Rubel Castle

Rubel Castle: A Quirky Gem of Southern California History


Nestled at 844 N Live Oak Ave, Glendora, CA 91741, Rubel Castle stands as a testament to the eccentricity and ingenuity of its creator, Michael Clarke Rubel. Situated near the intersection of North Live Oak Avenue and East Bennett Avenue, this unique landmark is a must-visit destination for those intrigued by the whimsical and unexpected. In this article, we embark on a journey to explore the fascinating history, architectural marvels, and surrounding attractions that make Rubel Castle a one-of-a-kind experience in Southern California.

Location and Accessibility:

Rubel Castle is conveniently located at 844 N Live Oak Ave, Glendora, CA 91741. The major cross streets are North Live Oak Avenue and East Bennett Avenue. The castle’s accessibility is enhanced by its proximity to major freeways, with the I-210 providing straightforward access for visitors from various parts of the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Nearby Attractions within 3 Miles:

Within a three-mile radius of Rubel Castle, visitors can explore a variety of attractions that complement their experience with diverse cultural and recreational activities.

Glendora Village

Located approximately 2 miles away, Glendora Village offers a charming shopping and dining district, providing a perfect prelude or postlude to a visit to Rubel Castle.

Finkbiner Park

Situated less than 3 miles away, Finkbiner Park provides a serene escape with its green spaces, playgrounds, and walking trails, making it an ideal spot for families and outdoor enthusiasts.

Historic Route 66

The legendary Route 66, also known as Foothill Boulevard in this region, runs through Glendora. Visitors can explore a segment of this iconic highway, discovering vintage signs, quirky roadside attractions, and a nostalgic journey through American history. Click

The History of Rubel Castle:

Rubel Castle, also known as Rubelia Castle, is a labor of love and artistic expression created by Michael Clarke Rubel. Born in 1940, Rubel purchased the property in 1959 at the age of 17 and dedicated over 20 years to constructing the castle using salvaged materials and recycled objects.

The castle is a marvel of folk art and unconventional architecture, with Rubel incorporating everything from discarded concrete chunks to railway ties and antique machinery into its construction. The result is a whimsical and visually stunning structure that reflects the builder’s eccentric personality and passion for repurposing materials.

Michael Rubel, often referred to as the “Glendora Hermit,” lived on the property until his passing in 2007. Today, Rubel Castle stands as a historical and cultural landmark, offering visitors a glimpse into the mind of an unconventional artist and the era of DIY architecture.

Architectural Marvels:

Rubel Castle comprises a series of structures, each with its own unique character and purpose. Some notable architectural features include:

The Castle Keep:

The central structure resembling a medieval castle keep is the focal point of Rubel Castle. Its towering presence and distinctive design make it an iconic landmark in the region.

The Bottle House:

Constructed using recycled glass bottles, the Bottle House showcases Rubel’s commitment to sustainable and creative building practices. The play of light through the colored glass adds a magical touch to this part of the castle.

The Firehouse:

Rubel Castle includes a functional firehouse, complete with vintage fire engines and equipment. This unique addition reflects Rubel’s fascination with firefighting and emergency services.

The Stone Cabin:

A rustic stone cabin on the property adds to the eclectic charm of Rubel Castle. Its construction showcases Rubel’s use of natural materials to create a harmonious blend with the surrounding environment.

Guided Tours and Visitor Experience:

To truly appreciate the history and intricacies of Rubel Castle, guided tours are available for visitors. These tours provide insights into Michael Rubel’s life, his creative process, and the stories behind the various structures on the property.

Guides share anecdotes about Rubel’s resourcefulness, his penchant for collecting materials from the nearby San Gabriel Mountains, and the challenges and triumphs of constructing a castle using unconventional methods. The guided tours offer a more immersive experience, allowing visitors to connect with the spirit of Rubel Castle and its visionary creator.

Events and Educational Programs:

Rubel Castle hosts various events and educational programs throughout the year, inviting the community to engage with the castle’s history and unique atmosphere. Special events may include open houses, art exhibits, and themed gatherings that celebrate the legacy of Michael Rubel.

Educational programs often focus on the architectural and artistic aspects of Rubel Castle, providing visitors with a deeper understanding of the building techniques and the cultural significance of this unconventional landmark.

Opening Hours and Visitor Information:

As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, Rubel Castle typically offers guided tours on weekends. However, it’s crucial to note that operating hours may vary, and it’s recommended to check the official Rubel Castle website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information on tour schedules, admission fees, and any special events. Local history

Given the unique nature of Rubel Castle, visitors are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes, as the terrain can be uneven in some areas. Additionally, it’s advisable to check for any age or mobility restrictions if planning to visit with children or individuals with special needs.

Preservation Efforts and Future Plans:

Rubel Castle is now under the care of the Glendora Historical Society, which is dedicated to preserving and maintaining this unique piece of local history. The society’s efforts ensure that future generations can continue to experience the magic and wonder of Rubel Castle.

As part of ongoing preservation initiatives, the Glendora Historical Society works to raise awareness about Rubel Castle and its cultural significance. The castle remains a living testament to the creativity, resourcefulness, and individuality of Michael Clarke Rubel.


Rubel Castle stands as a whimsical and eccentric masterpiece, a testament to the artistic vision of its creator, Michael Clarke Rubel. From its recycled materials to its unconventional design, the castle invites visitors to explore the mind of a true individualist and marvel at the ingenuity that went into its construction.

As you walk through the quirky corridors, gaze at the bottle-adorned structures, and hear the tales of Michael Rubel’s life, Rubel Castle becomes more than a collection of buildings; it becomes a living story of one man’s passion for creation. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, or someone seeking a truly unique experience, Rubel Castle promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of Southern California’s cultural landscape.

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