Greystone Mansion

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Doheny Estate/Greystone
Greystone Mansion.JPG
Greystone Mansion, July 2008
Greystone Mansion is located in Los Angeles
Greystone Mansion
Location 905 Loma Vista Drive, Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Coordinates 34°5′31″N 118°24′6″W / 34.09194°N 118.40167°W / 34.09194; -118.40167Coordinates: 34°5′31″N 118°24′6″W / 34.09194°N 118.40167°W / 34.09194; -118.40167
Area 46,000 sq ft (4,300 m2).
Built 1928
Architect Gordon Kaufmann, PJ Walker Company
Architectural style Tudor Revival
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 76000485[1]
Added to NRHP April 23, 1976

Website: www.beverlyhills.org/greystone

Greystone Mansion, also known as the Doheny Mansion, is a Tudor-style mansion on a landscaped estate with distinctive formal English gardens, located in Beverly Hills, California, United States. Architect Gordon Kaufmann designed the residence and ancillary structures, with construction completed in 1928. The estate was a gift from oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny to his son, Edward "Ned" Doheny, Jr., and his family. Following the purchase of the estate by the city of Beverly Hills in 1965, the property became a city park in 1971 and was subsequently added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 as Doheny Estate/Greystone. The house and grounds are often used in filmmaking and television production. The house's descending staircase is one of the most famous sets in Hollywood.

Description[edit]

The 55-room, Tudor-style former residence, 46,000 sq ft (4,300 m2), sits on 16 acres (6.5 ha) of land.[2] At the time it was built, it cost over $3 million and was the most expensive home built in California up to that time.[3]

History[edit]

On February 16, 1929, four months after Ned Doheny, his wife Lucy and their five children moved into Greystone, Ned died in a guest bedroom in a murder-suicide with his secretary, Hugh Plunket.[2][4] The official story indicated Plunket murdered Ned either because of a "nervous disorder" or inflamed with anger over not receiving a raise. Others point out that Ned's gun was the murder weapon and that Ned was not buried in Los Angeles' Calvary Cemetery, a Catholic cemetery, with the rest of his family, indicating that he had committed suicide. Both men are buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale within a few hundred yards of each other. Both were involved in the trial of Ned's father in the Teapot Dome scandal.[5]

Ned's widow, Lucy, remarried and lived in the house until 1955, whereupon she sold the grounds to Paul Trousdale, who developed it into Trousdale Estates, and the mansion to Chicago industrialist Henry Crown, who rented the estate to movie studios.[3][2] In 1963, Crown planned to subdivide the property and demolish the mansion. Beverly Hills stopped the demolition by purchasing the mansion in 1965.[2][4] The estate became a city park on September 16, 1971, and on April 23, 1976 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.[2][3] The city leased the mansion to the American Film Institute, from 1965 to 1982, for $1 per year, hoping to get repair and upkeep work from the institute.[2][4]

Since 2002 The City of Beverly Hills has maintained a Web page for the Greystone Mansion park.[6] Besides the city's restoration efforts itself, many local volunteers have been contributing to the fund raising and restoration to the park, most notably the friends of Greystone that organize various showcase and garden events yearly.[7]

Current use[edit]

Landscape alleé in the terraced gardens of Greystone.

Greystone is now a public park, and is also used as a location for special events, including the Beverly Hills Flower & Garden Festival.[2] The estate is popular as a filming location due to its beauty, manicured grounds and Beverly Hills location. Some productions contribute to the upkeep and renovation of the mansion. The 2007 film There Will Be Blood, loosely based on the life of Edward Doheny via the Upton Sinclair book Oil!, renovated the downstairs two lane bowling alley to include it in the film.[4]

In addition to the numerous events that take place at Greystone, the mansion plays host each year to Catskills West, a theater arts and drama camp run by Beverly Hills Parks and Recreation, from mid June to early August. The camp presents a play in the pool area twice during the summer. The mansion is also used for performances of the play The Manor written by Kathrine Bates, directed by Beverly Olevin and produced by Theatre 40, of Beverly Hills. The Manor takes place in a number of different rooms of the mansion. The audience is separated at certain times during the play to watch some scenes in a different order. The plot of the The Manor is a fictionalized account of the Doheny family, involving Doheny's involvement in the Teapot Dome scandal and his son's murder. The Manor has been performed at Greystone Mansion since 2002.

Greystone Mansion is also the location of "The Annual Hollywood Ball", where hundreds of celebrities gather each year for a grand fashion show, dinner and auction to raise money for the Pure Foundation, helping children in need around the globe. The million-dollar gathering also includes live performances by leading artists. Since 2010, an annual Concours d'Elegance car show has been held at the Greystone Mansion.[8]

Shot on location[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Mary McNamara, Such beauty and light could chase away the castle ghosts, The Los Angeles Times, November 12, 2002
  3. ^ a b c Timme, Katherine. "The History of Greystone". Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Hobart, Christy (2007-12-27). "At Greystone, there will be 'Blood' -- and bowling". Los Angeles Times. pp. F1, F4. 
  5. ^ Military Museum description of the Teapot Dome scandal
  6. ^ Park Hours, news and special events
  7. ^ http://www.greystonemansion.org/
  8. ^ Osborne, Donald (February 2012). "2011 Greystone Concours d'Elegance". Sports Car Market 24 (2): 44. 
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Sanderson, Peter (2007). The Marvel Comics Guide to New York City. New York City: Pocket Books. pp. 62–63. ISBN 1-4165-3141-6. 

External links[edit]