In A Nutshell
Greystone Mansion is a historic 55-room Gothic Tudor-style estate (also consisting of English gardens) in the Trousdale section of Beverly Hills, owned by the City of Beverly Hills. It consists of 18.3 acres of prime real estate. Greystone has also been designated a public park (which is open between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily) and is rented out for special events (such as fundraisers and weddings). Reduced rental rates are available for residents.
Settings on the luxurious property include a pool area, an inner courtyard, formal gardens (for ceremonies) and a terrace. Greystone Mansion is included on the National Register of Historic Places. The stunning legacy property was renovated (under the stewardship of the Friends of Greystone) between 2006 and 2010 and continues to undergo restorations by and by. It is located at 906 Loma Vista Drive and colloquially referred to as the Doheny Mansion.
History of Greystone Mansion
The manor house was originally constructed for Edward ‘Ned’ Laurence Doheny by his father, affluent oil baron Edward Doheny. The 55-room home, designed by architect Gordon Kaufmann (also architect of the Los Angeles Times building in Downtown) was completed in 1928 for a whopping $3,166,578.12.
The Doheny family moved onto the estate the following year. Soon after, in 1929, tragedy struck and Ned Doheny was murdered on the grounds. His wife Lucy continued to live in the house — considered at the time, the most expensive home built in California — until 1955.
In 1956, she sold the property to a Chicago developer for $1.5 million. The city of Beverly Hills purchased Greystone Mansion a decade later for $1.3 million and ultimately leased it to the American Film Institute from 1969 to 1982. In 1971, the full 18.3 acre site was officially named a public park; and in 1976 it was honored as a historical landmark.
Read About Greystone and Other Mansions in Los Angeles
Murder at the Mansion
On February 16, 1929, only six months after the Doheny family had moved into the mansion, the bodies of Ned Doheny (36) and his assistant and friend Hugh Plunkett were discovered on the estate.
The former was found on his back in a bathrobe and underwear with a bullet from a Bisley .45 Colt revolver in his head; the latter on his stomach also with a bullet in his head (an apparent suicide). It was uncovered that the pair had been drinking. Doheny’s wife Lucy and his five children were on the grounds at the time of the tragic incident.
Witnesses said Plunkett had arrived at the house at 9:30 p.m. and let himself in with his own key. The two victims had apparently fallen into a discussion that had become increasingly heated. One theory is that Doheny had wanted the apparently unstable Plunkett to check himself into a sanitarium, which he adamantly refused, and that this conversation prompted Plunkett to murder him and then take his own life.
The whole affair was publicly labelled a ‘murder and suicide’ with Plunkett seen as the murderer. Salacious rumors quickly spread that the two had been secret lovers and that the incident had been the result of an intense lovers’ quarrel.
Films Shot at Greystone Manor
- Air Force One (1997)
- All of Me (1984)
- Austin Powers: Gold Member (2002)
- The Big Lebowski (1998)
- The Body Guard (1992)
- Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003)
- Dead Ringer (1964)
- Death Becomes Her (1992)
- The Holiday (2006)
- Indecent Proposal (1993)
- Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986)
- The Prestige (2006)
- Richie Rich (1994)
- The Social Network (2010)
- Spider-Man (2002)
- There Will Be Blood (2007)
- What Women Want (2000)
- X-Men (2000)