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History, mystery and more at historic Beverly Hills Greystone Mansion

Courtyard entry
Courtyard entry

Outside view of the bedroom; the scene of the mysterious murder of "Ned" Doheny in 1929

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This magnificent Gothic English style Mansion was built between 1926 and 1928 by Edward Doheny, a self-made millionaire whose company helped California become a leader in the oil business around the turn of the last century. The home was a gift for his son Edward "Ned" Laurence Doheny, Jr. and his family. The house, set on 12.5 acres in the "new" town of Beverly Hills, was built at a cost of $3.1 million (in 1920's currency!). It sits on top of a hill with views from downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean and all the communities and towns below. The original property was part of a 429 acre ranch owned by the senior Edward Doheny.

Unfortunately, Ned Doheny enjoyed his new home for only four months after moving in with his wife and five children. A mystery that was never fully solved was the deaths of Ned and his male secretary, Hugh Plunkett, by gunshot in a first floor bedroom. Theatre 40, a local production company reenacts this tragic family saga a number of times throughout the year to audience members who follow the actors through the Mansion's rooms.

The 55+ room Mansion has a warm exterior of taupe-gray Indiana limestone, Welsh slate roofing, fanciful terracotta brick chimneys, and leaded glass windows; surrounded by terraced patios, reflecting pools and fountains, along with various gardens. It is a city park staffed by Park Rangers and the grounds are open to the public every day from 10 am to 5 pm (to 6 pm during daylight savings and only exceptions are Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and special events). Admission and parking are free. Walking around the Mansion and outbuildings, peeking in windows, and touring the gardens and patios makes a wonderful weekend outing.

When not in use by film crews and special events, the Mansion stands vacant. Many popular movies have used Greystone as a filming location including There Will be Blood (2007), Ghostbusters (1984) and Spiderman III (2007). Not to be missed is a 1 ½ hour private tour of the Mansion's interior and gardens scheduled one Saturday each month. A well-versed Park Ranger tours groups of 10 and discusses the history and mystery behind the Mansion and shares captivating antidotes of basement treasures and tunnels that have been discovered. Although on hiatus as of 2009, the Mansion is the site of the Beverly Hills Garden & Design Showcase which was (and will hopefully resume) a wonderful event that enables visitors to view all the main rooms decorated and brought to life, making the Mansion the magnificent home it once was.

Greystone Park
905 Loma Vista Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(directions)

Comments

  • Susan Roon 4 years ago

    Great article. Keep them coming!

  • Pam H 4 years ago

    Wonderfully descriptive article - I want to visit there SOON! Thanks for all the information. I can't wait to read more from you!

  • nitza shawriyeh 4 years ago

    Great article!!! Very informative!!! Makes me want to visit California just to see the Greystone Mansion

  • Linda 4 years ago

    Very interesting article - fascinating history...makes me want to take the tour! Interested in more historic sights. Look forward to future articles!

  • Sara H. 4 years ago

    Greystone mansion sounds like a really interesting landmark to visit in southern Calif. I'll be sure to put it on my agenda for my next trip to CA. Well written article and beautiful accompanying photos. Looking forward to reading about more southern Calif attractions on examiner.com in the future.

  • sarah mazz 4 years ago

    Looks/sounds like a beautiful building with a very interesting history. Can't wait to read more about the sites of so cal!

  • Sherrilyn H 4 years ago

    What a beautiful place, and an interesting story... would love to see it next time I'm in the area. Looking forward to hearing about other sites and events!

  • katydid 4 years ago

    What a lovely home. I particularly enjoyed the movie stats. I love learning little spats of info. about how and when some of these amazing pieces of property have been used in the movies. The background of the property was very well researched and I enjoyed the article as a whole.