Musician and architecture lover Moby was, until recently, the proud owner of one of LA's most glamorous homes—Wolf's Lair, an eight-bedroom replica of a Norman castle overlooking the Hollywood Reservoir and built in 1927 for Milton Wolf, a Hollywoodland developer and art director. Variety reports that Moby, who bought the home for $3.925 million (and then dropped $2 million on repairs to the whimsical compound), has sold it in an off-market deal to "anonymous corporate concern" for $12.4 million. Mysterious, but isn't that just like this place?
Aside from the overall fairy-tale look of the castle—the coffered ceilings, the gable windows, the turrets—the property comes with all the quirky eccentricities one could hope for. Supposedly there's a secret tunnel that leads from the main castle to the gatehouse, but it's documented that there's definitely a stairwell leading to an underground, possibly-Prohibition-era tiki bar. Add this detail to the fact that one of the building's "miniature turrets" was designed as a home for Wolf's pet monkey, and this home is instantly legendary. Oh, and Debbie Reynolds, Marlon Brando, and The Beatles were all occupants of the Lair at various points in time.
Moby's 2010 purchase carried on the manor's established tradition of quirk, as he converted the speakeasy tiki bar into a *music space and restored the property's guesthouse/gatehouse, designed by John Lautner, into a recording studio which harmless, disoriented people would sometimes stumble into while on acid trips. We can only hope that the faceless corporate entity that purchased the compound adds to the legacy of this amazing property.
Tiki bar photo courtesy Stephen Price
· Moby Surreptitiously Sells Historic Wolf's Lair Compound in Los Angeles [Variety]
· Wolf's Lair archives [Curbed LA]