Shielded behind shrubbery, the chateau stands seven stories tall underneath gray shingling. Heavy window hoods shade the windows on the uppermost floor. Above them, a pair of seamless gabled dormers pops out and an octagonal tower rises from the roof. Panels of quatrefoil bedeck the balcony railings. Lush gardens and groves of palm and Eucalyptus trees wrap around the property, shading the private cottages and bungalows below. Inside, arched doorways and windows are relics of a French style centuries oldbut the building hasn't yet reached its first century of existence. Thousands of miles removed from the French Chateau d'Amboise that inspired it, this castle resides not in a land of fields and vineyards, but in one of freeways and red carpets. Hollywood's Chateau Marmont is an icon of the city, not only for the celebrities who frequent it, but also for its historic place amongst the urban castles of Los Angeles.
L.A., though relatively young compared to the country's East Coast and its pilgrim-led settlements, and perhaps with less of a direct European architectural influence, is full of castles. The story of how these towers became part of the SoCal skyline isn't an entirely linear one.