Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Castillo del Lago Is Indeed For Sale

SELLER: Joe Pytka
LOCATION: Mulholland Highway, Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $14,950,000
SIZE: 7,783 square feet, 9 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Legendary 1920s Hollywood Hills estate. This Mediterranean paradise poised on +/-3 acres above Lake Hollywood with unrivaled vistas from Downtown to Catalina is superbly appointed throughout with state-of-the-art amenities. Exquisite craftsmanship with lofty 25’ beamed & coffered ceilings. Beautifully designed kitchen with marble counters, Sub-Zero, O’Keefe & Merit stove. Wine cellar, media room, gym, elevator, sumptuous master ste. Rose gardens, exotic fountains, a terraced courtyard, & pool.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It's official. Just as two tattlers whispered in Your Mama's big ol' ear in late February, the legendary Castillo del Lago estate, currently owned by hairrific commercial director Joe Pytka, has hit the open market with an asking price of $14,950,000.

The house was built in 1926 for oil explorer Patrick Longdon and it is widely believed to have been home to mobster Bugsy Siegel who reportedly used the house as an illegal speakeasy and gambling parlor, natch. In the 1950s, the property fell into a state of disrepair and transferred hands several times until 1993 when it landed in the hands of man-eating superstar Madonna who is, for better or worse, the person responsible for the Ronald McDonald color scheme. With the assistance of her bad-mouthing brother Christopher, Madge spent millions renovating the place. However, shortly after one of her security goons shot a moron attempting to scale a perimeter wall, she sold the place to our Mister Pytka who, according to property records, forked over $5,300,000 for approximately 3-acre ridge top estate on Mulholland Highway.

Property records and listing information show the house measures 7,783 square feet and includes 6 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms spread out over what we understand is 7 (or possibly 9) floors accessible by both elevator and a vertigo inducing spiral staircase. The living room, with its soaring beamed ceiling, matching chandeliers and zebra striped accents features a fireplace and a row of Palladian style French doors that open to a large terrace with staggering views of Lake Hollywood, the glittery lights of Los Angeles and Catalina Island in the distance.

The long narrow dining room has a tile floor and a honeycomb coffered ceiling and the large, all white kitchen includes marble counter-tops, a vintage O'keefe and Merrit stove and twin SubZero refrigerator/freezers. Other rooms, according to listing information, include a paneled library/billiard room, a narrow and dark looking library space with a couple of rows of floor to ceiling book stacks, a den, home gym, media room and, of course, a wine cellar. Are there any houses in L.A. priced more than five million bucks that don't have a freaking wine cellar? And of course there is the signature tower with 360 degree views of everything everywhere in Los Angeles.

The extensive grounds include a swooping and gated driveway, a terraced courtyard, private patios, shade pergolas, rose gardens, a few fountains and a large flat lawn with a long lap pool that looks private enough to skinny dip and sunbathe in the nude without being seen by nosy neighbors.

The relatively remote location of Castillo del Lago will surely turn off all those fancy folks who dare not drive their big bodied Benzes east of Doheny Drive. It will also not please the slightly less fancy folks who squish their faces in disdain at the notion of living east of the Hollywood Freeway. However, for all the deep pocketed privacy seekers who don't mind winding through the twisting roads of Beachwood Canyon to get home or climbing stairs and riding in elevators to get from room to room, this is a most unique and charming option...even if it does need a bit of sprucing up.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Love this place. So much more interesting than a lot of the other crap thats on the market in West L.A. This or the Montalban place, decisions decisions.

Anonymous said...

LOVES IT

ms_wonderland said...

Excellent example of Hollywood pastiche. That kitchen just jars though, it looks like an operating theatre.

StPaulSnowman said...

This is a wonderfully interesting house. All I would need to do is swap out all the ceiling fixtures, keep the art, and move in. It seems very well sited on the lot and the grounds look swell. Given all the moody dark, old hacienda feel of the library and living room, I don't even mind the albino kitchen. Lucky Madge to have lived in so many great houses.......there could be a coffee table book of her homes with incidental nude photos in the future.

Anonymous said...

What's the needed sprucing up that Mama refers to? Looks pretty beautiful and already spruced up to me. I would imagine that Madge spent lots of money on it, and then this dude probably had his turn as well.

angeleyes said...

My first thoughts are what an unusually interesting house, but the interior design esthetic is too bland and subdued. The kitchen is sitting there like a color and interest starved blank canvas, the dining and living room chandliers don't look like they belong in a Spanish home, (I'm really not fond of any of the hanging light fixtures here), the furniture is white, throw pillows are white, and all the walls are white, wood paneling aside. On the upside, this home's interiors have alot of potential for anyone with even a smidge of imagination which makes me wonder what the person who readied it for sale was thinking. A single flower on the kitchen island and not one to be seen anywhere on the grounds? Sigh..

Thanks Mama :)

Anonymous said...

love it! kitchen is indeed operating room scary but i'll leave that for the maids to worry about since i'll never see it!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful home.

I worked with Joe Pytka back in the day, and he's a real meanie!

Every Building Has A Story said...

It is a great house. I wouldn't change anything that can be seen in Mama's photos.

Anonymous said...

Mama, I'm surprised you didn't say anything about the pot rack... although it's not your typical one hanging in the middle of the room, there are two on either side of the oven!

Anonymous said...

Angeleyes - those fixtures in the living room and dining room are most definitely what you would find in a house of this era and caliber in Mexico.

Babe "t minus 3 days 'til Grey Gardens!" Parish said...

LOVE this house, LOVE this neighborhood. Perfect place for a person who does not give a good googily goo what people think. Pytka did a great job correcting and cleaning up after Madge and her Big Mouth Brother. Beautiful property! :)

luke220 said...

I'd gut the kitchen. Otherwise, I like it.

Anonymous said...

The kitchen would need updating.

I like white, but I would go blind in there.

Looks like the galley on a 747.

Anonymous said...

what is it meant to mean when the author says, "natch?"

Anonymous said...

It means Naturally..........unless it has an s before it.

Anonymous said...

Sold, who do I write the check to?
Seriously though, it is not bad.
It is a castle in LA and it does not have some insane $40-$150 million price tag.
As much as I generally think California is overpriced, I would probably actually buy this one.

Coworker said...

Beautiful house currently owned by a guy with the reputation of being a nasty bastard who is impossible to work for or with. The lovely home will be lucky to be rid of him.

Anonymous said...

Average Joe owns this house? Naw..Must be some other nasty bastard.

Anonymous said...

I'm interested in knowing if property records show what Madonna had paid for the home back in 1993? I'm trying to see what property value has increased over the past sixteen years on Mullholland?

Alessandra said...

I'd buy it for the library and views alone. Throw in the seemingly flat lot and the history behind the property, plus the decent architecture and I'm in love.

Not sure I love the Hollywood Hills location, but I'm sure I could manage.

pch said...

I agree with Alessandra. This would normally be too far east for me, a practical consideration, but I'd consider moving all the way to Pomona for this house. It's superb.

White Chocolate Mess said...

fantastic! this and wolf's lair have always been two of my faves. It's what I envision when i'm doing my "california dreamin"

Georgica Pond said...

Hello Babe! We need to petition Mama to do a Grey Gardens special!!!
I know you will be glued to the TV. Looking forward to hearing your "review".

Anonymous said...

10:51 - About 5 million dollars. That only tells you what *this* property may have increased in value - not "property values on Mullholland". This is a unique property regardless of Madonna's past ownership. The nearby houses along Mulholland Hwy average 2500s.f.

Anonymous said...

About this house, according to her brother's (yawn) 2008 book, Published by Simon and Schuster.

Marcelo said...

THAT'S MY DREAM CASTLE !!

Naomi said...

Click on Mama's "hairy" link if you want an idea of what a mean jerk the current owner is. He looks like he acts. I guess that's why there are real estate agents so no buyer has to meet him.

MH Critic said...

The house is amazing. So is Madonna and her brother Christopher did an amazing job with the interior design.

Anonymous said...

@11:39 a.m. - Wait...Mama said that Madge sold it to Pytka for $5.3M. If she paid $5M then that means she only asked for $300K above what she paid and she "spent millions renovating the place." So...that doesn't make sense.

Can anyone confirm? She paid $5M for this house in 1993? If so, hur is not as savvy of a bidness persun that I thunk she wuz.

Please advise.

Anonymous said...

that house is so dark and vile

Anonymous said...

"Marcelo said...THAT'S MY DREAM CASTLE !!"

that's supposed to be a castle?

Anonymous said...

I am confused. Pytka bought it in 1998, then Simon Fuller bought it in 2004 according to a number of sources, and now Pytka is selling it? Sounds shady. Enlighten me?

Marcelo said...

To Anonymous (11:42 PM)
Well, the name of that house (yes, the house did get a name - don't you ask me why!) is "Castillo del Lago" which is spanish for 'Castle of/from Lake' so yes, i guess that's supposed to be a castle, vassal !!

Anonymous said...

I have been in the house a few times, it's utterly, utterly magnificent, it's beyond compare. Pytka is also a restauranteur so the catering facilities and cellar are amazing. It's quite extraordinary, appointed in the most perfect taste. The Moroccan bathroom is earth shattering actually.

I wish I could buy the damned thing.

Doesn't need fixing up at all IMHO

Anonymous said...

It's been reduced to $7,995,000!!
check out the website at http://www.castillodellago.com/

Anonymous said...

Ive been in the house a few times it has great views throughout the whole property..and all you need is a priest to make the elevator a confessional.I also love the moroccan style home theatre room nice! The old buzzard pytkas not so bad do your job!