Rubel Castle

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Rubel Castle (also known as Rubelia) was established in Glendora, California, by Michael Clarke Rubel (April 16, 1940-October 15, 2007). It has been called "a San Gabriel Valley version of Watts Towers.”

Rubel purchased a 2 ½ acre citrus orchard on which the structure resides in 1959. He and his friends completed construction in 1986. Rubelia is considered the first major recycling project in the United States, according to David Traversi, who authored One Man's Dream: The Spirit of the Rubel Castle.

Rubel Castle was constructed partly out of concrete, but also out of scrap steel, rocks, bedsprings, coat hangers, bottles and other pieces of junk that Rubel found.


In 1959, Rubel bargained for the defunct Albourne Rancho property and took up residence in the huge citrus packing house, which he renamed “Rubel Pharm.” Rubel's father, Henry "Heinz" Scott Rubel, had been an Episcopalian minister and gag writer for radio comedians. In the 1960s, Michael’s mother, one-time Ziegfeld Follies dancer Dorothy Deuel Rubel, moved into the packing house with her son. At long it was the perfect venue for her favorite hobby: parties. Well-dressed guests arrived weekly by the hundreds, strolling past old...
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