Photographer's Note

Another older photo that I recently scanned. This site is fairly well-known in the city; Greystone Mansion was built by Edward Doheny, originally of Wisconsin, but he moved west in the late 19th century to seek his fortune (he clearly found it!) prospecting for gold and then oil. He and his friend Charles A. Canfield were the first to actually strike oil in Los Angeles and later in Mexico, making them the largest oil producers/tycoons in the world. Edward's only son and namesake "Ned" built this house on a property gifted to him by his father as a wedding present in 1926. The 12.58 acre parcel was a substantial one in the area even at that time.

Construction on their honeymoon cottage (! lol ) began in 1927. The house was complete in about a year but it took a total of three years to complete the grounds at a total cost of a staggering $3 million, an impossible sum at the time. Originally, the palatial complex also had stables, kennels, tennis courts, a swimming pool, gatehouse, a greenhouse, a lake, waterfalls, and even its own fire station. There are 55 "livable" rooms in the house, comprising some 46,000 sq. feet, making it fairly comparable to Aaron Spelling's mega-mansion. It's constructed mostly of steel-reinforced concrete, faced with the characteristic gray Indiana limestone from which it takes its name. The architect, Paul G. Thiene used a mixture of Gothic and neoclassical styles. The hand railings and oak banisters are hand-carved and each of the seven chimneys are unique, each crafted by a different artist. The floors are a somewhat dizzying high-contrast inlaid marble checker pattern. The servant's quarters are in east wing housed a live-in staff of fifteen.

Only five months after the family had moved in, Ned Doheny was found dead at age 36, the victim of an apparent murder-suicide perpetrated by his longtime friend and personal assistant Hugh Plunket. It was widely whispered that the two were more than friends however, and gossip of the day rumored that his wife found them together and shot them both, staging the scene to make it look like a suicide. Lucy, Ned's wife continued to live there, however, with their five children until she and her second husband sold the property in 1955 to developers. They sold the remaining acreage the following year. The city finally purchased the property in 1965 for $1.3 million with the intent of using the land to build a reservoir because of the natural geography. The site is still the largest reservoir in the city. The entire site, including the house and associated grounds was declared a public park in 1971, so you can visit it today, and it has been listed on the Registry of Historic Places. It's fairly recognizable as it has been used as the site for countless productions and can be seen in many films and TV shows. Tours of the interior of the house occur on occasion, through the Friends of Greystone organization and the city of Beverley Hills.

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Additional Photos by Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 92 W: 78 N: 1276] (2193)
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