Rubel's Castle

Glendora, California

As a child, Michael Rubel built elaborate forts using things he found in a nearby junkyard. His childhood hobby became a grown-up obsession. In 1959, he purchased the former fruit-packing house of gentry farmer and Singer Sewing Machine CEO Al Bourne at a bargain price. Rubel went on to build a five-story castle on the property out of found and reclaimed materials. The 25-year-long DIY project included the addition of drawbridges, turrets, cannons, and towers (shown). It all started when Rubel's mother, a Greenwich Village Follies and Ziegfield dancer, moved in with him in the 1960s and started throwing extravagant—and loud—parties, whose guests included the likes of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Alfred Hitchcock. To escape the ruckus, Rubel built himself a room out of cement and empty wine bottles. The castle is now owned by the Glendora Historical Society, and tours can be arranged.
Ask TOH users about Home & Real Estate

Contribute to This Story Below