Playboy Mansion

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Playboy Mansion West
Playboy Mansion North Side 2007.jpg
Playboy Mansion is located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area
Playboy Mansion
Playboy Mansion
Location within the Los Angeles metropolitan area
Playboy Mansion is located in California
Playboy Mansion
Playboy Mansion
Playboy Mansion (California)
Playboy Mansion is located in the US
Playboy Mansion
Playboy Mansion
Playboy Mansion (the US)
General information
Architectural styleGothic Revival
Tudor Revival
Location10236 Charing Cross Road, Los Angeles, California
Coordinates34°4′35.0″N 118°25′46.6″W / 34.076389°N 118.429611°W / 34.076389; -118.429611Coordinates: 34°4′35.0″N 118°25′46.6″W / 34.076389°N 118.429611°W / 34.076389; -118.429611
Construction started1927
OwnerNathaniel Roberts
Technical details
Floor area21,987 sq ft (2,042.7 m2)
Design and construction
ArchitectArthur R. Kelly
Other information
Number of rooms29

The Playboy Mansion, also known as the Playboy Mansion West, is the former home of Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner, who lived there from 1974 until his death in 2017. Located in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California, near Beverly Hills, the mansion became famous during the 1970s through media reports of Hefner's lavish parties which were often attended by famous celebrities and socialites.[1][2][3][4]

Currently owned by Daren Metropoulos, the son of billionaire investor Dean Metropoulos, the mansion is also used for various corporate activities and serves as a valuable location for television production, magazine photography, charitable events, and civic functions.


The mansion's front door in 2007

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.[5] In early 2011, it was valued at $54 million.[6] It sits close to the northwestern corner of the Los Angeles Country Club, near University of California, Los Angeles and the Bel-Air Country Club. $15 million has been invested in renovation and expansion.

The mansion has 29 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 servant’s wing) houses the Editorial offices of Playboy. The main Aviary building is the original greenhouse, with four guestrooms adjoining. The Master suite occupies several rooms on the second and third floors, and is the most heavily renovated area of the Mansion proper, with an 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.[when?] 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." [7] St. James further wrote for her memoir Bunny Tales, "Each bedroom had mismatched, random pieces of furniture. It was as if someone had gone to a charity shop and bought the basics for each room"; and, "The mattresses on our beds were disgusting - old, worn and stained. The sheets were past their best, too." [8]

The mansion next door is a mirror image of the Playboy Mansion layout, only smaller, and was purchased by Hefner in 1996 as the home for his separated wife Kimberley Conrad and their children together Marston and Cooper. Hefner and Conrad married in 1989 and separated in 1998. In March 2009 Hefner and Conrad announced they were listing the property for sale for the asking price of $28 million.[9]

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. In April 2013 the Bunny House was listed for sale for the asking price of $11 million.[10]

Sale of Playboy Mansion[edit]

In January 2016 the Playboy Mansion was listed for sale by Playboy Enterprises, Inc. for the asking price of $200 million subject to the condition Hefner continue to rent the mansion for life.[11] In August 2016 the Playboy Mansion was bought for $100 million by Daren Metropoulos, the co-owner of Hostess Brands and head of the investment firm Metropoulos & Co.[12][13][14] Metropoulos intends to eventually renovate and restore the mansion to its original form.[15] In 2009 Metropoulos bought the mansion next door to the Playboy Mansion from Hefner and his ex-wife Kimberly Conrad and ultimately desires to join the two properties, both of which mansions were originally designed by the American architect Arthur R. Kelly in the mid 1920s and estates have a common boundary with the Los Angeles Country Club.[16]

In May 2017, Eugena Washington was the last Playmate of the Year to be announced by Hugh Hefner at the Playboy Mansion.[17]

Permanent Protection Covenant[edit]

In March 2018 Daren Metropoulos, the owner of the Playboy Mansion, entered into an agreement with the City of Los Angeles which permanently protects the mansion from demolition. The agreement between Metropoulos and the City of Los Angeles, referred to between the parties as a permanent protection covenant, is binding on all future owners. The agreement protects the estate from demolition, but still allows Metropoulos to make modernizations and substantial renovations and repairs for the mansion "following a long period of deferred maintenance."[18] Under the permanent protection covenant Metropoulos has further agreed to restore the house and facade to "its original grandeur." The compromise agreement reversed a move in November 2017 by Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz to seek landmark status for the mansion in hope of protecting the architectural integrity of the estate for what he called “an excellent example of a Gothic-Tudor.”[19] If designated a historic landmark, Metropoulos would have faced a lengthy process for permitting and review for the rehabilitation of the property. The permanent protection covenant avoided a potentially drawn out and contentious legal action between the City of Los Angeles and Metropoulos for the City of Los Angeles seeking the formal designation of the mansion as a historic landmark.[20][21]

Original Chicago mansion[edit]

The original Playboy Mansion

The original Playboy Mansion was a 70-room, 30,000 sq ft (2,800 m2)[22] classical brick and limestone residence in Chicago's Gold Coast district at 1340 North State Parkway which had been built in 1899 for Dr. George Swift Isham, a prominent surgeon whose social circle included Theodore Roosevelt and Robert Peary; it was acquired by Hefner in 1959.[23] The building was designed by architect James Gamble Rogers, best known for his work at Yale University and Columbia University.[24] The mansion's basement, Hefner's original "grotto", had a swimming pool with a glass wall and attached bar. In addition to a game room and bowling alley, the residence contained a two-floor dormitory for Bunnies employed at the Chicago Playboy Club and discrete apartments that were occupied by several employees, including longtime Hefner aide Bobbie Arnstein.

For a period in the 1970s, Hefner divided his time between Chicago and the Mansion West. 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").

Although Playboy Enterprises would remain headquartered in Chicago until 2012, Hefner left the city permanently for Los Angeles in 1974 following the conviction and ensuing suicide of Bobbie Arnstein, the culmination of "a federal... investigation of drug use in Hefner's mansion" by U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and future Governor of Illinois James R. Thompson.[25] Derick Daniels (who served as president and chief operating officer of Playboy Enterprises from 1976 to 1982) subsequently resided in an apartment at the mansion during his tenure with the company. Eventually, the property was turned into a dormitory for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, with Hefner formally deeding the building to the Art Institute in 1989. In 1993, the mansion was sold to developer Bruce Abrams and converted into four high-price luxury condos.[26] In 2011, one 7,874 sq ft (731.5 m2) condominium was placed for sale at an asking price of $6.7 million.[27]

Events and appearances[edit]

Playboy Bunnies at the Mansion in 2011
  • The house can be seen in the 1966 film Madame X, before it was purchased by Playboy.
  • The Playboy Mansion was used as a film location in Beverly Hills Cop II, with Hefner as himself in a cameo role.
  • The mansion was a main setting in the 2008 film The House Bunny, and Hugh Hefner again portrayed himself.[28]


According to Playboy Enterprises' SEC filings, Hefner paid 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 $1.3 million in 2002, $1.4 million in 2003, and $1.3 million in 2004.

Playboy paid for the Mansion's operating expenses (including depreciation and taxes), which were $3.6 million in 2002, $2.3 million in 2003, and $3.0 million in 2004, net of rent received from Hefner.[29]

Charity events[edit]

The Playboy Mansion has hosted charity events, including Karma Foundation, the Celebrity Poker Tournament,[30] a fundraising party for the Marijuana Policy Project,[31] and an event to benefit research into autism.

2011 bacterial outbreak[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 Legionella pneumophila, which causes Legionnaires' disease.[32][33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Playboy Enterprises Annual Report. Accessed 9 Jul 2014.
  6. ^ Church, Steven (11 February 2011). "Playboy Mansion Worth $54 Million, 45 Times What Hefner Claims, Suit Says". Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  7. ^ Article at
  8. ^ "Celebrity Homes: Inside the Crumbling, Sorry State of the Playboy Mansion". 2015-10-21.
  9. ^ Lewis, Christina S.N. (2009-03-13). "Hefners List L.A. Mansion for $US28 Million". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ Frank, Robert, "Playboy Mansion on sale for $200 million — Hef included",, 11 January 2016.
  12. ^ Isadore, Chris, "Playboy Mansion sold for $100 million", CNNMoney, August 17, 2016.
  13. ^ Pleasance, Chris, "Is this the last summer bash at the Playboy mansion? No sign of 90-year-old Hef as his pajama-clad son hosts ...",, 29 August 2016.
  14. ^ Leitereg, Neal J., "Daren Metropoulos takes ownership of Playboy Mansion, Hef included", Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  15. ^ Neal J. Leitereg (2016-08-27). "Daren Metropoulos takes ownership of Playboy Mansion, Hef included". Retrieved 2018-09-28.
  16. ^ "Daren Metropoulos takes ownership of Playboy Mansion, Hef included".
  17. ^ "Hugh Hefner Crippling Back Infection Started Decline in Health". TMZ. September 29, 2017. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  18. ^ "
  19. ^ "The Playboy Mansion Won't be Demolished After All".
  20. ^ "Deal Reached to Permanently Protect Playboy Mansion". 2018-03-06.
  21. ^
  22. ^ Gause, Jo Allen; Hoch, Bruce M.; MacOmber, John D.; Rose, Jonathan F. P.; Institute, Urban Land (1996). New Uses for Obsolete Buildings. ISBN 9780874208023.
  23. ^ "Playboy Mansion Condo Features Original 1899 Ballroom".
  24. ^ "Chicago - Architecture & Cityscape: The original Playboy Mansion". 2009-03-12.
  25. ^ "High in America - Chapter 8".
  26. ^ "Original Playboy Mansion". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  27. ^ Boyer, Mark (2011-07-20). "First Look Inside that $6.7M Condo in the Playboy Mansion". Curbed Chicago. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  28. ^ "Bunny beautiful".
  29. ^ "Morningstar Document Research: SEC filings". Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  30. ^ "Celebrity Poker Tournament". Archived from the original on 2008-05-02. Retrieved 2008-05-03.
  31. ^ "Marijuana Policy Project Party". Archived from the original on 2008-06-10. Retrieved 2008-06-11.
  32. ^ "Playboy Mansion illness traced to hot tub bacteria". The Associated Press. Associated Press. 15 April 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  33. ^ Rong-Gong Lin II (22 April 2011). "Playboy's mystery outbreak". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 April 2011.

External links[edit]