Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz wants to add the infamous Playboy Mansion to the city's roster of historic-cultural landmarks.
Koretz, who represents Holmby Hills, introduced the motion Tuesday, citing the mansion's architecture—an “excellent example of a Gothic-Tudor”—and connection to the neighborhood's history.
But he barely mentioned the estate’s connection to Playboy. Under the ownership of Playboy Enterprises for more than four decades, it gained a reputation as a notorious party filled with “hedonistic fun” and “many dark corners,” the New York Times wrote, referring in part to negative encounters young women had there over the years.
The motion comes after a couple of big changes at the mansion. It sold last summer for $100 million to Daren Metropoulos, a billionaire who co-owns Hostess Brands. As a condition of the sale, Hugh Hefner was allowed to continue living in the house until his death; he died in September.
At the time of the mansion’s sale, Metropoulos, who also owns the house next to the Playboy Mansion, said he was interested in restoring the Playboy Mansion and uniting the two adjoining properties to create one large estate.
If awarded historic-cultural monument status, the house would be protected from most major exterior alterations. Attempts to demolish it would require a review by the city.
The mansion was built in 1927 for Arthur Letts, Jr., son of Broadway department store founder Arthur Letts. Letts was the developer who created Holmby Hills in 1920s. The house on Charing Cross Road was designed by architect Arthur R. Kelly, who would go on to design the Harvard-Westlake School and the Wilshire Country Club.
Before it was sold to Playboy Enterprises in 1971, the estate was a gathering place for buttoned-up high-society types.