Photos by Jim Bartsch courtesy

The historic Hearst mansion garden is the pinnacle of Golden Age glamour

Symbolizing the glamour of the Golden Age of Hollywood, the Beverly House—one of America’s most famous and recognizable homes—is on the market again for $89.75 million after originally being listed for a whopping $185 million in 2016. Built in 1927, the extravagant mansion was formerly owned by newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst and his girlfriend Marion Davies.

The long colonnades and cavernous spaces saw a host of celebrities, as the house was featured in movies such as The Godfather and The Bodyguard—not to mention it was one of Jacquline and John F. Kennedy’s honeymoon destinations. The 50,000-square-foot home is undoubtedly an architectural feat from the inside out. While the interiors are nothing short of regal, the focal point of the property certainly lies in the backyard gardens. To delve deeper into this eye-catching outdoor space, we spoke to local landscape architect Ryan McKnight of McKnight Landscape Architects to learn how a local homeowners can create their own version of this oasis.

“A grand historic mansion in the middle of California, the Beverly House attempts to blend styles and aesthetics,” says McKnight. “This style may not be for everyone, especially here in southern Louisiana. But rest assured there are design lessons to be learned!”

While you may not have more than three acres of land and room for cascading waterfalls into your pool, your backyard can still be a major point of interest for your property, McKnight says.

“The back yard of the Beverly House features grand terracing of water features, hardscapes and plantings, all positioned on a central axis,” McKnight explains. “The paving alongside the fountains lead to the main pool, and the formal plantings in the middle terraces provide symmetry and rhythm. Elegant green lawn terraces flank each side, providing ample room for outdoor events. Structures surround the main pool and provide covered space for gatherings. Although the scale of this design may be different, elements can be borrowed and included in your space.”

See McKnight’s tips along with more photos of the Beverly House below:

• Rather than replicate a southern California style, create a design that belongs. One way to achieve this is through the use of local materials and native plants.

• Locate your pool and outdoor kitchen further away from your home to create a destination. Connect it to your home with paths, plantings, or a courtyard.

• Organize your garden by using symmetry, repetition, axes and focal points. Some spaces should be for strolling and some for gathering.