Considering his seven-foot stature, it’s no surprise that the late basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain required a few unique specifications when he custom-built his Bel Air mansion in 1971. There were the extra high countertops, sure, but the four-time MVP also outfitted the 9,395-square-foot home with plenty of eyebrow-raising features designed with his rather infamous bachelor lifestyle in mind (in his 1991 memoir, the sportsman claimed to have slept with 20,000 women). The current owners of the highly unique five-bedroom, eight-bathroom home—which has since been modernized and renovated into a less tailor-made form—have placed it on and off the market several times since 2018, with a maximum list price of about $19 million. No one has bitten, so the 2.5-acre hilltop property was recently re-listed solely for its land value at just under $10 million, per Realtor.com.
Collaborating with architect David Rich, the basketball champ created a triangular dwelling inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and crafted from redwood and stones sourced from the nearby Bouquet Canyon. The manse cost $1 million to build (about $7.5 million when adjusted for inflation) and was dubbed “Ursa Major” in honor of Chamberlain’s nickname, “The Big Dipper.”
The Color Trend Report: Member-only Insights on What’s New and What’s Timeless — in the World of Color
Many of the home’s original features are still intact, including a 14-foot-tall front door that weighs a literal ton, a wraparound indoor-outdoor swimming pool that could never pass today’s building codes, and a five-story-tall cathedral-style great room centered around a fireplace-equipped conversation pit. Renovating the property involved lowering the counters, raising the height of the fifteen-foot-deep pool, and doing away with some of the abode’s more eccentric features, according to Mansion Global. Gone is the staircase that led directly from the garage to the bedroom, the mirrored retractable ceiling above the primary bed, the triangular Roman tub at its foot, and what Chamberlain called his “play room,” which was lined with mirrors and “done in purple velvet with a waterbed right in the middle,” as he said in a 1972 tour of the home.