The location: Caleb & Julie's mansion.

Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. The huge mansion (with it's equally large swimming pool) which Caleb gave as a wedding gift to wife Julie Cooper.

Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. In Newport Beach.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. Often. Beginning in Episode 27 (of season one), "The  Ties That Bind", when Caleb surprised Julie with the house as a gift - and lasting through the early part season 3, when she lost it to foreclosure. It was the home of Caleb Nichol & Julie Cooper (Nichol), as well as the home of her daughter, Marissa (when Marissa wasn't running away, at least). It was also the site of the out-of-control teen party in the episode "The Raver" (where Trey gets busted for drug possession).

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. An enormous mansion (11,000 square feet) built by none other than former NFL football star Brian Bosworth.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. The 10,500 square foot mansion is located in Malibu, just east of Point Dume, at 6375 Meadows Court, Malibu. (The house is at the far end of Meadows Court. There's a well-know drug-recovery clinic for rich celebrities called "Passages", at the base of the same street.) It's about a eleven miles east of from the Cohen house, which is on the other (northwest) side of Point Dume peninsula.

    [WarningThis is a private home. Do not trespass on their property, knock on their door,
    or do anything else that might disturb the residents.

    The street is blocked by guarded gates, so don't bother trying to drive by for a look.

Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

    A. This one was a major pain. For a long while, I was convinced that it was in Palos Verdes (it's surprising how much Malibu and Palos Verdes can look alike at times), and I spent hours pouring over aerial photos from Google trying to find it there.

    But then I chanced upon a 9/24/04 blog from an actor who was talking about going to Zuma Beach to film an early episode of "The O.C." at "Caleb's Mansion". (He also mentioned it was owned by a former NFL star football player.) So I moved my search over to the Point Dume area.

    The Google aerial photos of that area are incredibly blurry, but I remembered that, on the show, you could see a long ocean cliff in the distance behind the pool. I figured that had to be Point Dume, so I concentrated my aerial photo search on the area just to the east (and above) that peninsula. And then I found it. The pool was the giveaway. But because of the blurry nature of the photos in the area, I couldn't be 100% certain it was the same house.

    The house I was looking at was at the end of Meadows Court Drive, so I Googled "Meadows Court and Malibu". The search first pulled up the rehab clinic, Passages, but when I eliminated that phrase from the search, I found a city document for a building permit at 6375 Meadows Drive, with the owner listed as Brian Bosworth - a former NFL football star.

    A little more web-hunting found a mention of a Barry Switzer / Brian Bosworth interview on Sports Talk Radio in which Bosworth bragged about them filming "The O.C." at his mansion. (Thanks, Boz.)

    Then finally, when I discovered the Live Local aerial maps, I found this excellent aerial photo of the house, removing any lingering doubts.

    Update: In 2009, a fan (Daniel, from Germany), let me know that the house had gone up for sale, at an asking price of almost $9 million. Daniel sent me this real estate listing., which includes a few interesting details about the house: it has seven bedrooms, ten full bathrooms, a 4-car garage and a full guest house, on 1.7 acres of "lushly landscaped grounds". (Thanks, Daniel!)

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