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Old Posted Oct 6, 2012, 7:21 PM
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rcarlton rcarlton is offline
Dallas, TX
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 269
Beverly Hillbillies House. 750 Bel Air Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90077

All from Zillow

This 21523 square foot single family home has 10 bedrooms and 12.0 bathrooms.

Lynn Atkinson was an engineer and public works contractor who retired in his thirties and built Bel Air's most expensive Depression-era house, at 750 Bel Air Rd. It had a ballroom with an orchestra stage, a pipe organ, six bedroom suites, a 150 foot manmade waterfall, a landing pad for autogyros, gold-plated doorknobs and hinges, and an elevator that ran seventy-five feet below the house to tunnels leading to the pool and landing pad. But he never moved in and his family only ever used the house for parties. In 1945, the house was acquired "for a mere $250,000" by Arnold S. Kirkeby, a bond dealer, developer, and hotelier with rumored mob ties who had just bought the Beverly Wilshire. Here's Gross:

It's unclear, even to his family, how [Kirkeby] came to own it.
A local gossip column once claimed that Atkinson gave the house to Kirkeby in repayment of a gambling debt. Carla Kirkeby, Arnold's younger child, says her parents told her that Atkinson had run out of money to finish the house, borrowed it from Kirkeby, and, unable to pay it back, lost the house, his collateral. Her father "didn't want to take the house," she says. "He said he'd never make another loan like that." Kirkeby's son Arnold, known as Buzz, believes that the kooky Atkinson took the loan for an ill-fated wartime engineering brainstorm--floating islands he proposed to sell to the US Navy. But the war ended, the navy was no longer interested--if it ever had been--and Atkinson "handed over the keys to the house."

Understandably, he did so with a heavy heart--his daughter Doris once told Carla Kirkeby that her father moved into an apartment on Wilshire Boulevard with a view of the house and sat staring at it for hours on end through binoculars. In summer 1961, having moved again, he leapt from his twelfth-floor apartment in the Le Corbusier-inspired Park La Brea complex east of Beverly Hills. A note found near his body blamed the infamous Los Angeles smog that had exacerbated his pulmonary emphysema. "I have lived here for almost fifty years in perfect physical condition except for smog-affected lungs that make life too miserable, but if my passing shall accent a need for a change, it will have served a good purpose," wrote the sixty-six-year-old.

Meanwhile, right before Kirkeby died in 1962, he agreed to let a producer use 750 Bel Air's exterior for the Clampett house in The Beverly Hillbillies, thinking the show wouldn't last. The fans tormented his widow Carlotta for years. And one last bit about the house: Betsy Bloomingdale supposedly walked into the White House in 1975 and said "This looks just like Carlotta Kirkeby's house in Bel Air." Unreal Real Estate

"The Kirkeby Estate, Bel-Air Road, Bel-Air. Also known as home to "The Beverly Hillbillies." Jerry Perenchio, movie producer and former partner of Norman Lear, bought the Kirkeby Estate for $13.6 million in 1986, then bought three adjacent lots for about $9 million, expanding the grounds to 11.5 acres. (The comparatively modest ranch house of former President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan is his only remaining neighbor.) Perenchio also reportedly invested another $9 million refurbishing the 18th-century French neoclassical mansion he purchased from the estate of widow Carlotta Kirkeby.

Built over five years during the 1930s by millionaire bridge contractor Lynn Atkinson, the house with the copper roof, limestone walls, marble staircase, ballroom and two-story reception hall cost $2 million. An oft-told but disputed story goes: Atkinson had planned to surprise his wife, Berenice, by throwing a massive housewarming party. But, as he expectantly walked her through the house and a band played under the Baccarat crystal chandelier, she sniffed: "Who would ever live in a house like this? It's so grandiose." Atkinson was crushed. They left, and the grand mansion stood empty for years as Berenice Atkinson refused to move there. It sold in 1945 to Arnold Kirkeby for $200,000, though some versions of the story say it really was collateral on an uncollected loan.

The estate's facade and gardens are familiar to millions of television viewers as the home of "The Beverly Hillbillies." Later, Carlotta Kirkeby would rue the day she allowed the house to be filmed, as tour buses and looky-loos clogged Nimes and Bel-Air roads."

Video tour of Bel Air Road. Sounds like Nancy Reagon is Jed's neighbor.
Dallas, Texas

Last edited by rcarlton; Oct 6, 2012 at 10:23 PM.
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