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Benedict Castle

Benedict Castle

Charles Benedict had the idea to build Castillo Isabella, he was thinking of a castle like residence such as those that are found in Europe. He took Mission Revival and Spanish-Moorish architectures and merged them together and that can be seen throughout the structure. The architect, Henry Jeckel, was very well known for the Biltmore Hotel that is located in Los Angeles, was the chief architect, which took 9 years to complete and started in 1922.

It is made up of steel reinforced concrete and adobe bricks that were baked on site in kilns, the foundation is sitting on a hill of bedrock and is overlooking Riverside as well as the surrounding communities, which is very similar to what Benedict was wanting based on his inspiration which was the Alhambra Castle located in Granada, Spain. When you think about the structural amenities are the stained glass windows that are wood framed, heavy wooden doors that have hand forged iron hinges and latches, iron grill work, tiled and pegged plank hardwood floors, copper weather stripping as well as copper screens, porcelain pedestal wash basins, shower stalls and tubs, tiled bath wells, and French doors that are located on the first floor rooms which lead to the courtyard.

Benedict ensured that there were plenty of rooms. There are 19 rooms all together located within the 10,000 square feet residence. You enter into the main floor through the vestibule that has twin flanking stairways, a unique archway with 6 steps that lead into the living room, music room, and banquet hall, and a Llewellyn automatic elevator that goes straight to the penthouse.

Next to the banquet hall will be the maid’s quarters, butler’s pantry, and kitchen. These were all needed for a gentlemen’s castle. When you travel down the hallway, it will lead to the master bedroom suite which has a balcony that crosses most of the room and leads into a sewing room. The French doors lead out into the courtyard. Located under the first floor are actually two guest suites that have connected bar and rumpus room, baths, as well as storage rooms, utility room, and a large wine cellar.

Located on the second floor there are 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. One will have an elevator that is paneled using Brazilian cherry wood or you can climb the 116 stairs into the tower of the Penthouse which includes a bathroom, dressing room, 4 large closets, a sitting room, and sets of French doors that lead to 1 of 4 balconies. Then further up will be the rooftop sun deck and the copper dome that tops the tower.

It also has a breakfast room which is located near the banquet hall and it has a cloud covered dome ceiling and 500-year-old tile floors that came from a monastery located within Mexico and it even has secret passages. The hidden passage of this property is behind a oak china cabinet that leads down to an underground room where liquor was stored during the prohibition from prohibition agents.