For nearly three decades, the largest privately owned home in California has set the standard for extreme luxury, in an area that's no stranger to billionaires and their magnificent mansions.
Built in 1988 by late TV show producer Aaron Spelling and his wife, Candy, the 56,500-square-foot, 14-bedroom, 27-bath home in Los Angeles has hit the market once again, this time with an asking price of $200 million. If the megamansion sells for its asking price, it'll be the most expensive home ever sold in L.A.
The home has been the subject of almost as many rumors as it has rooms. We've compiled a list of the six most interesting facts about the home, in case you're in the market for a truly magnificent mansion.
Its current owner bought the home at the age of 22
Few 22-year-olds can afford real estate in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, where the median asking price currently hovers around $4.3 million. But Petra Stunt was no average home buyer when she picked up Spelling Manor (which is apparently just called "The Manor" now) for $85 million in cash in 2011. The well-heeled millennial is the youngest daughter of Formula 1 owner Bernie Ecclestone, who has an estimated net worth of more than $3 billion.
The mansion's original owners designed a few unconventional rooms
After getting the keys to the mansion in 2011, Stunt ordered a major renovation of the home and its 123 rooms. The Spellings had reportedly built a number of rooms for very specific purposes, including a humidity-controlled silver storage room, a flower-cutting room, multiple gift-wrapping rooms, a barbershop, a room exclusively for Candy Spelling's doll collection, and a basement bowling alley with separate shoe closet. One floor of the home was exclusively devoted to a pair of palatial walk-in closets, measuring 28 feet and 42 feet in length, respectively.
Today, the home reportedly has a double staircase and entryway with 30-foot-tall ceilings, a gym, wine cellar and tasting room, industrial-sized kitchen, an exotic fish tank in the study, night club, and beauty salon with three stations, massage and tanning rooms. The home has room to park 100 cars.
"The current owner spared no expense to update the estate to a contemporary style," the listing reads.
The Spellings bulldozed a classic Hollywood mansion to make way for Spelling Manor
594 S. Mapleton Drive was originally home to a 15,000-square-foot mansion built in 1934 (at the height of the Great Depression) for a department store executive. Singer Bing Crosby bought the home in 1943 and lived there at the height of his career. He sold it in 1964 to the inventor of the Paper Mate ballpoint pen, who owned the house until the early 1980s.
When the Spellings bought the property in 1983 for $10.25 million, Aaron Spelling's career as a television producer was solid gold: "The Love Boat," "Fantasy Island," and "Dynasty" were on the air, and "Beverly Hills, 90210," "7th Heaven," and "Charmed" were still on the horizon.
The neighborhood initially hated the Manor
The Spellings were generally unpopular among their Mapleton Drive neighbors, who watched the French chateau-style mansion slowly take shape over two years, at an estimated cost of $12 million. At the time, they described dealing with heavy construction equipment and throngs of curious onlookers.
In 1985, entertainment attorney Sydney Irmas and his wife, Audrey, filed an injunction against the Spellings, limiting the number of construction trucks on the property and requiring the Spellings to reimburse neighbors for property damage.
$200 million is competitively priced
At 56,500 square feet, the $200 million asking price costs $3,500 per square foot. Compare that to a brand new, 30,000-square-foot, $150 million mansion nearby (built on the site of Barbra Streisand's former estate), which figures out to $5,000 per square foot.
And the 20,000-square-foot Playboy Mansion sold in June for $105 million, or $5,250 per square foot, after initially listing for $200 million, or a whopping $10,000 per square foot.
The home is located on 5 acres bordering the Los Angeles Country Club, just blocks from the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Rodeo Drive. Properties this size are rare so close to downtown Beverly Hills, and its one-percenter shopping and dining.
It's among the largest homes in the U.S., although far from the biggest
One home in California is technically larger than the Manor: Hearst Castle in San Simeon, at 68,500 square feet. However, Hearst's home is owned by California's park system, making the Manor the largest private home in the state.
It's far from the largest home in America: That distinction belongs to the Gilded Age-era Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, which, although it's a tourist attraction today, remains in the Vanderbilt family.
Since 1988, only four private homes built in the U.S. have been larger than the Manor: a 57,000-square-foot mansion in Ohio built by the heiress of a basket-making company, and a 66,000-square-foot mansion in the Hamptons built by a billionaire businessman. The other two, Versailles in Florida, and Pensmore in Missouri, are still under construction.
The owners of Versailles were the subject of the 2012 documentary "The Queen of Versailles," which documented the family's financial troubles during the recession. The owners of Pensmore are suing their construction company for allegedly cutting corners.