As wildfires sweep through the Californian city of Malibu, one of the homes destroyed was the historic Castle Kashan, known as the Malibu Castle. Built in the 1970s, the castle was also home to a collection of priceless Elvis Presley memorabilia, including one of Elvis' cars.
Governor Schwarzenegger tonight proclaimed a state of emergency in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura due to more than 11 major wildfires.
Among them is the $17 million Hodge Castle, home to Elvis fan and daughter of an Iranian oil minister, Lilly Lawrence, which has been completely destroyed.
The home contained a priceless collection of family heirlooms and an enviable Elvis collection, housed in a rock 'n' roll room, decorated with a mural of the Graceland gates, a sofa made from the seat of a 1959 Cadillac and memorabilia purchased from Graceland which included Elvis Presley’s Army fatigues.
One of the few things the Princess was able to salvage from the castle was a pair of Elvis Presley's Army fatigues. But she did lose her other Elvis memorabilia -- including 32 original Elvis Presley movie scripts with his handwritten notes in the margins.
As fire took over, Lawrence managed to grab a few items including jewellery and Elvis’ army fatigues.
Fires are expected to engulf the area for several more days and former showgirl and girlfriend of Elvis Presley, Dorothy Harmony, also has an old beachfront residence in Malibu, which will certainly be under threat from the spreading fires.
The cause of the fire is undetermined, although fire officials were looking into the possibility that downed power lines played a role.
The castle was on the market with an asking price of $19 million, and a deal was expected to be closed this weekend. Owner Lilly Lawrence, daughter of an exiled Iranian oil minister and the goddaughter of Aristotle Onassis, was trapped inside her sprawling home with a house guest as the castle burned, the Los Angeles Times reports. Other Malibu landmarks lost to the raging fire is the Malibu Presbyterian Church and the Malibu Animal Hospital.
Source: Google / Updated: Oct 22, 2007