The castle Sister Aimee built is up for sale

The Echo Park home and parsonage of Aimee Semple McPherson sits in the heart of the neighborhood, across from Echo Park Lake and next to the giant dome of Angelus Temple, the church she opened in 1923. Sister Aimee, as she was known, also loved to get away from her adoring parishioners and the newspaper and radio reporters that followed her every step (and misstep). One of her getaways was a 5,000-square-foot Moorish Revival style mansion she built in 1929 atop a hill overlooking Lake Elsinore. The legendary religious figure owned the estate – topped by minarets and domes – for only 10 years but many of the residents near the Riverside County residence still refer to it as Aimee’s Castle. That same property is now for sale at $1.49 million, reports the North County Times. Why would Sister Aimee pick a hill in western Riverside County to build such a lavish home? The North County Times explains:

“The home was built at a time when Elsinore, as it was called then,
was aspiring to be a resort town. The steep hills rising above the lake’s northeastern shore seemed ideal for ridgetop estates that would attract the rich and famous. Clevelin Realty Corp. bought much of the land, dubbed Country Club Heights, and gave McPherson the property on which the house was built, reasoning that her presence would attract other celebrities.”

Decades after she sold off the house, Sister Aimee’s Foursquare Church purchased the property five years ago with the idea of renovating the property and opening it up to church members and the public. But, given the economy, the church put Aimee’s Castle on the market because it was viewed as “a bit of a luxury that Foursquare leaders think they could do without,” the paper said. The home includes some unique features, including a tunnel, hand painted murals and a domed ceiling over the dining room painted to resemble the night sky. The home, according to promotional blurb by broker Crosby Doe Associates, is ” aptly sited on a hilltop between heaven and earth.”

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