The Playboy Mansion (also known as the Playboy Mansion West) is the home of Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner. Located in Los Angeles, California, nearby Beverly Hills, the mansion became famous during the 1970s through media reports of Hefner's lavish parties.
The 21,987-square-foot house is described as being in the "Gothic-Tudor" style by Forbes magazine, and sits on 5.3 acres. It was built by architect Arthur R. Kelly in 1927 for Arthur Letts, Jr., son of The Broadway department store founder Arthur Letts and acquired by Playboy from Louis D. Statham (1908–1983), an engineer, inventor and chess aficionado, in 1971 for $US1.1 million ($US5.5 million in 2007 dollars). In early 2011 it was valued at $US54 million. It sits close to the northwestern corner of the Los Angeles Country Club, near UCLA and the Bel-Air Country Club. Fifteen million dollars has been invested in renovation and expansion.
The mansion has 22 rooms including a wine cellar, a game room, a zoo and aviary (and related pet cemetery), tennis courts, a waterfall and a swimming pool area (including a patio and barbecue area, a grotto, a sauna and a bathhouse). These features and others have been shown on television.
The game room (game house) is a separate building on the property's north side. From the fountain in front of the main entrance, there are two sidewalks, running past a wishing-well. The sidewalk on the right leads to the game house and runs past a 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 bedroom, which has an exit to the rear backyard of the game house. The game house has a backyard with lounge chairs, and gates on either side. In 2010, Hugh Hefner's former girlfriend Izabella St. James, in her memoir "Bunny Tales: Behind Closed Doors at the Playboy Mansion", wrote 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."
The house next door is a mirror image of the Mansion layout, only smaller. Hefner purchased the neighboring building in 1996 and it is home to his separated wife Kimberley Conrad and their children together. Hefner and Conrad married in 1989 and separated in 1998. According to the Wall Street Journal, Hefner and his wife announced in March 2009 that they are listing Mrs. Hefner's home for sale at $US28 million.
In 2002, Hefner purchased a house across the street from the mansion for use by Playmates.
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