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Lavish L.A. Mayoral Residence Stands Unoccupied

Getty House: Yours rent-free with occupancy of the L.A. mayoral office.
Getty House: Yours rent-free with occupancy of the L.A. mayoral office.
A view of the gardens at the mansion.
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A view of the gardens at the mansion.

The housing market in Los Angeles is notoriously expensive. But there is one home that can't seem to attract a resident, even though the rent is free.

It's a 10,000 square-foot mansion in the tony Windsor Square section of the city, with a private gym, wine cellar, and beautiful gardens on a double lot. But the Getty House is meant for only one tenant, and that's the mayor of Los Angeles.

Mayor Tom Bradley actually lived here for 16 years. But he was the first -- and last -- mayor to call it home. Since Bradley retired in 1993, subsequent mayors have opted to stay in their own homes.

New Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is no exception. Though he says his family will "make use of" the mansion, he does not plan to move in.

Still, the house does not lack traffic: Each week, classes of fourth graders tour the mansion for a lesson in civic history.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Karen Grigsby Bates is the Senior Correspondent for Code Switch, a podcast that reports on race and ethnicity. A veteran NPR reporter, Bates covered race for the network for several years before becoming a founding member of the Code Switch team. She is especially interested in stories about the hidden history of race in America—and in the intersection of race and culture. She oversees much of Code Switch's coverage of books by and about people of color, as well as issues of race in the publishing industry. Bates is the co-author of a best-selling etiquette book (Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times) and two mystery novels; she is also a contributor to several anthologies of essays. She lives in Los Angeles and reports from NPR West.