Musician saves fake castle from demolition

Dec. 29, 2005 at 9:17 PM

TUJUNGA, Calif., Dec. 29 (UPI) -- A California musician has bought the ultimate fixer-upper, a fake French chateau built more than 75 years ago near Los Angeles.

William Malouf told the Los Angeles Daily News he knew he wanted Weatherwolde Castle when he first saw a photograph of it.

"I personally, aesthetically, could not think of a more perfect-looking house," Malouf said.

He paid $600,000 to developer Scott Anderson, who had acquired the castle for $550,000 with plans to tear it down and build three new houses on the site. Anderson said that, although he makes less money this way, he avoids a grueling fight with local preservationists, who had made Weatherwolde's fate a cause célèbre.

Malouf has been making the rounds in the neighborhood trying to get pieces of the house back. Neighbors, when they thought the castle was about to fall under the wrecker's ball, made off with stained-glass windows, French doors, hinges and a lion's head door knocker. Malouf said he has already retrieved about 70 percent of what's missing.

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