This deluxe volume offers a meticulously researched and lavishly illustrated history of 45 magnificent estates in three of America’s most prized residential districts: Beverly Hills, Bel-Air, and Holmby Hills. Lush new color photographs as well as a trove of historical images take readers beyond the front gates for an exceptional, never-before-seen view of the mansions, grounds, and gardens of these sumptuous estates, and tell the history of Los Angeles' rise from rugged paddocks and farmland to famed metropolis.

Each house is explored both for its historical and architectural importance, for here are the epitome of residences and gardens reflecting the famed Italianate and California Mediterranean styles by all the leading architects of Southern California, including Wallace Neff, James Dolena, Gordon Kaufmann, Robert Farquhar, Roland Coate, and Paul Williams. They built for clients whose own stories reflect the intrigue and foibles of Hollywood society (What rich widow built one of the greatest estates, only to lose everything because of non-stop parties and gambling? Which major Hollywood star secretly took nearly 100,000 photographs of nude starlets including young Marilyn Monroe at his estate?). The book’s final chapter, "Gone But Not Forgotten," pays homage to great estates that have been destroyed or lost to history.

Hardcover / 428 pages / 16” x 12” / over 300 illustrations 

ISBN: 978-0-8478-3162-3 
Rizzoli, New York
Publication date: November 2008

Type: book