Moby’s former Los Angeles castle — known as Wolf’s Lair — lands on the market for $15M

In Hollywood's historic Beachwood Canyon, a French Normandy-style castle with a gatehouse designed by John Lautner and a storied history is now up for grabs.

Georgie Mihaila
8 Min Read
Photo credit: Alexis Adam, insert Ron Adar / Shutterstock

A Los Angeles property with a castle-like design, a century-old history, and a famous past owner is now up for grabs, and it has so many interesting things going for it that we don’t even know where to start.

Built back in 1927 for a Hollywoodland developer and art director, the whimsical compound has miniature turrets — said to have served as a home for the original owner’s pet monkey — and overlooks some of Los Angeles’ biggest landmarks, with the Hollywood sign and the Griffith Park Observatory both in view.

It also has a guesthouse/gatehouse designed by legendary architect John Lautner, who worked on the property back in the ’60s.

Unsurprisingly, the fairytale-like home has attracted plenty of star power over the years, with names like Marlon Brando, Debbie Reynolds, and even members of The Beatles all staying here at one point in time. But it was recording star Moby who made it his residence, buying the place in 2010 for $3.925 million — and investing half of that in updating the century-old home.

Now, the 1927-built home is on the market for $15 million (Billy Rose of The Agency holds the listing), and we’re here to take you on a tour of the castle before a buyer takes it off the market.

Photo credit: Alexis Adam / The Agency

All the hallmarks of a Norman castle

With a more sophisticated take on Norman-style architecture, the Los Angeles castle has a fortress-like quality, softened by its white exteriors and inviting promontory surrounded by manicured trails and gardens. It features architectural elements that hark back to medieval architecture, including semicircular arches combined with cylindrical pillars and turrets.

Photo credit: Alexis Adam / The Agency

A home for modern-day living

Photo credit: Alexis Adam / The Agency

Despite its grandiose architecture and signature elements that hint at a time long past, the property at 2869 Durand Drive has everything its future owners might need to live comfortably — and lavishly, I might add. This includes:

  • A nearly 4-acre lot in prime LA
  • 4,967 square feet of living space
  • 8 bedrooms
  • 6 bathrooms
  • A John Lautner-designed guest house
  • A pool house

Known as the Wolf’s Lair

Photo credit: Alexis Adam / The Agency

While the name might sound ominous, it’s actually a tribute to the house’s first owner. The unique property was built in 1927 for L. Milton Wolf, a Hollywoodland developer and art director, said to have designed the castle himself.

The palatial design continues inside

Photo credit: Alexis Adam / The Agency

Stepping inside the century-old home, we find more architectural elements that consolidate its castle status, including coffered ceilings, intricately carved wood, gable windows, and turrets.

The castle is no stranger to celebrities

Photo credit: Alexis Adam / The Agency

Over the years, plenty of stars were attracted to the fairytale-like property at 2869 Durand Dr in Los Angeles. According to our sources, famous past residents include Godfather star Marlon Brando, Singin’ in the Rain actress Debbie Reynolds, and members of The Beatles. But one star made it his own.

See also: The iconic Beverly House: where Jackie O & JFK honeymooned, ‘The Bodyguard’ & ‘The Godfather’ were filmed, and where Beyonce shot ‘Black is King’

Moby called it home for a few years

Photo credit: Alexis Adam / The Agency

Hitmaker Moby, whose real name is Richard Melville Hall, paid $3.925 million for the house back in 2010 — and invested half of that in updating the century-old home.

The NY Times reports that Moby spent $2 million to restore the property, replacing the roof, windows, electricity, and plumbing. He also revamped the kitchen, added an ensuite bathroom to the primary bedroom, and converted a garage in the guest house into a recording studio.

The recording artist tripled the value of the property

Photo credit: Alexis Adam / The Agency

Moby later sold the property to the current owners in 2014 for a whopping $12.4 million, more than triple what he paid for it just a few years prior — a sign that his investment and work on the property more than paid off.

Once redesigned by famed architect John Lautner

Photo credit: Alexis Adam / The Agency

In 1961, legendary mid-century modernist architect John Lautner, the architect who designed iconic properties like the Chemosphere House, the Elrod House, or the Sheats-Goldstein Residence, famously re-designed the guest house. Lautner, a Frank Lloyd Wright protege, employed many of Wright’s signature style elements throughout.

Said to have housed a monkey in the turret

Photo credit: Alexis Adam / The Agency

Much like other unique properties built in the early 20th century in Los Angeles, the house is rumored to have quite a few unique additions — and there have been plenty of stories circulating over the years with what one might find inside.

Milton Wolf, the original owner of the Wolf’s Lair, is said to have kept a pet monkey who lived in one of the castle’s turrets. But there have also been talks about a secret tunnel that leads from the main castle to the gatehouse, or about a stairwell leading to an underground, possibly Prohibition-era tiki bar, Curbed once reported.

It has some of the best views in town

Photo credit: Alexis Adam / The Agency

With a killer Hollywood Hills location, the castle opens up to outstanding views, with residents and their guests looking out the windows to see the Hollywood Reservoir, the Hollywood sign, and Griffith Park Observatory.

To take in the wonderful views, outdoor amenities include extensive, manicured trails, a pool, plenty of outdoor seating, and a charming pool house that seemingly floats above the reservoir.

Photo credit: Alexis Adam / The Agency

A one-of-a-kind listing

The unique French Normandy-style castle is listed with The Agency Co-founder Billy Rose, and is currently asking $15,000,000, just $2.6 million more than what Moby sold it for back in 2014. And we can’t wait to see who its next celebrity owner might be.

Photo credit: Alexis Adam / The Agency

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With a decade-long career as a digital content creator, Georgie started out as a real estate journalist for Multi-Housing News & CPExecutive. She later transitioned into digital marketing, working with leading real estate websites like PropertyShark, RENTCafé and Point2Homes. After a brief but impactful stint in the start-up world, where she led the marketing divisions of fintech company NestReady and media publisher Goalcast, Georgie returned to her first passion, real estate, and founded