A Bit of Trivia the History of the Beverly Hillbilly Mansion


The average person knows the stunning home pictured as the Clampett Mansion from the popular 1960s TV show The Beverly Hillbillies.

Originally, it was known as the Kirkeby Estate after the hotelier owner of the grand Beverly Wilshire hotel adjacent to Rodeo Drive, whose family resided there

The estate was sold to entertainment mogul Jerry Perenchio in 1986 for a (then) whopping $13.5M.


He then began a restoration and sensitive improvement project that, in the end, surpassed the home's original budget. Mr. Perenchio also began to aquire and demolish adjacent homes (including the final home of Ronald and Nancy Reagan) but saved a 6,000 square foot  Italian revival mansion by Wallace Neff to use as a guest house. The estate's final footprint reached 10 acres, including a young redwood forest. The estate was renamed Chartwell.

When Jerry Perenchio passed away, Chartwell was put up for sale (2017) at $350M, one of the most expensive residential listings at the time. After being on the market for 2 years, it finally sold for $150M to Lachlan Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

The home's early history was rather quirky...

From iamnotastalker.com (2012): 

Construction on the Kirkeby Mansion, which began in 1933 and took five years to carry out, cost a whopping $2 million – and we’re talking 1930s money! The home was commissioned by a wealthy engineer named Lynn Atkinson. When it was completed, the French neoclassical Beaux Arts-style property featured ten bedrooms, twelve baths, 21,523 square feet of living space, a copper roof, walnut paneling, several Baccarat chandeliers, a 150-foot waterfall, gold-plated doorknobs and bathroom fixtures, a pipe organ, an orchestra stage, an elevator that ran seventy feet below ground, underground tunnels that led from the home to the pool area, and a landing pad for autogyros.

Atkinson had the place built for his wife, Berenice, as a surprise and when he first brought her there, under the ruse of attending a party, she took one look at the opulent manse and said, “Who would ever live in a house like this? It’s so grandiose.” Fail! The Atkinsons never wound up living on the premises and the pad was eventually acquired by hotelier Arnold Kirkeby in 1945 for about $250,000.

There is an extensive marketing video from Architectural Digest that will show (in over-wrought and gushing real estate parlance) the beautiful result of Mr. Perenchio's efforts, and that of his architects, designers and craftspersons. Enjoy!


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