Monday, March 30, 2009

If You Don't Swing, Don't Ring

Hugh Hefner just put his Los Angeles home next to the Playboy Mansion on sale for $28 million. The two-story, 7300-sq-ft, English Manor-style pad has 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, and a butler's pantry. That's tiny compared to the Mansion itself, which is 22,000 sq ft with 29 rooms and an onsite zoo.

Remember, though, that the whole "Playboy Mansion" thing started right here in Chicago. The First Playboy Mansion, as it's known, was a 70-room colossus at 1340 N. State St. A brass plate hung over the door warning "If You Don't Swing, Don't Ring.”

Hef not only lived and partied here, but published Playboy magazine here. That's how the whole jammie-wearing thing came about. Hef was working around the clock from home, so he just quit bothering to get dressed.

By the mid 70s, Chicago had gotten too square for Hef, so he split for L.A. He donated the Chicago mansion to the Art Institute. It was a dorm for students until 1993. Then developers carved it into $3 million condos.

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