Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Your Mama Hears...

...From two separate singing canaries that the legendary Castillo del Lago high in the Hollywood Hills is soon to be listed with an electrifying asking price between fifteen and eighteen million clams.

(Gasps heard 'round the world.)

The 9-story fortress-like mansion on Mulholland Highway, was designed and built by John DeLario in 1926 and sits in the shadow of the Hollywood sign overlooking the higgledy-piggledy shores of Lake Hollywood. Originally built for oil explorer Patrick Longdon (some resources say his name was Patrick Logan), the house was once home to notorious gangster Bugsy Siegel who allegedly used it as a speakeasy and gambling parlor.

In the 1950s, the house fell into a sad state of disrepair, was vandalized and, at one point, caught fire. The property eventually came under ownership by some guy with the rather impressive name of Baron Patrick de Selys-Longchamps who, according a knowledgeable source we chit-chatted with, lived on the property for a few years in un-restored condition. The Baron sold to a couple named Willfong who did over and did up the house and, we're told, had it published in Architectural Digest. Records show that in 1990, the Willfongs sold to Richard Grossman and Lisa Lyons who happen to be the folks currently selling the old Cecil B. deMille estate in Laughlin Park. The Grossman/Lyons in turn sold it to Her Madgesty Madonna Ciccone in 1993.

The Kabbalah Kween quickly mortified and alienated some of her neighbors when she painted parts of the the exterior with red and yellow horizontal stripes. By some accounts, further renovations by the do as she pleases entertainer stripped the house of even more of architectural integrity. In a sensationally scathing November 2004 article in the Times Online, L.A. based architecture aficionado, noted real estate broker of iconic properties and nearby neighbor Crosby Doe was quoted as saying, "She wrecked it." Mister Doe went on to state, "They took the historic tiles off the roof, threw them in a dumpster and put on these Taco Bell tiles. It was one desecration after another." Oh, ouch!

In 1996, not long after one of her security staff shot a stupid and deranged man attempting to scale the walls of the property, Madge moved on and the house was purchased by prolific and award winning commercial director Joe Pytka who has owned it ever since. Records show he forked over $5,300,000 for the property.

Property records show the house measures 7,783 square feet with 9 bedrooms and 6 terlits. However, her trash talking brother Christopher writes in his salacious tell-all book Life With My Sister Madonna that, "The twenty-thousand-square-foot castle has five bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, stands of four acres of land, and–with its 160 foot lookout tower–feels secure." We'll let y'all decide who's figures are accurate.

Keep in mind puppies, that for now, news of Castillo del Lago coming up for sale is just rumor and gossip. Got that? Rumor and gossip.

photo: Pacific Coast News

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

5.3 million in 1996 and 15-18 million now? Does he think the economy is booming? Or is he just living in fantasyland like so many home sellers today?

Anonymous said...

Times must be tough in the advertising world as well.

Anonymous said...

It is a historic property in a good part of town and unlike Wolf's Lair, is laid out well. It will sell.

Anonymous said...

I'd give my child for even a peek inside. Nice links to Hollywoodland stuff too, Mama

Anonymous said...

I was lucky enough to tour the house about 10 years ago and it is the coolest home I've ever seen. I don't think it's even close to 20,000 sf, but it is VERY tall, so it seems bigger than it really is.

Anonymous said...

That's insane .. I seriously was just trying to find pictures of this place a few hours ago - noticed the cool property at the end of Arrowhead was back on the market & knew this place was around the corner so was trying to find pics ... I love this place, $18M though? Doubtful ...

thevinylvillage said...

I love how it steps down the hill...

I vaguely recall the heat ole Madge took when she gussied it up fast-food style.

Anonymous said...

Are there any more photos of it? I can't find any online. I'm obsessed with this house.

Anonymous said...

The colors aren't nearly as bright as reported. Even when freshly painted. Now after many years they are even more muted. It was just a shock to see colors on what for many many years had been a cool white castle above the lake. Which was never really a lake...it was a municipal reservoir created by building a dam across a canyon with a stream running through it. It is the dam that gave way in the old disaster movie "Earthquake". Now the city has built large underground storage cisterns and the "lake" is just for looks.

By the way, this is just up the hill from where one of Mama’s next stories will probably come from – Audrina Partridge’s (from “The Hills”) house that Mama wrote about a few months ago was burglarized on Sunday night. There is surveillance footage of the thieves. Looks to be a young couple in their 20s – probably fans of the show.

Anonymous said...

This place does nothing for me. It looks like a convalescent home. No charm or grace about it at all. Kind of like Madge herself.

Anonymous said...

pytka is old and screwed up from years of using a shoulder mount. the 9 flights of stairs is probably just too much for him these days.

commercial real estate said...

wow, it's really a beautiful place to go with..

- ledz -

Anonymous said...

One of Tom Petty's videos was filmed here - the pool scene where the chic chucks the oscar into the pool that Jonny Depp is taking a wee in.

Anonymous said...

One of Tom Petty's videos was filmed here - the pool scene where the chic chucks the oscar into the pool that Jonny Depp is taking a wee in.

angeleyes said...

It's appearance does have an institutional vibe to it. Mama's "fortress-like" descrition is apt. Hope it has an elevator or two.

Anonymous said...

Not only did Madge offend her neighbors by painting the gleaming white castle with surplus Dept. of Transportation curb paint, the incessant helicopters that ferried materials in all day long drove everyone mad.

call me sentimental... said...

Tear that puppy down!!

Anonymous said...

As Mama said... "John DeLario in 1926 and sits in the shadow of the Hollywood sign overlooking the higgledy-piggledy shores of Lake Hollywood."
Here's a snapshot:
http://www.imagekandi.com/photo/pages/hollywood-sign-and-castillo-del-lago.htm

Anonymous said...

I too remember the heat that Madge got from everyone on her poor taste in paint. I forgot how visible this house is for someone who so wanted to protect her privacy

Anonymous said...

According to the book Houses of Los Angeles (1920-1935) by Sam Watters, the tower of Castillo del Lago was added to the house during 1970's.
In the book there is a picture of Castillo from 1920's without the tower, and it looks weird. I like it more with it.

The Hollywood Mayor said...

This house is not worth more than $11M... sorry.. it is rich in history though.

Anonymous said...

He will most likely sell it to the guy that is currently leasing it, who you may ask ?

the owner of american idol

simon fuller

:)

Anonymous said...

I don't remember any helicopters "ferrying materials". Would have been a ridiculous waste considering how easy it is to drive a semi right up to the gate of the house.

Anonymous said...

18MM ?



I am sure he will have it on the MLS for a year or two starting at 18MM, 13MM, 12MM, 9MM and so on,

I doubt he could sell it back to himself for 18MM just to keep up the illusion that his property is indeed worth that amount,

only the uber rich can do that as their tax bill alone is 50MM a year

here is the other problem, the location

east hollywood hills is to beverly hills what the rest of NY is to manhattan, the rest of england is to london, the rest of japan is to tokyo, the rest of russia is to moskow and so on,

so you do the math

and the sad part is that he will have to spend 200k in marketing, ad's realtors time just to get this place to market

if he was smart he would put it up for what he got it for or a little less, and maybe he may sell it.

this market is not a good place for a director, even a famous one

Anonymous said...

"the owner of american idol

simon fuller"


Why is he renting it? He was refurbishing his house on Ridgedale Dr & while he was doing that he bought an amazing house on Tanager Way to live in which he sold last year[?] when the renovations to the Ridgedale property were complete ...

Anonymous said...

"here is the other problem, the location"

Not everyone wants to live in Beverly Hills or Bel Air ... I agree that he'll never get $18M but there are many very wealthy people who choose to live east of the 101! From this house it's 5 mins down to Cahuenga then another 5 mins & you're slap bang in the middle of Hollywood ... it's a pretty central location

Anonymous said...

Then, I guess she doesn't mind wasting time and money, because those helicopters were there for a straight week!

Anonymous said...

So Average Joe (pretending to be anon 1:00), you've been called out on this before. Please explain why ANYONE would sell to themselves to keep the values in a neighborhood artificially high when they are leaving the neighborhood. Why would they care? You make no sense.

And apparently the "uber rich" and celebrities know something you don't. They have lived in this part of the Hollywood Hills since the birth of the motion picture industry in So. California.

Anonymous said...

2:42: How many helicopters did it take to build all those houses in Hollywoodland if it is so remote as to require airlifting building supplies? Did they have helicopters in the early 1900s?

Anonymous said...

Not really sure about the whole helicopter debate but some of the little streets off of Beachwood are ridiculously steep & windy ... Just driving a car on them is an ordeal, never mind a huge vehicle with building supplies.

Anonymous said...

well one of the simons from AI is living there, which one it is I do not know,

and no I am not avg joe sorry

Anonymous said...

For Sale ? by James Whorriskey (Delbert Jackson).
Once her Hollywood residence (Castillo Del Lago), the former Beverly Hills palace of her Madgesty Madonna Ciccone Penn Ritchie has hit the market again with a staggering asking price of $17,495,000. According to property records, Madonna sold the property to the current owners in October of 2004 for $8,750,000

Property records reveal that Madonna purchased the .59 acre property on N. Roxbury Drive with it's big Wallace Neff designed house from Diane Keaton in May of 2000 for an undisclosed sum of money, although it was reported to be around $6,500,000.

Might be worth a punt, credit crunch and all that !
Comments

Anonymous said...

"worth a punt"...madonna.......no I won't say it, I just won't.

Anonymous said...

7:13 - you're posting about two different houses about 10 miles apart.

Castillo Del Lago is on Durand in Hollywoodland/Beachwood Canyon (5:16 - wide and easily accessible in that part of the hills).

The Wallace Neff house is on Roxbury in Beverly Hills.

Madonna doesn't own either one anymore.

Anonymous said...

Alot of weidos hang out on the track in front of the property.

Anonymous said...

oh please ... L.A has lots of weirdos hanging out everywhere!

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:52, calm down. I didn't say anything about the 1920s, nor did I imply that's the only way to get to the property. Simply recalling what Madonna did when she renovated the place.

Anonymous said...

8:05 - And you're full of sh*t. Madonna's brother (who did the work on the house when she bought it) didn't haul anything in via helicopter. I know. I asked him.

Anonymous said...

Yes, 8:56am - and Madonna's brother is such a reliable, credible historian, no?

Anonymous said...

Madonna spent big bucks on Security measures, so somebody who want a fortress will like the place. Good place to be if the pesants stage another uprising in Los Angeles.....

Anonymous said...

He doesn't need to be a historian to know whether he himself hired helicopters for the renovation he did on the house, does it? Maybe you're old as dirt and don't remember what you did 10 years ago but that doesn't mean the rest of us are.

caveman said...

good story & interesting house.
i'd like a tour of this one.

Anonymous said...

anon 8 56

I doubt you know her brother like that

and if you did you certainly would not be stupid enough to ask him a retarded question and in the process lower his opinion of you

would you ?

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it rented out to the forgotten scientology couple J & B Elfman?

Anonymous said...

6:25 - It's really easy -

"Hey - Did you hear the rumor that Castillo might be hitting the market for 15 million?"

"I read it on that site I was telling you about last year, the one with the gay guy who calls himself Mama."

"Some queen is posting that you used helicopters to bring in the supplies when you redid the house"

"I know, can't believe everything you read on the internet but that one gave me a good laugh"

"Yeah, it still has your paint job and people are still talking about it"

Anonymous said...

So I actually grew up with the Pytka's, I slept over partied and much more in this house;) So I know a lot about this house. This house is amazing and has a lot of history like Mama said. It has so many hidden doors and weird storage spaces, great when you play hide and seek as a kid my favorite spot was inside the main staircase yes inside. The pool you see isn't that deep, deepest in the middle shallow at the ends with a lion statue for a dive spot. There is a rod spiral staircase that leads way up to a very tiny space perfect for a imaginary tree house. Oh it also has very high ceilings wood beams (basically a spanish style house) red stone floors in most of the house. But Joe has definitely not changed the color it is a perfect rust brick color. It's been a while since I've been sadly his kids have moved out were all grown up I'm 21 so thats why i think he would sell it if he does it a huge house great for a family. Side note on the price Joe is Joe whatever he wants to sell it he will!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, i live in France, just came last year to see this castle, i would like to know who lives there?
Thanx for the reply

Anonymous said...

"The Kabbalah Kween quickly mortified and alienated some of her neighbors when she painted parts of the the exterior with red and yellow horizontal stripes."

only trash would do that to a house.