Playboy Mansion

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This article is about the residence. For the U2 song, see The Playboy Mansion (song). For the video game, see Playboy: The Mansion.
The Playboy Mansion West
Playboy Mansion North Side 2007.jpg
General information
Type House
Architectural style Gothic Revival
Tudor Revival
Location 10236 Charing Cross Road, Los Angeles, California
Construction started 1927
Technical details
Floor area 21,987 sq ft (2,042.7 m2)
Design and construction
Architect Arthur R. Kelly
Other information
Number of rooms 29

The Playboy Mansion (also known as the Playboy Mansion West) is the home of Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner. In Los Angeles, California, nearby Beverly Hills, the mansion became famous during the 1970s through media reports of Hefner's lavish parties.

Playboy Enterprises says of the mansion; The Playboy Mansion is used for various corporate activities and serves as a valuable location for television production, magazine photography and for online, advertising and sales events. It also enhances our image as host for many charitable events and civic functions.[1]

History[edit]

The mansion's front door in 2007
Original plan of the pool

The 21,987-square-foot (2,042.7 m2) house is described as in the "Gothic-Tudor" style by Forbes magazine, and sits on 5.3 acres (2.1 ha). It was designed by Arthur R. Kelly in 1927 for Arthur Letts, Jr., son of the Broadway department store founder Arthur Letts and acquired by Playboy from Louis D. Statham (1908–1983), an engineer, inventor and chess aficionado, in 1971 for $1.1 million.[1] In early 2011, it was valued at $54 million.[2] It sits close to the northwestern corner of the Los Angeles Country Club, near UCLA and the Bel-Air Country Club. $15 million dollars has been invested in renovation and expansion.

The mansion has 22 rooms including a wine cellar (with a Prohibition-era secret door), a screening room with built-in pipe organ, a game room, three zoo/aviary buildings (and related pet cemetery), a tennis/basketball court, a waterfall and a swimming pool area (including a patio and barbecue area, a grotto, a basement gym with sauna below the bathhouse). Landscaping includes a large koi pond with artificial stream, a small citrus orchard and two well-established forests of tree ferns and redwoods. The west wing (originally servants wing) houses the Editorial offices of Playboy. The main Aviary building is the original greenhouse, with four guestrooms adjoining. The Master's suite occupies several rooms on the second and third floors, and is the most heavily renovated area of the Mansion proper, with a extensive carved-oak decor dating to the 1970s. Otherwise, the Mansion proper is maintained in its original Gothic-revival furnishings for the most part. The pipe organ was extensively restored in the last decade. There is also an outdoor kitchen to serve party events. These features and others have been shown on television.

The game room (game house) is a separate building on the north side. From the fountain in front of the main entrance, there are two sidewalks, running past a wishing-well. That on the right leads to the game house and runs past a duplicate Hollywood Star of Hefner. Its front entrance opens to a game room with a pool table in the center. This room has vintage and modern arcade games, pinball machines, player piano, jukebox, television, stereo, and couch. The game house has two wings. Left is a room with a soft cushioned floor, mirrors all around, television. There is a restroom with a shower. The right wing of the game house has a smaller restroom, and entrance to a bedroom. This bedroom is connected to another, which has an exit to the rear backyard of the game house. The game house has a backyard with lounge chairs, and gates on either side.

In 2010, Hugh Hefner's former girlfriend Izabella St. James wrote in her memoir Bunny Tales that the house was in need of renovation: "Everything in the Mansion felt old and stale, and Archie the house dog would regularly relieve himself on the hallway curtains, adding a powerful whiff of urine to the general scent of decay."[3]

The house next door is a mirror image of the Mansion layout, only smaller. Hefner purchased the neighboring building in 1996. It is home to his separated wife Kimberley Conrad and their children together. Hefner and Conrad married in 1989 and separated in 1998. Hefner and his wife announced in March 2009 that they are listing Mrs. Hefner's home for sale at $US28 million.[4]

In 2002, Hefner purchased a house across and down the street from the mansion for use by Playmates and other guests who would prefer to stay further from the busy activity of the Mansion proper. This house is commonly referred to as the 'Bunny House'.

The original Playboy Mansion[edit]

The original Playboy Mansion

The original Playboy Mansion was a 70-room classical French brick and limestone residence in Chicago at 1340 North State Parkway, which had been built in 1899 for Dr. George Swift Isham;[5] In Chicago's Gold Coast, it was acquired by Hefner in 1959. The mansion's basement, Hefner's original "grotto", had a swimming pool with a glass wall.

For a period in the 1970s, Hefner divided his time between the Chicago mansion and the Mansion West, moving full-time to the California mansion in 1974. The Chicago mansion boasted a brass plate on the door with the Latin inscription Si Non Oscillas, Noli Tintinnare ("If you don't swing, don't ring").

After Hefner left Chicago permanently for the coast after being hassled[vague] over alleged cocaine usage by Illinois Governor James R. Thompson, the Chicago mansion was turned into a dormitory for the School of the Art Institute. In 1993, the mansion was gutted and turned into four high-price luxury condos.[6] In 2011, one 7,874 sq ft (731.5 m2) condominium was placed for sale at an asking price of $6.7 million.[7]

Events and appearances[edit]

  • During the early 2000s, ESPN began broadcasting live boxing bouts from the large backyard. Vassiliy Jirov and David Haye are some of the notables to have fought there. Sugar Ray Leonard, in his capacity as boxing promoter, has held boxing cards there.
  • In addition to numerous Playboy features and pictorials, the Playboy Mansion has been the subject of a coffee table book (Inside the Playboy Mansion, 1998, ISBN 1-57544-044-X), a video game (Playboy: The Mansion, in which the player must build the Playboy "empire"), and inspired the U2 song "The Playboy Mansion" on their 1997 album Pop. The Nightwatchman's song "One Man Revolution", contains the lines: 'On the streets of Havana/I got hugged and kissed/At the Playboy Mansion/I wasn't on the list'.
  • A similar segment was shot in 2003, when WWE diva Nidia Guenard made an appearance at the Mansion during an episode of SmackDown, where she attempted to get past security in order to speak to Hefner. Nidia was jealous of Torrie Wilson, who was getting a Playboy photo shoot.
  • In February 2007, boxing returned to the Mansion with Fox Best Damn Fight Night promoted by Goosen Tutor in association with Sycuan Ringside and George Chung Productions. Guests included Shia LaBeouf, Chuck Liddell and Brian McKnight.
  • On 3 September 2007, the first MMA Cage fight was promoted at the Mansion by Strike Force Scott Coker Promoter. The event drew stars that included Jaime Pressly and Bobb Sapp.
  • On 31 May 2008, the Playboy Mansion had its first wine and food tasting event called Hollywood and Vino created by George Chung productions and Mediazone.com. The event featured wines from Hahn Estate, Brassfield Estates and special guests included Peggy Fleming, NFL Star Charles Woodson. Entertainment included Kevin Eubanks and special guest appearance by Arsenio Hall.
  • In 2008, Playboy Mansion saw the return of the Fight Night on ESPN 2 June 25 at the Mansion promoted by Sycuan Ringside and produced by Executive Producer and Mansion Promoter George Chung.
  • On 20 September 2008, the Mansion hosted the Strikeforce At The Mansion II event, streamed live on Sherdog.

Midsummer Night's Dream Party[edit]

The Midsummer Night's Dream Party, also known as the Midsummer's party, is held at the Playboy Mansion on the first Saturday in August.[1]

In 2007, the party was thrown on August 4. The theme was Arabian Nights. Some of the guests were Christopher Knight and wife Adrianne Curry, Alfonso Ribeiro, Bambi Lashell and many more.

This show was taped by E! cable television channel and aired on The Girls Next Door episode "Unveilings". For the first time in the history of the mansion, the event took place twice in one year (2007). The event started off at the mansion then headed to the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, home to the world's only Playboy Club two weeks later.

Financial[edit]

According to Playboy Enterprises' SEC filings, Hefner pays Playboy rent for "that portion of the Playboy Mansion used exclusively for him and his personal guests' residence as well as the per-unit value of non-business meals, beverages and other benefits received by him and his personal guests". This amount was $US1.3 million in 2002, $US1.4 million in 2003, and $US1.3 million in 2004.

Playboy pays for the Mansion's operating expenses (including depreciation and taxes), which were $US3.6 million in 2002, $US2.3 million in 2003, and $US3.0 million in 2004, net of rent received from Hefner.[8]

Charity events[edit]

The Playboy Mansion hosts charity events, including Karma Foundation, the Celebrity Poker Tournament,[9] a fundraising party for the Marijuana Policy Project,[10] and an event to benefit research into autism.

Public health incidents[edit]

In February 2011, 123 people complained of fever and respiratory illness after attending a DomainFest Global conference event held at the Playboy Mansion. Epidemiologists from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported their findings at a Centers for Disease Control conference that the disease outbreak was traced to a whirlpool hot tub in the mansion's famed grotto, where they found bacteria that cause Legionnaires' disease.[11][12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Playboy Enterprises Annual Report. Accessed 9 Jul 2014.
  2. ^ Church, Steven (11 February 2011). "Playboy Mansion Worth $54 Million, 45 Times What Hefner Claims, Suit Says". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Article at Shelterpop.com
  4. ^ Lewis, Christina S.N. (2009-03-13). "Hefners List L.A. Mansion for $US28 Million". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  5. ^ Chicago: architecture and Cityscape: The original Playboy Mansion credits David Adler as architect, though Adler was born in 1882.
  6. ^ "Original Playboy Mansion". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Boyer, Mark. "First Look Inside that $6.7M Condo in the Playboy Mansion". Curbed Chicago. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  8. ^ 10KWizard - SEC filings
  9. ^ "Celebrity Poker Tournament". charitypokertournament.net. Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
  10. ^ "Marijuana Policy Project Party". mpp.org. Archived from the original on 2008-06-10. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  11. ^ "Playboy Mansion illness traced to hot tub bacteria". The Associated Press. Associated Press. 15 April 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  12. ^ Rong-Gong Lin II (22 April 2011). "Playboy's mystery outbreak". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°4′35.00″N 118°25′46.65″W / 34.0763889°N 118.4296250°W / 34.0763889; -118.4296250