Living: Million-Dollar Birthday Cakes

Homeowning, Hollywood-style: living it up by tearing 'em down

For the privilege of demolishing Bing Crosby's vintage Holmby Hills mansion, television producer Aaron Spelling paid $10.25 million in cash. The bowling- alley-equipped, stadium-size French manor Spelling is building in its place will cost him about $30 million more. Just to the east, in Beverly Hills, a Japanese surgeon has dismantled Ronald Reagan's former bungalow, donated the pieces to charity and erected a Moroccan palace with five domes, an art gallery, ten baths and two reflecting pools. "We would have liked larger reflecting pools, like the Taj Mahal," explains general contractor David Conrad, whose desk is a marble slab that was...

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