Sister Aimee's Castle, Estate of the Day
Today's home is one of the most intriguing that I've seen. It's got quite a back story. This retreat in Lake Elsinore, California was built in 1929 by architect Edwin Dickman for the renowned evangelist and founder of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, Aimee Semple McPherson. Sister Aimee was an evangelist and media celebrity in the 1920s and 1930s. A televangelist before there was such a thing, she traveled the country preaching in revivals and also had a radio show that drew many listeners. In 1926 she disappeared and later re-appeared claiming she'd been kidnapped, a charge which was never proven. This home was a retreat and conference center. It cost $286,000 to build in 1929.
The castle perched high above the lake is a combination of Moorish Revival architecture with a touch of Art Deco. The home was in disrepair for some years but has undergone extensive repairs and now shines again with white plaster walls, minaret style spires and a cerulean blue tiled dome topping a prayer tower. The renovation preserved the original interiors with Moorish arches and intricate wall and ceiling decorations. The five-bedroom home has a large pool and terrace, atrium, an oversized living room, a stunning blue domed dining room, kitchen, servants quarters, gym, and a 2-car garage with direct access through a hidden tunnel. The home is listed at $1.245 million.
Gallery: Sister Aimee's Castle