The grounds originally belonged to Mrs. Lucy Smith Doheny Battson, wife of Edward L. Doheny, Jr. (1893–1929), son of oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny (1856–1935); were known as the Doheny Ranch or the Doheny Estate; and included the Greystone Mansion. In 1954, Paul Trousdale (1915–1990) purchased the grounds, while the mansion was purchased by industrialist Henry Crown (1896–1990). Shortly after, Trousdale convinced the Beverly Hills City Council to add the neighborhood to the city, which they accepted, and he renamed it the Trousdale Estates.
Trousdale first built 532 original lots, all subject to strict regulations devised by the Architectural Committee, including how high roofs could be. Early houses were designed by renowned architects Wallace Neff (1895–1982), Paul R. Williams (1894–1980), A. Quincy Jones (1913–1979), Frank Lloyd Wright (1867–1959) and Harold Levitt (1922–2003). Allen Siple (1900–1973) acted as the supervising architect.
By 1981, some houses were remodeled, blocking their neighbors' views. As a result, after some consultation in 1987 the Trousdale Estates Homeowners Association, a non-profit organization, and the city of Beverly Hills implemented the Trousdale Ordinance to preserve the neighborhood.
Celebrity residents have included Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Curtis, Ray Charles, and Groucho Marx. President Richard Nixon lived in the neighborhood. When Nixon, who had just been Vice President from 1953 to 1961 under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, purchased his residence, Frank McCullogh of the Los Angeles Times reported that he had only paid US$90,000 for a house whose real price was US$300,000 as the developers believed his name would add prestige to the neighborhood.
- Myrna Oliver, Lucy Doheny Battson, 100; Family Made Fortune in Oil, Los Angeles Times, June 22, 1993
- William Alexander Mcclung, Landscapes of Desire: Anglo Mythologies of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California: University of California Press, 2002, p. 132 
- Mary Ann Bonino, The Doheny Mansion: A Biography of a Home, 2008, p. 65 
- Don Sloper, Los Angeles's Chester Place, Arcadia Publishing, 2007, p. 65 
- Erika Riggs, Elvis' Beverly Hills home goes on the market, NBC
- Marc Wanamaker, Early Beverly Hills, Arcadia Publishing, 2005, p. 51 
- Ann Herold, Trousdale Estates, Los Angeles, January 09, 2012
- "History and other Facts". www.trousdaleestateshomeownersassociation.com.
- Marc Wanamaker, Beverly Hills, (Ca): 1930-2005, Arcadia Publishing, 2006, p. 39 
- Alan Hess, Forgotten modern: California houses 1940–1970, Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith, 2007, pp. 262–264 
- Jeff Burbank, Development Dispute in Trousdale Estates: Homeowners Split on Proposed Limits, Los Angeles Times, February 15, 1987
- "Trousdale Security Patrol". www.trousdaleestateshomeownersassociation.com.
- Max Feeney, Nixon at the Movies: A Book about Belief, Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 2012, p. 38 
- Tiffany Hsu, Elvis Presley's Beverly Hills estate for sale at $13 million, Los Angeles Times, October 11, 2012
- David Halberstam, The Powers That Be, Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1975, p. 344 [books.google.co.uk/books?id=M36VtDgsBfUC&pg=PA344&lpg=PA344&dq=nixon+trousdale&sa=X#v=onepage&q=nixon trousdale&f=false]
- Lauren Beale, Hot Property: TV and film director John Rich lists Trousdale Estates home at $11.9 million, Los Angeles Times, June 06, 2011
- Hot Property: Jane Fonda, Richard Perry, Los Angeles Times
- "Charlie Puth picks up $9m mid-century modern mansion in Beverly Hills". Mail Online. Retrieved 2017-12-02.
- Haldeman, Peter (October 20, 2013). "Trousdale, Los Angeles's Forgotten Architectural Mecca, Makes a Comeback". T: the New York Times Style Magazine. Retrieved November 4, 2013.