Alfred Rosenheim was a German-American architect who built the mansion that's used in American Horror Story, and is now known as the "Murder House." It was also used in American Horror Story: Hotel, when Lady Gaga's Countess character used it to book an appointment with the deranged doctor who was practicing out of the basement. Back to reality...Rosenheim built the house in 1902 and lived in it with his family shortly thereafter. The Alfred Rosenheim Mansion was situated near an area called "Billionaire Row", close to California's wealthiest families. Rosenheim himself was notable not just for architectural design, but he also designed nine roller-coasters.
The house is now available as a vacation rental through airbnb.com. For just $1,450 a night, you and 16 of your friends can rent out the entire house for a night that you won't ever forget. It actually comes out to just $90 a person!
However, the haunted house that inspired the first season of American Horror Story was based on the Bailey House in Hartford, Connecticut.
So, taking inspiration from the Bailey Mansion, the location scouts chose the Rosenheim Mansion as a filming substitute. And it's got a pretty rad history of its own...
The house boasts numerous design gems, such as a Tiffany stained glass panels, and a bowed and turreted stair hall:
"The house features extensive Italian brick work, African Oak, Teak, Walnut, Maple, and wood paneling made with Peruvian Mahogany. The over-sized living room, adorned with tapestries, featured a cross-beamed ceiling and an impressive tile fireplace (one of six in the home), while the dining room (used as Ben's office in "American Horror Story") was highlighted with it's stunning gold leaf ceiling in antique Japanese motif with delicate peacocks and flowers, paneled walls and leaded glass cabinets. Other features of the first level included a dramatic semi-circular library with a pink Blood-Marble fireplace and built-in Tiffanny Glass leaded glass doors, windows and book cases, as well as a sunny solarium." - American Horror Story Wiki
The Rosenheims lived in the house for eleven years and sold it to California's wealthiest man, a "colorful mining magnate" named A.J. McQuatters (who was also "the first gay president of the Alvarado Mining and Milling Company"). Then, in the early 1930s actor Edward Everett Horton lived in the mansion. After him the Catholic Order of Nuns, the Sisters of Social Service used the house as a convent, and even added a chapel to the grounds. The chapel was used as the "Attic" in American Horror Story.
The home was used in a series of films and television shows, such as Spiderman, Seabiscuit, The X-Files, The Twilight Zone, Six Feet Under, Bones, Dexter, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (it was the frat house in the episode "Fear, Itself", where Buffy and the gang got locked in on Halloween). In 1994 an earthquake damaged the house and the nuns put it on the market for a cool $3 million. The house was declared an Historic and Cultural Landmark in 1999.
Today, people drive by the home, which was made iconic in American Horror Story. It's a great place for a photo-op for die-hard fans of the show.