The ten biggest mansions in California dwarf many of their historic mansion counterparts. Real estate developers, hedge fund operators and bankers involved in the sub-prime real estate market are the owners of record of the some of the largest mansions in the Golden State.
- The Greene Mansion in Beverly Hills. This California mansion measures 50,000 square feet and features ten bedrooms and twelve baths. Privacy is not a problem on the 25-acre residential site high above the city. An adjacent 12,000 square-foot media building offers a secluded getaway for friends, and the 8,000 square-foot garage provides more than enough space to park several Porsches and your prized Rolls Royce.
- The Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. Constructed in 1928 by oil baron Edward Doheny of Standard Oil fame as a gift for his son, the 46,000 square-foot historic, limestone mansion is now a formal park owned by the city of Beverly Hills. While certainly one of the ten biggest mansions in California, Greystone is also arguably one of the classiest mega-mansions in the country.
- Grand Island Mansion in Sacramento. If a four-story, 58-room, Italian Renaissance-style villa is more to your liking, then check out this big California mansion located on an island in the delta region near the state capital. Measuring in at only 24,000 square feet, the formal gardens and isolated location make up for the few thousand feet shortage in the mega-mansion race. Although constructed in 1917, Grand Island Mansion remains today as one of the largest private estates in northern California.
- The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. The widow of the maker of the Winchester Rifle believed the spirits of the dead killed by her husband's company had her address memorized, so she built a mansion that grew by the day. Each evening Mrs. Winchester held a seance to plan construction for the next day. The original house featured between 500 to 600 rooms, some rebuilt various times, but the exact square footage has never been measured.
- The Fleur de Lys in Beverly Hills. Why travel to the Palace of Versailles when you can own it? This 53,812 square-foot Holmby Hills neighborhood mansion is a recreation of Louis XIV's home.
- Hearst Castle in San Simeon. Publisher William Randolph Hearst hired architect Julia Morgan to construct "La Cuesta Encantada" (The Enchanted Hill) in 1919. The mansion, with 90,080 square feet, took decades to complete and includes 56 bedrooms and 61 bathrooms, not to mention architectural treasures and artwork. Hearst referred to this mansion as "The Ranch."
- William Randolph Hearst's other home in Beverly Hills. Hearst built a second mansion south of The Ranch in 1929 for his mistress actress Marion Davies. The house, guest house and recreation structures weigh-in for the ten biggest mansion contest at a whopping 72,000 square feet. Relax in one of the 29 bedrooms, take in a movie in several home theaters or take your choice among the three swimming pools for sunning.
- The Portabello Estate in Corona del Mar. Orange County is represented in the biggest mansion race with a 30,000 square-foot home designed in the shape of a nautilus shell. Constructed in 2002 in a community of Newport Beach, the mansion has eight-spacious bedroom and ten full baths.
- The Manor in Holmby Hills. The Aaron and Candy Spelling mansion, also known as The Manor, totals 57,000 square feet of living space divided into eleven bedrooms, sixteen baths, as well as a doll room, china storage room and a humidity-controlled silver storage room, just to name a few.
- The Carolands Chateau in Hillsborough. Last, and certainly not the least of the ten biggest mansions in California, is the historic chateau near San Francisco that measures over 65,000 square feet. The Carolands Chateau, also known as Chateau Remillard, has over 100 rooms and was built by the heir to the Pullman Railroad sleeping car fortune before World War I.
"If This House Could Talk." Elizabeth Smith Brownstein, 1999
"Movie Star Homes," Judy Artunian & Mike Oldham, 2004