Top photo: Gary Leonard. Others: LA Observed. Click on any photo to see it larger.
There wasn't much to see or buy — it was the second weekend of the sale at the Bob and Dolores Hope estate, and there was no access allowed to the compound or personal items included in the sale. But after a flurry of blog and media coverage, the quiet corner of Moorpark Street and Ledge Avenue filled with crowds on Saturday morning.
Signs promising an "important garage sale" were posted all over the Toluca Lake neighborhood.
Buyers and lookie-loos were allowed to peruse tables of merchandise just inside the Moorpark Street gate — mostly left-over promotional items. Staff, ropes and stern warnings kept people from entering the family compound or even taking pictures. A true estate sale of household furnishings and personal property of the Hope family is expected sometime next year.
A lot of visitors took the opportunity to pose for photos in front of the corner gate.
There was a lot of buzz about the nativity scene that Linda Hope, the Hopes' daughter, said earlier in the week would be displayed this Christmas season for the last time. It has been a traditional holiday sight at the Hopes' corner for decades.
Dolores Hope was a major supporter of the Catholic church and of the local parish, Saint Charles Borromeo, a childhood church of former Cardinal Roger Mahony. I heard from an archdiocese official asking privately about the future plans for the nativity scene; unfortunately, I don't know what the plans might be.
The local weekly paper, the Tolucan Times, reported last week that the Hope estate would soon be put on the market. No date or asking price has been revealed. As I discussed in my LA Observed post a few days ago, the home where Bob and Dolores Hope lived from 1939 until their deaths (Bob in 2003, Dolores last year) is the last and best intact San Fernando Valley estate "with as much Hollywood (or American) lore in its DNA." There are homes in Toluca Lake that were lived in by Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and other stars, and by historical figures such as Amelia Earhart, but none for as long or as prominently as the Hopes or as connected to the lore of the community. Everybody in Toluca Lake knows the Hope compound, if for no other reason than its Halloween candy offerings were somewhat renowned. Plus a lot of Hollywood and political luminaries have passed through its gates.
In a Daily News story that followed our post, a real estate broker said he could not begin to guess what price the Hope compound would bring. It is on three lots with a large main house, pool and small private golf course. Linda Hope confirms in the story that the estate will likely be placed on the market next year.