Daren Metropoulos, who purchased the Playboy Mansion for $100 million in June, had announced at the time of the sale that he plans to combine it with the estate next door—which he had purchased from Hefner for $18 million in 2009. Once the two Tudor Revival-style estates are enjoined, the 7.3-acre property will embody the original concept laid out by architect Arthur Roland Kelly in 1929.
It was reported that there was a stipulation in the sale that Hugh Hefner be permitted to live at the mansion for the rest of his life. Once he has moved on to the mansion in the sky, experts familiar with the property told The Read Deal that it will need to undergo a major renovation, costing anywhere from $20 to $100 million dollars, and taking four to six years.
Metroupolis will surely not be intimidated by the need to renovate and restore the mansion. When he bought the property next door—also designed by Kelly—he carried out major renovations. The challenge will be to fully upgrade and renovate the property while preserving its rich history.
The Playboy Mansion was originally the home of British-born Arthur Letts, the developer of Holmby Hills and heir of Broadway Department Stores. Letts passed away before being able to create his own manor in the 400-acre neighborhood—which he named after his childhood village of Holdenby, according to Curbed—so Arthur Letts Jr. hired Arthur Roland Kelly to design a “high-society” estate. In 1926, the Los Angeles Times reported, “The work of landscaping the grounds is now under way, rare plants and trees for the estate being furnished by the famous Letts hothouses in Hollywood.”
Kelly certainly succeeded in creating a “high-society” home. The finished estate boasted a redwood grove, an aviary and a secret bar. Metroupolis will surely appreciate the arboretum, which is still in existence today. Letts Jr. lived in the sweeping residence until his death in 1959, throughout the course of his three marriages. The next owners of the mansion were aerospace inventor Louis Statham and his wife Anne, who bought the home in 1961. The Stathams carried out a two-year renovation, in which a new playhouse—which would later become a trophy room, game room and meeting room—was added.
Finally, in 1971, the mansion became The Playboy Mansion, when Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Enterprises acquired it, in what was then the largest real estate transaction in L.A.’s history, for just over $1 million.
Images courtesy of Hilton & Hyland