Pool of Hope estate in Toluca Lake. Jim Bartsch/People.
First was the multi-weekend yard sale last December that attracted large crowds to Toluca Lake. Then the Palm Springs house was put up for sale. Now the five-acre estate on Moorpark Street where Bob and Dolores Hope first moved in 1939 is officially on the market. Added to with strategic purchases through the decades, the Hope compound is the largest and last intact estate from the heyday of Valleywood, and has to be one of the most valuable residences left in the Valley and within the city limits of Los Angeles. The property a short chip shot from Lakeside Country Club — and with its own small golf course — is being marketed to celebrities and show business money. "It screams Hollywood," says Jade Mills, estates director and international ambassador for Coldwell Banker in Beverly Hills, in People magazine (with more photos.)
In and around the house, which shed its English look in the 1950s for a more contemporary design, are a hotel-caliber kitchen, Olympic-sized swimming pool, a two-suite guesthouse, indoor pool and whirlpool, and a sprawling living room where the Hopes entertained dignitaries of all stripe, from nearly every President to athletes and actors … namely, Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe.
With privacy an issue for any celebrity, a high fence and a security team kept out curiosity seekers – though at Christmas, while Bob was entertaining the troops overseas, Dolores would set up a religious tableau on the front lawn for passersby to enjoy, just as Halloween meant a generous disbursement of candy to kids from the surrounding blocks.
The announcement that the Toulca Lake compound is on the market comes on the heels of Friday and Saturday's auction of the Hopes' art, antiques and memorabilia and last February's news that the Hopes' 23,366-sq.-ft. Palm Springs home, designed in 1973 by the California Modernist architect John Lautner, was for sale for $50 million.
As for who might purchase the Toluca Lake property, Mills – who has reportedly handled home sales for Jennifer Aniston, Britney Spears, Lionel Richie, and Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale – points to the proximity of the Hollywood studios and Lakeside Country Club and tells PEOPLE: "I think it will appeal to a celebrity. You have to make a lot of money to be able to afford and maintain it, so it will have to be someone who truly wants this property and is a really big star."
Here's an aerial and some pictures we took at the yard sale in December.
Previously on LA Observed:
Bob Hope didn't go cheap
Bob Hope's airport
Bing Crosby's Valley estate on the market
Dolores Hope dies at 102
Hope compound in Toluca Lake coming on the market *
Traffic jam in Toluca Lake: Bob Hope yard sale
Bob Hope's Palm Springs estate on the block