Jack McDermott, A Forgotten Man with a Rather Crazy House

Most of you are familiar with the Spider Pool. (If not, you can read all about it HERE!) However, only a few know about the owner of this iconic place. Jack McDermott used to be a popular name in Hollywood. In fact, he threw a lot of wild parties in his bizarre home, and everyone wanted to be invited to his crazy house. However, now-a-days, he doesn’t even easily come up in a google search. His trail has been pretty severely wiped out of history. So, who is this forgotten man? Here are some details about Jack McDermott and his crazy house.

Who is Jack McDermott?

During the 1920s, Jack McDermott was known in Hollywood as a great comedy screenwriter and film director. Most people would describe him as eccentric or as a person with a bizarre character. Nevertheless, he had an amazing ability to entertain guests. As such, a lot of people wanted to attend his wild parties, which were held in his crazy house. (Think of the Great Gatsby’s parties, and that will give you some kind of idea.)

Jack McDermott and His Crazy House

The story of Jack McDermott’s crazy house started when he bought a plot of land in 1921. The land was located above a valley, and it was addressed as “Cloud 6, Hollywood.” After some time, Jack McDermott began building the “craziest house in America.”

The inspiration for McDermott’s home was his work as a screenwriter and director in Hollywood. To be specific, he used props that were usually discarded after a film was completed. It all started when he was admiring an exotic temple set and couldn’t stop wondering how nice it would look in a room. So, he asked for permission. Upon approval, he hauled the setup to his empty land and started building a house.

After some time, the house was built using stage props from lavish productions. Then, it was known to contain a collection of several architectural designs from different eras. Aside from that, the building also had elements from various films, including Robin Hood, Omar the Tentmaker, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Mark of Zorro.

Other remarkable elements of the house include a fireplace under the bed, a Spanish galleon table, a bathroom with a siren, a graveyard, underground tunnels, a sunken bathtub, and the Spider Pool. There was even a room where he stapled the furniture to the ceiling that he would leave drunk party guests in… so they would wake up horrified.

spider-pool-los-angeles-old-hollywood-history-mcdermott-spider-pool-malorie-mackey (1)
The Present-Day Remains of Jack McDermott’s Spider Pool

The Death of Jack McDermott

A few years after Jack McDermott built his famous crazy house, he started detaching himself from the industry. Eventually, he took a lot of sleeping pills, leading to his death in July 1946.

After Jack McDermott’s death, his crazy house was left to his nephew. However, Jacques Jaccard, a friend of the family, lived in the building for quite some time after Jack’s death. Unfortunately, an unknown fire destroyed the structure on January 21, 1947. Then, the property was sold to Carl Brainard at some point from 1947 to 1949. After a few years, Darrell and Frances Gregory bought the property in 1958. The couple tried to repair the building, but it was forcibly demolished in 1962.

Today, Jack McDermott’s crazy house may not be standing. However, you can still see remnants of the property, specifically the swimming pool with a spider-adorned wall IE the Spider Pool.

Maria Dolores Garcia

Maria is a contributor who is passionate about health, fitness, and beauty. During her free time, she tries to discover the beauty hidden in the chaos of today's fast-paced way of life. With a background in health and medicine, she hopes to inspire you to start living a fun, active, and healthy lifestyle through her writing.

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