Just five months after it first popped up for sale with a blistering $75 million ask, L.A.’s so-called Jay Paley Residence — a historic 1930s manor designed by pioneering Black architect Paul R. Williams for the founder of CBS — has sold for a discounted but $61.5 million, a still eye-popping amount that ranks as 2021’s second-biggest California home sale thus far, behind only the $87 million paid by tech tycoon Jan Koum for his next-door neighbor’s Malibu home in February.
Records confirm that the property’s mystery buyer is Eric Schmidt, the Silicon Valley-based multibillionaire ex-Google CEO and tech titan with a very well known proclivity for acquiring some of America’s finest trophy homes. Schmidt bought the 2.6-acre spread from the estate of hotel heir William Barron Hilton, who died of natural causes on the premises back in September 2019. Hilton lived in the mansion for nearly 60 years, having purchased it in the early 1960s at a reported cost of just $475,000; the New York Post notes that the house served as the setting for his granddaughter Paris Hilton’s 2000 Vanity Fair photoshoot, which she now refers to as “iconic” and instrumental to launching her career.
Although the Jay Paley Residence is technically located in Holmby Hills, the house actually sits at a very desirable crossroads where the exclusive neighborhoods of Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Holmby Hills and Benedict Canyon all converge. Naturally, the vaguely AR-15-shaped mansion is not visible from the street, and the property is hidden behind a iron gates, a hedge wall, and a notably long driveway that spills into a massive motorcourt ringed by liquid amber trees.