Where does Phil Spector live?

phil-spectors-home.jpgI’ve never cared to buy or even see a “Star Map,” but I will admit that I’ve been curious about where Phil Spector lives. Maybe you’ve heard the news descriptions about the death of Lana Clarkson at his “hilltop mansion in Alhambra” and wondered (like I have) why Phil Spector lives in Alhambra. I know Alhambra pretty well and it’s really known more for its boba shops and yummy Asian food than for hilltop mansions. In fact, most of Alhambra is pretty darn flat. So I’ve always figured that this mansion must have been pretty kick ass for him to want to live in Alhambra instead of a mansion somewhere on the Westside.

Thanks to an online reprint from the February 2001 issue of “Around Alhambra,” I have some answers about the history of Phil Spector’s home, a property known as the Pyrenees Castle (1700 South Grandview Drive, Alhambra, CA 91803).

The dense walls of the Pyrenees Castle embrace much history. In 1926, Sylvester Dupuy’s dream of building a castle had come true. The Pyrenees Castle was the culmination of his childhood dream to build a replica of a beautiful chateau he had admired when growing up in Southern France. It had 10 bedrooms, eight 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.

Over the years, the castle has had several owners, sheltered many residents and has been the source of fantastic legends. One tale told of a wealthy motor magnate who never permitted himself to be seen entering or leaving the building. “Eastern gangsters,” secret elevators and passwords were the fodder for other tales.

In 1985, a Buddhist meditation temple was blocked from acquiring the castle. Neighbors of the castle led the charge against the temple, claiming traffic, noise and the promise of weekly festivals posed a serious threat to the castle.

My favorite quote in the article (mind you, this is from 2001):

Currently, record producer Phil Spector is the proud owner of the castle. A couple of years ago, Spector 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.” The neighbors are probably happy to have a stay-at-home proprietor with no where to go so that the castle will continue to receive the attention it so rightly deserves.

Another link: Court TV Crime Library

Photo credit: AP Photo

5 Replies to “Where does Phil Spector live?”

  1. With the number of well connected and vicariously connected folks on BLa or our readers, how many have been in the house and have met Spector. I can’t resist the pun…is there a specter in the Spector house?

  2. As a child growing up in Alhambra in the early 60’s, my Stingray bicycle and I would occasionally ride up the hill around the castle. Even as a child I would ponder who would live in such a mansion, which was surrounded by rather modest homes one-tenth its size?

    The massive home is located just west of Fremont and several blocks south of Valley Blvd, rather well secluded by many trees.

  3. I rode around that same hill in the ’80s. I’ve heard that you used to be able to go trick-or-treating in there. There were rumors about ghosts in there, but I don’t know any details. Now the Alhambra High auditorium… :)

  4. The City of Alhambra web site also has a nice historical photo of the Dupuy Chateau* shortly after it was built in 1926, before the fast-growing Deodar cedars that Dupuy planted grew up enough to hide the mansion.

    *I know Phil likes to call the place a “castle”, but it isn’t, really: castles are fortified, defensible structures. This place wouldn’t survive an assault by a troop of Boy Scouts.

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