Playboy Mansion - Daren Metropoulos' House (Formerly Hugh Hefner's)

Playboy Mansion - Daren Metropoulos' House (Formerly Hugh Hefner's) (Google Maps)
Playboy Mansion - Daren Metropoulos' House (Formerly Hugh Hefner's) (Bing Maps)
The Playboy Mansion, also known as the Playboy Mansion West, is the former home of Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner who lived there from 1974 until his death in 2017. Barbi Benton convinced Hefner to buy the home located in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California, near Beverly Hills. From the 1970s onward the mansion became as the location of lavish parties held by Hefner which were often attended by celebrities and socialites. It is currently owned by Daren Metropoulos, the son of billionaire investor Dean Metropoulos, and is used for corporate activities. It also serves as a location for television production, magazine photography, charitable events, and civic functions.

After Hefner's death in 2017, it began to emerge publicly that sex and drug abuse occurred frequently at the Playboy Mansion during Hefner's lifetime.

The 21,987-square-foot (2,042.7 m2) house is described as being in the "Gothic-Tudor" style of architecture by Forbes magazine, and sits on 5.3 acres (2.1 ha). It was designed by Arthur R. Kelly in 1927 for Arthur Letts Jr., son of The Broadway department store founder Arthur Letts.

It was acquired by Playboy in 1971 for the then record breaking $1.1 million, from Louis D. Statham (1908–1983), an engineer, inventor and chess aficionado. In early 2011, it was valued at $54 million. It sits close to the northwestern corner of the Los Angeles Country Club, near University of California, Los Angeles, and the Bel-Air Country Club. $15 million has been invested in renovation and expansion.

The mansion has 29 rooms including a wine cellar (with a Prohibition-era secret door), a screening room with built-in pipe organ, a game room, three zoo / aviary buildings (and related pet cemetery), a tennis/basketball court, a waterfall and a swimming pool area (including a patio and barbecue area, a grotto, a basement gym with sauna below the bathhouse). Landscaping includes a large koi pond with artificial stream, a small citrus orchard and two well-established forests of tree ferns and redwoods. The west wing (originally servant's wing) housed the editorial offices of Playboy. The main aviary building is the original greenhouse, with four guest-rooms adjoining. The master suite occupies several rooms on the second and third floors, and is the most heavily renovated area of the mansion proper, with an extensive carved-oak decor dating to the 1970s. Otherwise, the mansion proper is maintained in its original Gothic-revival furnishings for the most part. The pipe organ was extensively restored in the last decade. There is also an outdoor kitchen to serve party events. These features and others have been shown on television.

The game room (game house) is a separate building on the north side. There are two sidewalks from the fountain in front of the main entrance, running past a wishing-well. That on the right leads to the game house and runs past a duplicate Hollywood Star of Hefner. Its front entrance opens to a game room with a pool table in the center. This room has vintage and modern arcade games, pinball machines, player piano, jukebox, television, stereo, and couch. The game house has two wings. Left is a room with a soft cushioned floor, mirrors all around, television. There is a restroom with a shower. The right wing of the game house has a smaller restroom and entrance to a bedroom. This bedroom is connected to another, which has an exit to the game house's rear backyard. The game house has a backyard with lounge chairs and gates on either side.

In 2006, Hefner's former girlfriend, Izabella St. James, wrote in her memoir, Bunny Tales, that the house was in need of renovation: "Everything in the Mansion felt old and stale, and Archie the house dog would regularly relieve himself on the hallway curtains, adding a powerful whiff of urine to the general scent of decay." She also observed: "Each bedroom had mismatched, random pieces of furniture. It was as if someone had gone to a charity shop and bought the basics for each room", and that: "The mattresses on our beds were disgusting – old, worn and stained. The sheets were past their best, too.

In January 2016, the Playboy Mansion was listed for sale by Playboy Enterprises, Inc. for the asking price of $200 million, subject to the condition Hefner be allowed to continue to rent the mansion for life. In August 2016, the Playboy Mansion was bought for $100 million by Daren Metropoulos, the co-owner of Hostess Brands and a principal in the investment firm C. Dean Metropoulos & Co. Metropoulos intends to renovate and restore the mansion to its original form.

In August 2009, Metropoulos bought the mansion next door to the Playboy Mansion from Hefner and his ex-wife Kimberly Conrad for $18 million, and ultimately now wants to join the two properties. The Playboy Mansion and the mansion next door owned by Metropoulos were both designed by American architect Arthur R. Kelly and each estate has a common boundary with the Los Angeles Country Club.

In May 2016, Eugena Washington was the last Playmate of the Year to be announced by Hefner at the Playboy Mansion.

In March 2018, Daren Metropoulos, the owner of the Playboy Mansion, entered into an agreement with the City of Los Angeles which permanently protects the mansion from demolition. The agreement between Metropoulos and the City of Los Angeles, referred to between the parties as a "permanent protection covenant," is binding on all future owners. The agreement protects the mansion from demolition, but still allows Metropoulos to make modernizations and substantial renovations and repairs to the property "following a long period of deferred maintenance" while under Playboy ownership.

Under the permanent protection covenant, Metropoulos has further agreed to restore the house and facade to "its original grandeur." The compromise agreement reversed a move in November 2017 by Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz to seek landmark status for the mansion in the hope of protecting the architectural integrity of the estate for what he called "an excellent example of a Gothic-Tudor." If designated a historic landmark, Metropoulos would have faced a lengthy process for permitting and review for the rehabilitation of the property. The permanent protection covenant avoided a potentially drawn out and contentious legal action between the City of Los Angeles and Metropoulos for the City of Los Angeles seeking the formal designation of the mansion as a historic landmark.
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mlc1us picture
@ 2011-08-08 15:01:20
nslookup picture
@ 2016-01-11 21:22:43
Hefner's Playboy mansion listed for sale for $200 million.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-playboy-mansion-idUSKCN0UP0XS20160111