Feb 10, 2010, 11:50 AM EST
Wilt Chamberlain seems almost more of a legend than an actual human who dominated both the men on the basketball court and the ladies off of it. Most of us have never seen the man play basketball but are certainly familiar with the tales of the 100-point game and the 20,000 women he claimed to have slept with during his lifetime. We tend to simply believe everyone who says he was probably the greatest center to ever play the game. But what about the ladies part? 10,000? Really?
Seeing photos of his Bel Air mansion that was built on a World War II antiaircraft gun site, complete with an "X-rated room" that is straight out of an Austin Powers movie, makes you wonder.
A 1972 Life Magazine article described the ridiculous playroom as such: "A five-sided room, its 'floor' a circular water bed, eight feet in diameter, covered with French black rabbit fur. Custom wedge sofas in purple velvet fill space from bed to walls. Purple velvet covers the wall and the ceiling which is lit with tiny bulbs like stars. A timed light bounces a spectrum of colors around the room giving an outer-space atmosphere to the whole thing."
Okay, maybe 10,000 wasn't such a stretch.
You know, I was thinking about getting a laptop bag made out of French black rabbit fur but then I realized it'd force me to have something in common with Howard Eskin. And it's not the 1970's anymore.
I mean look at this outfit.
A blog titled MidCentury Architecture has full scans of pieces that appeared in Life and Ebony in 1972 and 1974 respectively — both fascinating reads. Check out the ads in Ebony back then too.
They also uncovered this property listing from 2007. From Big Time Listings:
“Built in 1971, the five-bedroom, 7,158-square-foot
contemporary-style house at 15216 Antelo Place in Bel-Air was built by
Chamberlain, who lived there until his death in 1999. TV writers George
Meyer and Maria Semple purchased the house from Chamberlain’s estate in
2002 for nearly $3 million, and have owned it ever since. The house has
attracted much attention over the years—both with this listing and in
2000-2002, when Chamberlain’s estate was trying to unload it, first for
$7.45 million and later reducing its asking price to $4.38 million. The
house’s unconventional (some might say tacky) features include a
gold-lined hot tub, a retractable mirrored ceiling above the master
bed, a swimming pool that flows into the living room, walls of glass,
40-foot ceilings, a wrap-around pool, and a balcony suspended over the
living room, according to listing information. Other features include
five and a half baths and teak finishes, according to listing
The house sits on a 2.58-acre parcel that has ocean and city views, according to public records and listing information.”
>>Wilt "The Stilt" and His House on the Hill [MidCentury Architecture]
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