Several years ago I dated a boy affectionately nicknamed The Comedian. He was a nice guy, though stereotypically east coast pessimistic. We had a lot in common.
He took me to a place hidden away in Beverly Hills called Greystone Mansion. We arrived there just a few minutes before closing, but visions of Alice in Wonderland danced in my head as we quickly strolled the grounds before getting shoo’ed out by security guards anxious for their off-the-clock beer.
Having grown up a restless and rebellious teen in Los Angeles, I thought I had been to every remotely interesting place in the entire city (and many more embarrassingly outside of town…Im pointing at you Riverside), so this magical ‘public park’ and its elusiveness sparked keen interest in me and I vowed to return soon to give it a proper look-see.
Cut to five years later when I finally got off my lazy arse and made it back up the not-so-long-but-very-windy-road, with the always lovely photographic genius Amy Teegan Schubert for company.
I have said it once and I will say it again, why doesn’t anyone know that this place exists?! It is this beautiful little gem of a public park, reminiscent of Tuscan villas and romantic fairy-tale Medieval castles, located at the tippy top of Doheny Road in Beverly Hills (proper).
The view = to die for. On a clear day, you can easily see the ocean. On a smoggy day, you can easily see the sky scrapers of downtown…though they will probably be a bit brown and blurry.
Built in the late 20’s by a wildly successful oil baron named Ned (no joke), who died in the mansion just four months later along with his secretary Hugh (again, not a joke) as part of a mysterious murder-suicide (ooooooooo! Scandalous!). I don’t know about you, but I am dying to know more. Dont get your hopes up though, I wasnt able to retrieve any more information on the matter. I smell a cover up.
The grounds are fairly large, 12 acres and some change, and have seen many a film crew in its day…which really shouldnt be a surprise. The Big Lebowski, X-Men, Spiderman (I,III), Rush Hour, Stripes, ect, pretty impressive resume. From what I hear, tons of weddings are held here as well.
We arrived at the Mansion a bit late, so my photos aren’t too great and we didn’t get to see inside the Mansion its self (maybe thats for another day, any takers?), but touring the gardens was unbelievable!
Brick walls with small doorways that lead to great big grassy and perfectly landscaped areas. The little girl in me squealed incessantly as ‘secret’ little openings gave way to tiny enchanting gardens, mysteriously mossy stairways and narrow walled-in pathways lined with the sculptured faces of surprised angels spewing cold, clear water.
Positively picturesque. I am dying for someone to have a wedding here (and if its you, I had better be invited! No, seriously, you are obligated to invite me).
Visit this place. It’s free, close by and amazing.
You’ll thank me later.