Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Mansion on a Hill

Part I

Do you ever discover something new to love about your neighborhood? Ok, so the lovely Greystone Mansion is not exactly in our "neighborhood" (and certainly not new), but since it's only a five mile drive away, I was surprised when we visited for the first time last winter that Will and I hadn't explored this iconic Beverly Hills estate earlier.

We visited the elegant Greystone Mansion on a rather grey (how appropriate) day last December. I had planned the excursion because of an assignment for my photography class, but when it started pouring around 10 o'clock that morning, I was terribly disappointed. Finally, around noon things started to lighten up a bit so we decided to put on our rainy day shoes, bring our biggest umbrella, and visit the Mansion in the rain.

I was pleasantly surprised as we drove up the winding road of the hills; the whole landscape of the normally sunny and hedge-lined streets of Beverly Hills was covered in a lovely soft mist that gave the stereotypically ritzy neighborhood a mysterious somberness. When we reached Greystone Mansion nestled at the top of a lush hill, the rain had reduced to a light drizzle. We pulled into the empty parking lot and wandered the quiet grounds that had the wonderful peaceful calm that comes after a storm.

The distinctive Tudor-style mansion and gardens was the home of Edward Doheny Jr. and his family from the 1930s through the 1950s. Greystone Mansion, with 55 rooms and over 46,000 square feet, was the most expensive home built in California at the time. Eventually, the estate became a public park through restoration and preservation efforts from the City of Beverly Hills.

As we meandered through the romantic gardens and admired the refined architecture of the Greystone, I found inspiration in the surroundings at every turn. Over the past few decades the Mansion has inspired the imagination of many others as well-- the estate has been the set of numerous movies and TV shows including X-Men, National Treasure, The Prestige, all three Spider-Man movies, Gilmore Girls, and The Social Network.

It turns out that the cloudy, misty weather with light rain was actually perfect for photographs! I still remember how gorgeous the light was, perfectly soft and luminous at every angle. Greystone Mansion on a grey day was just perfect!


  1. Love the post; Getty Villa's a great place for a photoshoot too :)

  2. Thanks Annie~ Let's go shooting together one of these days!


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