In 1930 Arthur Letts Sr. purchased a vast amount of land that he had named Holmby Hills, after his english birthplace Holdenby. His intention was to build large estates on the property, however he never saw his project completed as he died in 1923. It was in fact his son-in-law, Harold Janss who, together with his brothers Arthur and Florence, accomplished Letts’ vision and divided the property among themselves to transform it in what later became a hot spot for celebrities. People like Frank Sinatra, Hugh Hefner and Marilyn Monroe, among others, have owned homes in this luxurious LA area.
The Carolwood Estate specifically became very well known after it was purchased in 1949 by Lilian and Walt Disney which turned this 355 Carolwood Drive mansion, designed by architect James Dolena, into their dream home. For this reason Carolwood is also known as the Disney Estate.
In 1950 Disney built the Carolwood Pacific Railroad, a one eight scale backyard steam train, that went all around the Carolwood Estate and legend has it that it served him as inspiration for his famous Disneyland theme parks. Remains of it can still be traced on the property to this day.
The Carolwood estate remained a Disney property until the death of Lilian and Walt, then, in 2001 it was purchased and rebuilt to look like the famous mansion it is today.
With its 4 acres of land and 35.000 sq feet mansion (featuring 8 bedrooms and 17 bathrooms), the Carolwood Estate, estimated 90million dollars, is one of the most sought after properties in Los Angeles. Holmby Hills together with Beverly Hills to the east and Bel Air to the north, form the elite “Platinum Triangle” of this californian city.