March 06, 2018 03:58 PM


The Playboy Mansion is legendary, but it’s not a landmark, according to a new ruling.

The Holmby Hills estate, which has been home to the brand and its bunnies since Hugh Hefner purchased it in the 1970s, has missed landmark status in Los Angeles County. It will, however, be protected by a “permanent protection covenant.” In short, that famous facade isn’t going anywhere.

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Current owner Daren Metropoulos, who purchased the mansion in 2016 for $100 million and made arrangements with Hefner that the publishing magnate could live there until his death, has reached an agreement with the Los Angeles City Council that confirms he will not demolish the house and will restore and update the nearly 100-year-old building.

Hulton Archive/Getty

“I’m extremely passionate about its architecture and look forward to this momentous opportunity to transform one of the finest estates in the country. As Mr. Hefner was aware, I plan to meticulously refurbish the property with the highest quality and standards in mind,”  Metropoulos said in a statement. 

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The businessman, a partner at the private-equity firm Metropoulos & Co., also owns the mansion next door, which he bought for $18 million in 2009, according to the Wall Street Journal. He painstakingly restored that property and plans to combine the two lots to form a 7.3-acre compound, one of the largest estates in the city.

The mansion was built in 1927 by the Letts family, owners of the now-defunct department store, in a Gothic Tutor style.


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At 20,000 square feet, it features 12 bedrooms, 21 baths and “every amenity imaginable,” according to the Agency and Hilton & Hyland’s 2016 real estate listing. It’s also one of the few private residences in L.A. to have a zoo license. And, of course, there’s the infamous grotto.

Metropoulos’s restoration shouldn’t change any of those signature elements, and instead will focus on systems updates and modernizations.

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