Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Bulldozing Southern mansion

Bulldozing Southern mansion

Feb. 23, 1978: A movie set of a Southern mansion is bulldozed at the former Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lot 2 in Culver City. The movie sets were removed after the land was sold for development.

A 1970s urban myth stated that this movie set was Ashley Wilkes’ homestead “Twelve Oaks” in “Gone With the Wind.”


As explained by this 1994 LA Times story by Robert W. Welkos, MGM had helped in spreading the myth:

Former tour guide David Bowen recalled the MGM guides were trained to say that a Southern mansion that existed for years on the old MGM backlot was Twelve Acres….

‘I think they just did it for the tourists,’ Bowen said. ‘They wanted to have something interesting to show them.’

This photo by retired Los Angeles Times staff photographer George Fry ran as part of a three-photo sequence showing the movie set demolition.

Thumbnail view of all From the Archive posts.

1 Comment

  1. February 5, 2017, 1:43 pm

    It isn't a myth. It was what was reported by the Associated Press. They reported what they were told and fact checked. If you have a beef with that "myth" being spread, lodge your complaint with the AP. And one other thing, it could very have well been used by Selznick even though he didn't build it. The exterior seen where Scarlett leaves the carriage and encounters India Wilkes was very brief. Why would Selznick spend thousands of dollars to build a set that had less than 20 seconds on screen. He didn't have that money. The actual 12 Oaks from the movie was always done with matte painting for the long shots, anyway.


Add a comment or a question.

If you are under 13 years of age you may read this message board, but you may not participate. Here are the full legal terms you agree to by using this comment form.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they've been approved.


Required, will not be published

Browse All Photos »