Tuesday, January 19, 2010

SeeDo: Greystone Mansion and Park (Los Angeles)

Greystone Mansion and Park in the City of Beverly Hills has long been on my list of places to visit in Los Angeles. I found myself with some free time one beautiful November day and took a spontaneous trip there. I always saw my visit including a small picnic on the grounds of the park, but that was not to be on this day.

Completed in 1928, Greystone used to sit on 12.58 acres of land owned by the Doheny family. Over the years, the property was subdivided and sold to various interests. In 1965, the City of Beverly Hills acquired the remaining portion of the property, including the mansion grounds, for $1.3 million. The city eventually dedicated the property as a park. Today, the park is open to the public and the grounds are a popular special events and film location. The property has been featured in such films as Ghostbusters, There Will Be Blood, Big Lebowski, and X-Men.

Greystone has always intrigued me for a number of reasons. First, it is a great example of repurposing a landmark. Second, it is a peaceful sanctuary in an urban setting. Third, it gives visitors a chance to see how the extremely wealthy live.

My favorite feature of the park is the descending staircase. The grounds feature a manicured and well-maintained garden and koi and turtle pond. Wandering the grounds and coming upon statues and fountains is a fun experience, and being one of LA’s more well-kept secrets, there are no crowds in this serene setting. The mansion itself is not open except for special events including weekly music presentations and a once a year tour of the mansion. 

 View of the grounds from the parking lot

 The mansion
Turtle pond

Greystone Mansion and Park
905 Loma Vista Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Park Hours: 10 am to 5 pm
Admission to the grounds and parking are free

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