(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