Playboy Mansion could be named historic-cultural monument

The Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills could be added to the list of Los Angeles' historic-cultural monuments, with a City Council member introducing a motion Tuesday seeking the designation.

The iconic property was owned by Playboy Enterprises from 1971 until last year, although the magazine empire's founder and owner, Hugh Hefner, lived there until his death Sept. 27.

The property has taken on legendary status as the scene of luxurious parties, tales of debauchery and a popular celebrity hangout.

Hefner published the first issue of Playboy in December 1953, and it became the world's largest selling and most influential men's magazine, spawning a number of successful global businesses, including nightclubs.

The mansion was sold for $100 million last year to billionaire businessman Daren Metropoulos, although the deal allowed for Hefner to live there until his death. Metropoulos lives next door.

A designation as a historic-cultural monument would put limits on what alterations could be made to the property and also prevent the mansion from being demolished without a review.

Metropoulos, 33, said after the sale that he plans to connect his estate and the Playboy Mansion, ``ultimately returning the combined 7.3-acre compound to the original vision executed by architect Arthur R. Kelly and its first owner, Arthur Letts Jr., the department store heir whose father conceived and developed Holmby Hills when it was the Wolfskill Ranch.''

The 20,000-square-foot mansion was built in 1927 and would first have to be recommended for monument status by the Cultural Heritage Commission and the Planning and Land Use Management Committee before coming to the full City Council for approval.

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