Fascinating History Around Spector’s Pyrenees Castle Home
On Monday, record producer Phil Spector was convicted of second-degree murder in the 2003 death of actress Lana Clarkson. During the course of the trial, his 1700 Grand View Drive, Alhambra, CA home was thrust into the national spotlight because it was the scene of the crime. Not since OJ Simpson’s civil court conviction in the wrongful deaths of wife Nicole Brown Simpson and friend, Ron Goldman, have Hollywood-area addresses rolled off our tongues: Rockingham Ave and Bundy Drive became part of our daily lexicon. Now, the Spector home on Grand View Drive is right up there and oh, what a home it is. It’s known as the Pyrenees Castle and it sits up high in the Alahambra neighborhood of Los Angeles, surrounded by regular, stucco-style homes.
(Photo of Pyrenees Castle upon completion in 1926)
There’s a fascinating history about the Pyrenees Castle (from the city of Alhambra):
- Built in 1926 by Frenchman Sylvester Dupuy. It’s a replica of a chateau he admired as a young boy, growing up in Southern France.
- Dupuy hired architects and workers to plan and build the castle, and artisans were brought from Europe to complete the interior.
- Built of concrete and steel, with walls 3-feet thick at the foundation and 1-foot wide at the eaves.
- It had 10 bedrooms, 8 fully tiled bathrooms with Italian marble floors, a game room, a breakfast room, an office, dens, service and utility rooms, a large basement, an extensive balcony, covered patios and a large wine cellar in which the Dupuy family made its own wine.
- Magnificent chandeliers, crystal sconces, gorgeous wood paneling, beautiful hardwood floors, a marbled center hall and a courtyard with a huge water fountain embellished the palace. The 3-acre property also included tennis courts, playgrounds for children and towers guarding its strategic corners.
- Dupuy made his money in agriculture, but lost most of his fortune in oil investments shortly before his death in 1936.
- Dupuy’s children sold the castle in 1946, and it was then converted into an eight-unit apartment dwelling. Dupuy’s wife occupied one of the units until her death in 1949.
- Over the years, the castle has had several owners, sheltered many residents and has been the source of fantastic legends.
According to public records, Spector purchased the castle in 1998 and was quoted in Esquire magazine as saying, “I’ve bought myself a beautiful and enchanting castle in a hick town where there is no place to go that you shouldn’t.”
During the trial, jurors visited Phil Spector’s house and got to tour three rooms that were critical to the crime. They saw a mashup of history over the years: Spector’s accomplishments as a producer (a John Lennon print in the living room, photos of Spector with celebs, a baby grand white piano), contrasted with full body suits of armor flanking the foyer and grand chandeliers.
Not sure if Spector’s home will go on the market, but it will be a home with a sordid past.