Mt. Kalmia Castle
The fanciful, Normandy-style turreted and crenelated mansion perch on a 2.66-acre slope just above Sunset Strip was completed in 1932 for Hersee (Helen) Moody Carson and George Campbell Carson, millionaire miner-inventor, at a reputed cost of $500,000, though they didn’t enjoy it for long. George had spent years in court in a legal battle with several copper mining companies over patent infringement before finally winning his suit in 1928. The couple divorced in 1933; George died in March 1934. Helen received a portion of the much-depleted estate, including the castle, only to sell off its furniture and artwork for back taxes in May 1935 (Helen maintained that the proceeds were to go to charity). The castle itself was discretely disposed of in a private sale.
Since 1942 Mt. Kalmia castle had been leased to an ex-Ziegfeld Follies dancer, Patricia Noblesse Hogan, who operated it as a hotel/apartment, with lodgings ranging from “swanky suites” going for upwards of $300 a month to beds in the semi-basement “barracks” at $85 a month. Residents and guests also had use of the castle’s swimming pool and tennis court.
The castle went up on the auction block (again for back taxes) in February 1943, but there were no takers. It came up for auction again in 1946. Dr. Manuel Haig, a Beverly Hills dentist, came in with the winning bid of $83,000 on February 20. He was supposed to take possession within 90 days. But “Queen Pat” stayed put until Sheriff’s forced the eviction of the feisty Miss Hogan and her 38 tenants on January 21, 1947 (1).
Though not as visible from Sunset Strip today as it was in 1946, the Castle still stands, with the address 1486 N. Sweetzer Ave.
(1) Miss Hogen ended up at another dream castle, Franklyn Castle, at 7001 Franklin Ave. She died in August 1970.
3 thoughts on “8311 Sunset Blvd.: Mt. Kalmia Castle ”
In the early 1980’s, I visited 1486 North Sweetzer when a friend of my father’s lived there.
His name was Israel Dan Davis and he was the President of Cinema Research Corp.
Dan had been a combat photographer during WWII, was licensed to fly multi-engine aircraft and had a penchant for anything to do with airplanes. The dining room table was a slate of glass over a Merlin V12 engine from a Supermarine Spitfire. All the chairs around the table were actually ejection seats from various combat fighters. It was quite a place for a 14 year old.
After Dan died in 2002, the estate was sold to Johnny Depp.
Sounds like an interesting fellow. Thanks for sharing.
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