest families. Whittell also owned almost 40,000 acres (16,000 ha) of the Nevada shore of Lake Tahoe, and planned to develop it, but decided that he "liked not having neighbors."[2]

In addition to the main house, the estate contained an "Elephant House" -- home to Mingo, Whittell's two ton Indian Elephant --, a 600 ft (180 m) underground passage complete with a dungeon, and a boathouse containing a 56 ft (17 m) yacht.[3][2] The house has no guest rooms as Whittell wanted no overnight visitors.[4]

Whittell died in 1969 and much of the property went to the state or the U.S. Forest Service.[4] The Lodge is currently owned by the Thunderbird Lodge Preservation Society, and is now a popular tourist attraction. Tours are by reservation only and are limited to 20 persons at a time.[4]

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