Ah, the sixties. What a turbulent time for America, the world at large, and even television. The decade gave birth to many timeless shows. Among them was “The Beverly Hillbillies,” the campy classic that needs no introduction. The show continues to make new fans to this day thanks to reruns, and lives on as a relic of the “golden age” of television.
While the show is regarded as classic of a bygone era, “Beverly Hillbillies” wasn’t always a ratings darling during its time. Regardless, the show would remain on television through the sixties and into the seventies, until its cancellation in 1971. Even after this, the show’s brand lived on through reunion films – all the way up to that Hollywood remake/film in 1993.
Yet through all the show’s trials, tribulations, and incarnations, one thing remains constant: The Clampett Mansion. And as it turns out, the mansion itself has had every bit the journey the Clampetts had.
Beverly Hillbillies Mansion, or The Chartwell Estate?
Even though it was only featured in exterior shots of the show, the Clampett’s mansion became a staple of pop culture. Everyone with a television in the sixties knew the sight of the lavish estate from the opening hillbilly credits.
In reality, the mansion is known as The Chartwell Estate. The Bel Air-based home is a gorgeous Moderne style mansion. Built by Sumner Spaulding in 1930, the estate came in a time of transition between the Art Deco style of the American twenties and the Moderne style that would take over from 1930 to 1950. The enormous home features eighteen bedrooms, a full ballroom, a tennis court, and a 75-foot pool. And if that isn’t enough to impress you, Chartwell also sports twenty-four bathrooms and enough parking space for forty vehicles.
Chartwell Estate was eventually purchased in 1945 after years of vacancy for $200,000. This is a paltry sum for a mansion by today’s standards – but was a mega-wad of cash in 1945. By punching these numbers into the U.S. inflation calculator, we see the home first sold – at $200,000 in 1945 – for the equivalent of $2,875,677.78 in today’s terms. Wow!
It Sold for HOW MUCH?
By the time the sixties rolled around, Chartwell would become infamous for its role in “The Beverly Hillbillies”. The exterior was upkept for the show’s entire run through 1971, and it remained mostly unchanged for the decades to follow.
Due to this, and the mansion’s iconic “Hillbillies” status, the Chartwell Estate would be put on the market for an absolutely staggering $350 million in 2017. While no one took the bait at this price, the famous mansion would sell two years later in 2019 for $150 million – an incredible sum, nonetheless.
Talk about an upgrade – something the “Beverly Hillbillies” themselves knew a thing or two about.
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[H/T Showbiz CheatSheet]