Although most of Beverly Hills was constructed in the early 1900s, the area that later became Trousdale Estates sat undisturbed as part of the northernmost portion of the Doheny Ranch family estate until the mid-1950s.
Originally the largest estate in Beverly Hills, the 425-acre tract was home to Greystone mansion, which was custom-built for Edward Doheny Jr. in 1928 with 55 rooms. Greystone also included a private bowling alley.
In 1954, 410 acres of the estate were sold to developer Paul Trousdale, who began building single-family homes on generous-sized lots. Favored by celebrities, including Elvis Presley, Dean Martin and Groucho Marx, the area boomed from the late 1950s, with construction peaking in the '60s.
Zoning strictly limits building height in Trousdale, keeping homes to a single story. The city of Beverly Hills also requires the filing of a landscaping plan for city approval before single-family home construction.
Trousdale Estates residents enjoy the convenience of nearby Beverly Hills retail areas, yet they are surrounded by canyon tranquillity and privacy.
Many of the homes sit behind gates on lushly landscaped lots. Views from the ocean to downtown are common.
Although the location is a lure for many residents, the bonus of extra security via private patrol is another plus. "There's a sign at each entrance to Trousdale, warning of the private patrol on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said Alan E. Berlin, president of the Trousdale Homeowners Assn.
Good news, bad news
The original covenants, conditions and restrictions for Trousdale recently expired, leaving many residents feeling unprotected from future development. Apprehension that views may be blocked by landscaping is a growing concern. Revised codes are being drafted for resident vote.
Trousdale Estates is part of the Beverly Hills Unified School District, with students in kindergarten through eighth grade attending Hawthorne Elementary School on Rexford Drive. The 2003 Academic Performance Index scores indicate Hawthorne students scored 844 out of a possible 1,000, with Beverly Hills High students attaining 822.
On the market
About 11 homes were on the market in Trousdale Estates as of late July. Listings ranged from a 3,200-square-foot home for $2,195,000 to a 7,000-square-foot home with 180-degree city-to-ocean views for $6.4 million.
Historical values Single-family detached resales:
Year...Median Price 1990...$1,800,000
*Year to date.
Sources: DataQuick Information Systems; City of Beverly Hills Planning Department; http://www.beverlyhills.org ; factfinder.census.gov; http://www.themls.com ; http://www.Beverlyhills.k12.ca.us ; http://api.cde.ca.gov ; Trousdale Homeowners Assn.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun