When Edward L. (Ned) Doheny, Jr., married Lucy Smith in 1915, the elder Doheny gave the couple two pieces of property: a home on Chester Place in the West Adams district and 22 acres of his ranch in Beverly Hills.Nothing was done with the ranch land until 1925, when Ned began construction of an 85 room mansion.
Built of Indiana limestone, giving the building its name, it contained 46,000 square feet. Its roof is of slate, three inches thick; the inner structure of the house is of steel-reinforced concrete.
Situated as it is the hills above Sunset Boulevard, and facing the Santa Monica Bay, most of the family rooms had magnificent views through leaded-glass windows. The Great Hall's windows reach one and one-half stories.
Among the amenities were a bowling alley, two movie theatres, a library, a billiard room, and numerous secret bars (remember, this was during Prohibition).
The servant's wing had room for 16 live-in staff members; in addition, 20 more servants were required to run the household. It even had its own fire station, with two fire trucks.
The family moved into their new home in October, 1928. In February, 1929, Ned Doheny and his secretary were found dead -- one (presumably the secretary) had shot the other and then committed suicide.
Mrs. Doheny continued to live in Greyston with the five children until 1954. She had remarried three years after the death of her husband to oilman Leigh Battson. After selling 410 acres of the ranch to developer Paul Trousdale, she and her husband built and moved to a 35 room house just above Greystone which they called "The Knoll." Mrs. Doheny died in 1993 at age 101.
Although sold to Henry Crown, it was never used as a residence again. In 1964 the city of Beverly Hills acquired the property and placed a large underground reservoir under the rear lawn.
Today the grounds of Greystone are open to the public as a park, but the building itself remains closed, empty, and deteriorating. The only public access is through rare tours arranged by the Beverly Hills Historical Society.