Good grief. My rock icons are dying of old age. On her last visit, my nurse called me an “old man” and told me I have got to stop living without a flush toilet. And now this: the Playboy Mansion has recently been put up for sale. It’s the beginning of the ignominious end for all of us.
Situated on 5 acres in Los Angeles’ Holmby Hills, the fantasy pad that captured the imagination of almost every 20-year-old of my generation hit the market last Monday for $200 million.
Even if I had that kind of cash lying around (which I don’t), I would have to take on a geriatric roommate: Hugh Hefner, who has lived in the home for four decades with a rotating cast of girlfriends, doesn’t want to move out. At 89, he is old, sick, and frail, and has a nightly curfew of 9:00. Whereas he used to move around the property with a gaggle of bunnies, these days he is surrounded by a phalanx of nurses. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
“If a buyer is found for the Playboy Mansion, Mr. Hefner will continue to live at the mansion for the rest of his life,” a spokesman recently said. The sale is a strategic decision that will allow Playboy “to continue to reinvest in the transformation of our business,” Playboy CEO Scott Flanders explained.
Hefner bought the home in 1971 for just over $1 million. The property is 20,000 square feet, with 29 rooms and a four-bedroom guesthouse. The next owner will have reign over a home theater, gym, tennis court, swimming pool, and even a zoo license. But he/she would first have to plan on a total remake… yet Hef doesn’t want to change a thing.
The mansion has been described as having a collection of shabby, mismatched furniture and stained mattresses that last saw their glory days more than two decades ago. Its reputation for naughty, sybaritic luxury has long since faded. Once notorious but now mostly depressing, the mansion has not been relevant in popular culture for years. Larry Flynt doesn’t even want it.
According to an article published several years ago, the bedrooms are cold and damp, and they smell like “old man.” Time marches on.
Ancient intercom equipment at the famous Grotto.
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