Most of us are familiar with the nightclub Greystone Manor, some of us may even have enjoyed Nervo perform last night, but did you know that there is a hidden jewel in Beverly Hillscalled the Greystone Mansion? Didn’t think so, read on…
Edward Laurence Doheny (as in Doheny Road and Doheny Drive) became a successful oil tycoon as he drilled for and discovered the first oil wells in Los Angeles in 1892. In 1926, Doheny gifted his son Edward “Ned” and his daughter-in-law Lucy 12.58 acres of land that the Greystone Mansion was built on, at a cost of just over $3 million. It became the largest undertaking of a family estate in the city of Beverly Hills.
The garden design mixed a variety of garden styles and themes based on Italian and English gardens. There were nearly 100 different species of plants and flowers on the property, representing every continent. Incorporated in the gardens, were two cascading waterfalls, two lakes, and a green house including a swimming pool and pavilion, tennis courts as well as stables.
Greystone’s exterior is 19th century English revival architecture with a combination of two story turrets faced with Indiana limestone, Welsh slate and leaded glass windows. The interior is 18th century in style and includes fifty-five livable rooms in 46,054 square feet, including the entertainment wing consisting of a theater, bowling alley and billiard room.
Unfortunately, Ned Doheny only enjoyed his new home for four months. He was found in the mansion in a murder suicide with his long time trusted family assistant. Three years after his death, his widow Lucy remarried. In 1945, Lucy acquired the 429-acre Doheny Ranch, and in 1954, she sold the Ranch to Paul Trousdale who developed the Trousdale Estates and built 539 homes.
Lucy sold Greystone in 1955 to a Midwest millionaire who rented the estate to movie studios and then wanted to subdivide the property. A citizen’s committee was formed to save the mansion and then the City of Beverly Hills purchased the property and the grounds were converted into a park and a subsurface reservoir. Between 1969 and 1982 the property was occupied by The American Film Institute.
Today, Greystone serves as the setting for many cultural and educational activities. Movies, commercials, T.V. shows and photo shoots are a major source of revenue for the upkeep of the mansion as are the exclusive weddings. Most of all, Greystone provides the visitor with the opportunity for a quiet moment in a pastoral park, offering sweeping panoramic views of the city below.
I hope this has inspired you to visit the mansion and take a step back in time to old Hollywood. You’re sure to enjoy the experience. If you have already visited the mansion, we’d like to hear from. Please share your experience with us by leaving a comment.
Check the mansion calendar of events for park information including up to date hours.
WHAT: The Greystone Mansion
WHEN: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: 905 Loma Vista Drive | Beverly Hills, CA 90210