I know I might get some angry comments from members of Sufism Reoriented or their friends, but sorry, I couldn’t resist after reading that the mega-house of the late TV mega-producer Aaron Spelling is on sale.
And, come on, there are some visual similarities, certainly from their aerial views. Both are big white structures, and both are monumental, architectural statements to the world views of their creators. By the way, if you are new to this blog, Sufism Reoriented, a Walnut Creek-based religious organization, wants to build a new 66,000-square-foot sanctuary in Saranap, an unincorporated neighborhood between downtown Walnut Creek and Lafayette.
News reports say that Aaron and Candy Spellings’ 123-room Holmby Hills “Manor” will be the most expensive house for sale in the United States. It’s on the market for $150 million. Spelling, who created such gloriously cheesy TV classics as Charlie’s Angels, Dynasty and Beverly Hills 90210 died in 2006 at age 83, and his widow wants to “downsize” to a $47 million two-story condo on the top floor of a building in the Century City district.
But here’s what you get for $150 million! A three-story French chateau-style mansion built in 1991 on five acres. It boasts a private bowling alley, beauty salon, gift-wrapping room, wine cellar, and screening room. Outside is a swimming pool, tennis court, tennis court, and citrus orchard.
Sufism Reoriented’s proposed sanctuary, of course, won’t be a private residence but a school of worship for its some 350 members. It is proposed to be built on 3.25 acres–a tad smaller space than the Spelling property. This sanctuary will be “nestled in a glade of trees” (once they grow in), and two-thirds of it will be undeground. Among the sanctuary’s rooms will be a prayer hall, administrative offices, a film library, publishing and book distribution offices, children’s classrooms, a choral rehearsal studio, and a spiritual bookstore.
But when it comes to parking, the Spelling Manor has the Sufism sanctuary beat: the Spelling Manor boasts a motor court that can accommodate 100 vehicles, plus a 16-vehicle carport. Sufism’s sanctuary plans to make room for only 75 cars.