Iconic Hearst Estate Where JFK and Jackie Honeymooned Sells at Auction for $63.1M
LA’s famous Hearst Estate, once home to media magnate William Randolph Hearst and actress Marion Davies, has been on and off the market for years. Starting in 2008, when it wanted $160 million. In 2020, it was seen asking $125 million and then on the market again this year, enduring a series of price cuts.
Now, the Beverly Hills home’s rollercoaster of a real estate ride has come to an end. At auction last week, billionaire investor Nicolas Berggruen won it for $63.1 million.
In August, an offer by Berggruen was accepted for $47 million, but as the property had been ordered by a Bankruptcy Trustee to be sold, it was subject to an overbid. That is, an auction that takes place at a hearing to approve a bankruptcy sale. At this recent courtroom auction, there were five overbids made. Splashing out millions more than his original offer, Berggruen still came out on top.
Built in 1926 and designed by architect Gordon Kaufman, the estate is certainly a prize. Hearst and Davies acquired it in 1946, naming it The Beverly House. Hearst resided here for the rest of his life and died at the home in 1951, according to listing agent Anthony Marguleas of Amalfi Estates. Davies continued to own it for some years.
But, not one fact makes the Hearst Estate one of LA’s most iconic homes, many do. Steeped in American and pop culture history, the 3.5-acre property with a 29,000-square-foot main house also served as a honeymoon getaway for John F. Kennedy and Jackie in 1953. Later, adding to its significance, the mansion’s exterior was used to film shots in The Godfather.
Across this LA palace, there is room to comfortably host 1,000 people. It has a grand two-story library, specialty spaces like an Art-Deco nightclub and billiards room, pristine gardens, and an Olympic-sized pool. While the nine-bedroom main house is the centerpiece, the estate offers an additional 7,000 square feet in other structures including two staff apartments, a five-bedroom gatehouse, tennis pavilion, and more.
Almost 100 years old now, it has been inspiring awe and garnering attention for decades. “There’s a little-known fact that in 1946, Hearst and Davies were in escrow to buy another property,” explains Marguleas. Apparently, when Davies saw this home she was so inspired by its privacy, unique promontory, and incredible views that she convinced Hearst to cancel escrow and they bought this home instead.