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Columbo's greatest fan and a great friend to us all.
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Favorite Columbo "Mansions"

Part of the fun of a Columbo episode is watching him catch some rich and famous person. This (almost) always results in Columbo visiting them at their home, usually some palatial estate, where he interrogates, investigates and does his Columbo thing. It also gives us, the viewers, a chance to see a gorgeous home on the inside.

While some episodes have cheesy studio interior shots which are actually distracting in their phoniness ("Ransom for a Dead Man", for example), other episodes were actually filmed at a real house. Those scenes are often quite memorable. The lake cabin, of course, for "Murder by the Book", is an awesome house and add to the quality of the movie by having scenes shot in them.

So, just curious what were the favorite houses and mansions from Columbo?

A few of my favorites:

Grace Wheeler's house in "Forgotten Lady" - the Tudor style and marvelous piano room

Joe Devlin's residence in "The Conspirators" - the carpet, pinball machines and deck with the view always gave it the feel of a place you'd like to hang out.

Re: Favorite Columbo "Mansions"

Great topic! The mansions were such a great part of Columbo and there are so many! Grace Wheeler’s has always been the best, especially Henry’s bedroom with that crazy wallpaper and the beautiful staircase. Another really great house is Dr. Mason’s in How to Dial a Murder. Love that property!

One that wasn’t a mansion, but I especially love is Mark McAndrew’s beach house. Just had a wonderful 70’s vibe about it.

Lastly, not sure if it was just a set, but the bathroom in Double Shock was great. Gotta love that green tone!!

Re: Favorite Columbo "Mansions"

Yes! I love the Dr. Mason house. McAndrew's house is a terrific location, too. Definitely had a 70's feel. So did the Devlin residence. Mason's house, on the other hand, felt more modern - the tennis court, the guest house.

The Double Shock house (which sadly was razed many years ago) is another of my favorites.

Re: Favorite Columbo "Mansions"

So many more come to mind when I got thinking further. Milo Janus and Abigail Mitchell had fantastic places too! I always thought it was a nice touch when they show Abigail coming down the stairs (to dig again for the keys) from outside so you really know she’s in that mansion. Alex Benedict had a fantastic mansion, not my favourite style, but one of the best at displaying the opulence at hand of some of the killers! Despite the messy appearance, I always loved Karl Lessing’s beach place. Maybe it’s because they were always so good at starting with the sound of the waves when they showed those properties.

I get very excited about all of the properties. My dream is to go to California and do a driving tour of all of these places. So sad when I hear that some are razed (as I’m sure so many are) as I see my dream slipping away before I get a chance to do it.

Re: Favorite Columbo "Mansions"

Yes, the Mitchell house is nice, especially because it appears they filmed much of it on location and not in a studio. I liked the beach house setting for Carl and Nadia Donner, as well, but the interior scenes seem to be quite obviously filmed in a studio, which always bothers me. (In fact, I think the green couch can be seen in another Columbo episode)

Re: Favorite Columbo "Mansions"

Oh interesting catch on the couch double use. For the amount of times I’ve watched every episode I’m surprised I hadn’t noticed that. The sound stage use is never as fun. Always noticed that the stage for Ransom for a Dead Man is the same as the stage used in the Short Fuse house. Even Milo Janus’ den was an obvious stage.

Re: Favorite Columbo "Mansions"

Cries Wolf, of course (personnel included ;)
As mentioned recently, the Google Maps of locations over on Columbophile's site is really top quality stuff: https://columbophile.com/2019/06/02/the-ultimate-columbo-locations-map/

Re: Favorite Columbo "Mansions"

Yes, great link.

The bid for "Greatest" Mansion in the entire series probably comes down to Arthur Kennicutt's impressive spread (The Beverly House) or Fielding Chases's ostentatious "elevator" ride and extensive property.

Re: Favorite Columbo "Mansions"

I like that Tudor house too in Forgotten Lady. Alex Benedict's Pasadena mansion was something tho wasn't it but I like old school. The ONE house I would love to live in tho would be Dr Mason's in How to Dial a Murder. Love Old Hollywood.