Hal Hayes’s Swinging Bachelor Mansion

For $600,000 -- adjusted for inflation, about $4.9 million today -- Hayes got a six-level, steel-and-glass pad with masculine, maximum technology and minimal custom decoration. He parked on girders projecting from the edge of his hillside lot, piped in hi-fi music, poured drinks from an ultra-sleek mini kitchen designed for catering, not for cooking, seduced brunettes in an orchid greenhouse and did what bachelors do in a free-standing “playroom.”

There was a circular fireplace, a louvered skylight, a mirrored master suite and an artificial beach for topless tanning. An outdoor hearth in gunite lava rock warmed women chilled by gin martinis.

Guests in the bomb shelter of Hal Hayes's house.

Retrospective write-up at the LA TIMES.

1958 feature in LIFE magazine.

Some great pix with this article.

     Posted By: Paul - Mon Dec 26, 2022
     Category: Architecture | Domestic | Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough | Space-age Bachelor Pad & Exotic | 1950s

This house even has its own website: https://www.1235sierraaltaway.com/
Posted by Fritz on 12/26/22 at 08:04 AM
A chum from amongst my high school friends built the equivalent bachelor "pad" for our age, at the time we graduated college (and most moved back to where we grew up). His family had enough $ and daddy had a vacant commercial property where this guy could unleash his odd imagination. It was a 3,000 sq ft, 1-bedroom apt with a kitchen the size of a medium closet. Living room had a 30 ft long beanbag sofa and a stereo with concert-size speakers. That was it for the living room. Well, there was carpeting, but no other furniture and no lighting.

The bed was a custom "ruptured kidney" shape, which took up ~2/3 of the bedroom floorspace and wrapped around a full-sized artificial weeping willow tree.

Etc. Once he finished it, there was supposed to be a magazine article about it, like for this Hollywood house. But before that happened, it got eaten by urban renewal and eminent domain.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 12/26/22 at 10:04 AM
@Virtual: Sounds cool. An aside: Your classmate must have lived in an area without zoning. In my state, people cannot get away with turning a commercial property into a living quarters without going through a lot of legal hoops. I'm pretty familiar with these things, as I have been a plan commissioner in my town for the last ten years or so. We even have strict rules about something as benign as creating a mother-in-law living space on one's property. We are updating some of our ordinances because of residents who rent out their properties for BNB use, and their neighbors have legitimate complaints about some of the guests (loud parties all night long, etc.). My town has several miles of beautiful Lake Michigan frontage, and two nearby golf courses have hosted such major events as the Ryder Cup and the PGA Tournament, with more of these events to come in the future, so we will be dealing with more of this sooner rather than later.
Posted by Fritz on 12/26/22 at 10:57 AM
Ftitz: that's interesting. I always thought the entrance to this guy's apt was just a part of his eccentric behavior. The apt was on the second floor. On the ground floor, there was only a commercial glass door with reflective paper behind the glass, between two shop fronts. This led from the sidewalk only into the stairwell. No signs, no doorbell, and no street number, as I recall. You really needed to go there with someone else in our group to know which door it was, and he had to know you were coming for you to be admitted. All the second floor windows were covered and unused. The real reason for all this was that he knew he had built a zoning violation and was keeping it hush-hush. Right across the street from some govt. buildings, too. His mentioning that magazine article was just self-serving b/s, and maybe a red herring for the zoning thinking. It was never going to happen, because it could have blown his cover.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 12/27/22 at 08:42 PM
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