AKA: Greystone House and Park, Beverly Hills, CA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Cheesewright Studios, Interior Designers (firm); Kaufmann, Gordon B., Architect (firm); Thiene, Paul, Landscape Architect (firm); Walker, P.J., and Company, Building Contractors (firm); Gordon Bernie Kaufmann (architect); Paul G. Thiene (landscape architect); Percival J. Walker Sr. (building contractor)

Dates: constructed 1927-1928

4 stories, total floor area: 46,054 sq. ft.

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905 Loma Vista Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210-2618

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Another address listed is 501 Doheny Drive.

Edward Laurence Doheny, Sr. (1856-1935), patriarch of the prominent Southern California oil family, built this Beverly Hills mansion for his only surviving child, Edward L. "Ned" Doheny, Jr., (1893-1929), his wife Lucy Smith-Doheny (1892-1993) and their five children. Greystone was built on the grounds of Doheny, Sr.'s sprawling ranch. Construction on the Doheny Mansion began 02/15/1927, and concluded when the family took occupancy in 09/1928. The house and its accompanying 18 acres of landscaped acreage cost Doheny, Sr., $3,166,578.12. (See "History of Greystone,"Accessed 10/24/2014.) Greystone had 55 inhabitable rooms (67 in total) and was built with a steel frame and reinforced concrete with a stone-faced exterior. Architect Gordon B. Kaufmann (1888-1949), designed the immense, four-story, 46,054-square-foot house in the English Tudor Revival Style. Landscape architect, Paul Thiene (1880-1971), designed the gardens (sited on 19.5 acres) and Cheesewright Studios of Pasadena, CA, handled its interior design. The mansion, the second largest in CA behind the contemporary Hearst Castle, San Simeon, was lavish even by the standards of the ultra-rich; it contained on the first floor: a library, dining room, breakfast room, card room, guest bedrooms, billiard room, two bowling alleys, a theatre, a bar, and a trophy room. On the upper floors were lavish bedrooms and baths topped by a gymnasium on the fourth floor. The grounds contained: an Olympic-sized swimming pool, 2 lakes, formal gardens, tennis courts, playhouse, 7-room gatehouse, 4-room guesthouse, a garage containing 3 bedrooms for servants, a picnic pavilion, and huge barbeque area. Doheny, Jr., also owned a residence in New York on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, that he sold just before his death in 02/1929. Ned and Lucy Doheny built Greystone during the drawn-out saga of the Teapot Dome Scandal, in which Doheny, Sr. and Jr., played key roles. On Saturday evening, 02/16/1929, Doheny, Jr., was killed at Greystone in an apparent murder-suicide by his secretary and former chauffeur, T. Hugh Plunkett (1895-1929). Mystery still surrounds this incident. Various theories have been suggested, but the murder occurred just prior to a Congressional investigation at which both men would be called to testify. A year after Ned's death, Lucy married a family acquaintance, broker Leigh McMaster Battson (1891-1977); In 1954, the Battsons sold the Doheny Family's Ranch property, covering 410 acres, to developer Paul Trousdale (1915–1990), who sub-divided it into Trousdale Estates. The mansion, Greystone, went to the Chicago, IL-based, construction and real estate magnate, Henry Crown (1896-1990), for $1.5 million; Crown wanted to develop the property and raze the house, but actor Ralph Bellamy and others on the California Arts Commission drummed up public support to buy and preserve it. Crown, then, sold the mansion and grounds to the City of Beverly Hills in 1965 for the depreciated price of $1,100,000; it became a City of Beverly Hills Park on 09/16/1971. The American Film Institute (AFI) leased the house for its headquarters from 1969-1982; it stood vacant for some time after this; currently, it is being rented for city events, films, weddings and other social occasions.

The immense Greystone and its grounds required a household staff of 15 and landscape crew of 20 to maintain it. The Tudor Revival residence was listed on the National Register in 1976. Numerous motion pictures filmed in the 1950s-1960s used Greystone as a set, including comedian Jerry Lewis's 1964 film, "The Disorderly Orderly" (1964). Tel: 310-550-4796 (2005); tel: 310-550-4654, (2006).

National Register of Historic Places (April 23, 1976): 76000485 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 1387