An often overlooked spot in a visit when people are touring Los Angeles is Greystone Mansion, despite the fact that this public park is free for anyone to visit.
Greystone Mansion has been used as a set for dozens of movies since it was purchased by the city of Beverly Hills back in the 1960s. Some famous movies include The Big Lebowski, Ghostbusters and Americas Sweethearts. Trivia: Indoor filming at Greystone Mansion starts at a cool $10,000+.
Despite the fact that is completely free to visit Greystone Mansion, many tourists to Hollywood and Los Angeles aren’t even aware that they can visit this lovely spot.
To be clear, while the gardens of Greystone are open daily from 10 am to 5pm to visit, Greystone Mansion itself is only open to the public certain times per year. You can check the Friends of Greystone website to see when they are hosting their next event, which are often open to the public to attend. Private tours are available but there must be a minimum of 10 people. Also important to note is that weekends are popular for special events, so if you visit then, you will likely not be able to tour the Greystone gardens. However, I was able to get a private tour of the this popular Hollywood filming spot when I visited Los Angeles, so check out the gorgeous photos of this lovely home.
This picturesque Hollywood home was the dream of oil tycoon, Edward Doheny, who bought the land in the 1910s. He and a friend were the first to strike oil in Los Angeles. He left most of his fortune to his surviving son, Ned Doheny, who began construction of the luxury home in 1927. The entire estate cost more than $3 million to build, which you can imagine, was an astonishing figure for that time. It came to be known as “Greystone” for it its overall gray appearance.
Greystone Mansion has quite a sordid past though.
Sadly, Ned Doheny was killed just 5 months after moving in to the estate after it was completed in 1928. Both Ned and his male assistant were found murdered. There were many rumors that they were secretly lovers, but this has never been proven. Speculation remains to this day as to why there was the murder / suicide.
Besides the ornate wood carvings and flooring, each room has it’s own character. Even though Greystone Mansion has been used in countless movies, because rooms are so varied by their design, it is possible to not recognize the setting from one movie to another.
Especially interesting are the secret hideaways built into the walls. Since the home was built during Prohibition, Doheny wanted a way to enjoy drinks without the attention of the law. Pretty clever if you ask me!
But Doheny’s lust for creating the ultimate luxury mansion in Hollywood didn’t end there. What’s more ingenious is the old bowling alley, which is an engineering marvel. The velocity as the ball is dropped on one end gives it enough force to make it all the way back. Besides the mansion itself the grounds also had stables and kennels, tennis courts, a fire station, swimming pool, a greenhouse, a lake, and cascading waterfalls. He truly spared no expensive in creating a lovely house. It is a tragedy that he didn’t get to enjoy it. But no wonder it is popular to have an event at Greystone Mansion.
Even if you visit Greystone Mansion are only able to tour the outside grounds, you can still marvel at the uniqueness and detail that went into the design of this Beverly Hills estate.
The slate used on the roof of Greystone Mansion was imported from Scotland and the stone from Indiana. Notice the chimneys (below photo) that have their own décor in each set of bricks. With all these fantastic features, no wonder Greystone Mansion is on the national register of historic places.
Want to learn more about the history of Greystone Mansion? Visit their site here.