Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dracula's Hollywood lair has new owners

"Twilight's" Bella has audiences believing cold-blooded vampires and warm-hearted werewolves can be loveable creatures, but there once was a Bela of different sorts.

He, Bela Lugosi -- as oppose to her, Kristen Stewart -- had people running for the exit doors, in his role as Count Dracula, a scary (but somewhat dapper) vampire.

Ironically, Lugosi was born in Hungary (now Romania), which, as the story of Dracula goes, was the country where the blood-suckers preyed upon their victims. During the era of Tod Browning's monster movies, Dracula and Lugosi were almost considered one in the same name. However, rather than a castle in Transylvania, Lugosi chose Hollywood's "Castle La Paloma" as his home. 

Sotheby's International Realty/Konstantine Valissarakos
Lugosi's lair was recently listed at $2.3 million, but, alas, vampire fans, it has been sold, according to Konstantine Valissarakos of Sotheby's International Realty of Los Feliz

The 1924 Norman Brick Tudor sits in the Beachwood Canyon area of Los Angeles, overlooking the Hollywood sign and the city below, a perfect perch for any vampire.

It has the classic detailing that one would expect of the period but it is
not the dark and creepy home that one might imagine Dracula to enjoy.

Instead, the 5,000-square-foot home has a vast amount of natural sunlight. The formal dining room even features a wall of iron bay windows with no shades. There are two master bedroom suites, a ballroom-sized living room, plus numerous details fit for any Count including a large-scale kitchen, butler's pantry, service wing (no doubt with secret passageways), interior archways, slate roof, mahogany doors and handmade iron work.

A photo of one room features a monster movie poster.

It's unknown if that's an original or if it was included in the sale of the house, one thing is for sure, the new owner, which Curbed Los Angeles reported to be San Diego billionaire David Copley, won't find any capes hanging around.

When the Broadway star died in 1956, at age 73, he chose to be buried in his Dracula garb. 

What's great about historical homes, besides being a showcase for architectural design and the work of master craftsman, are the stories about the people who have owned the home at one time or another. Be it the cabin of inventors such as Thomas Edison or a bungalow owned by Hollywood celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe.
One of the most recent postings featured on Top Ten Real Estate Deals is the Rochester Hills home where Madonna grew up.  

But if our hopes are betrayed, if we are forced to resist the invasion of our soil, and to defend our threatened homes, this duty, however hard it may be, will find us armed and resolved upon the greatest sacrifices -- King Albert II.   

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