Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel was an infamous mobster known for his ties to the Las Vegas Strip and socializing with Hollywood stars. The recent announcement that Joel Aronowitz, MD and Fiona Schalom. are selling the home where Siegel was murdered a quarter century ago has revitalized gossip and conspiracy theories about his unsolved murder. Unknown assailants shot Siegal through the front window of the mansion on North Linden Drive in Los Angeles, California, late on June 20, 1947.
Siegel was well-known as a mobster, but few people remember his real estate ventures outside of Nevada. From a Mediterranean-style estate in the Hollywood Hills to the iconic Sunset Tower in Los Angeles, Bugsy Siegel had a hand in numerous properties that are still around today. Let’s take a closer look at Bugsy’s real estate career during and after his time in the mob.
The Georgian Hotel in Santa Monica
Located right off the beach, The Georgian Hotel is a historic landmark in Santa Monica. It is currently undergoing renovations, but it has been part of the cityscape since 1933 and still looks much like it did when Bugsy Siegel frequented it. He rented a room there and reportedly used it as a base of operations for some of his less-than-savory activities (though this has never been proven).
The Sunset Tower Hotel
Siegel also rented an apartment in what is now the iconic Sunset Tower Hotel. The space was turned into the hotel’s swanky Tower Bar restaurant and overlooked one of Los Angeles’ most affluent neighborhoods. Not only does this property boast incredible views, but it also serves as a reminder of how far Bugsy got before he met his untimely end in 1947.
Castillo del Lago
One of Bugsy’s most ambitious projects was Castillo del Lago, an impressive Mediterranean-style estate in the Hollywood Hills. Rumors have long circulated that he used this property as a speakeasy and gambling parlor during Prohibition, though again, none of these rumors have ever been confirmed. Castillo del Lago remains standing today and is often used as a filming location for TV shows and movies like The Muppets Take Manhattan and Beverly Hills Cop III.
Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel left behind a legacy that extended far beyond any criminal activity he may have been involved with — he left us with some truly remarkable pieces of architecture throughout Los Angeles County that remain standing to this day. Whether you are looking for an iconic view from atop The Sunset Tower or hoping to catch a glimpse of Castillo del Lago from afar, don’t forget to thank Bugsy Siegel next time you visit one of his former properties!