1847 Camino Palmero – An Estate Built to Stand for Centuries

Full frontal view of 1847 Camino Palmero.This remarkable home of a Los Angeles visionary has sold only once since it was built almost a century ago. Like the owner of this magnificent structure, C.E. Toberman, 1847 Camino Palmero is an original, and makes its mark in the city’s rich history. Read on to see why Toberman has been remembered as Mr. Hollywood.

Charles TobermanCharles was not the first Toberman to migrate to the Los Angeles area. Charles’ uncle, Major J.R. Toberman had been appointed by President Abraham Lincoln himself to come to Los Angeles as U.S. Revenue Assessor. That was in 1863, while the Civil War was still raging. Nine years later, James Toberman served his first term as Los Angeles Mayor. He eventually served six, one-year terms as head of the city first between 1872 and 1874 and again from 1878 to 1882. Mayor Toberman personally turned on Los Angeles’ first electric street lights in 1882. He saw many infrastructure projects such as mapping out the first street car grid, and water and sewer systems. During his tenure the Los Angeles Normal School, the precursor to UCLA was established, as well as the Chamber of Commerce, L.A. Athletic Club, and the city’s first synagogue.

The old house of J.R. Toberman.

Photo Courtesy of Los Feliz Neighborhood Council

J.R. Toberman got his first permanent civic recognition over 120 years after leaving office when the late mayor’s final residence, the Toberman house, was restored. The Los Feliz two-story, clapboard house was rescued  from being bulldozed to make way for a new apartment complex by a preservation-minded architect who bought it for $1.5 million and then restored it to its original glory.

The young Charles E. Toberman.

Free Enterprise: Foundation of America’s Greatness A Biography of Charles E. Toberman, Grace Koopal

Charles Edward Toberman (1880-1981) was a significant banker and developer in Los Angeles’s Hollywood neighborhood.

The Charles E. Toberman real estate office.

Free Enterprise: Foundation of America’s Greatness A Biography of Charles E. Toberman, Grace Koopal

He led or assisted in the development of many landmarks in Hollywood, including Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre (1922), Hollywood’s Roosevelt Hotel (1926-1927), Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (1927) and the Hollywood Bowl (1929). That Toberman built nearly all the major buildings that still remain from Hollywood’s Golden Age is a testament to his vision.

1847 Camino Palmero front steps.In 1922, C. E. Toberman hired architects Russell & Alpaugh to design his Mission Revival – Spanish Colonial style home for his burgeoning family.

A description of 1847 Camino Palmero and motivation.

Free Enterprise: Foundation of America’s Greatness A Biography of Charles E. Toberman, Grace Koopal

Toberman drove the boom of development and enterprise in the Hollywood Hills. The completion of his family home in 1924 marked one of Toberman’s most significant personal achievements.

The estate, built on two acres, includes a 19-room, just under 10,000 square-foot main house, and a 1,800-square-foot guest apartment and garage, with a 30 by 50-foot indoor pool. Toberman, who lived to be 101 years old, recalled in a 1981 interview that the estate became “practically a country club” with its enclosed swimming pool, tennis courts, a nine-hole pitch-and-putt golf course, and formal gardens.

Josephine W. Bullock Toberman.

Josephine W. Bullock Toberman, Free Enterprise: Foundation of America’s Greatness A Biography of Charles E. Toberman, Grace Koopal

The Spanish Colonial Revival house was fully enjoyed by him, his wife, Josephine W. Bullock Toberman, and their children: Jeanette, Homer and Catherine. It took two years to build and was finished in 1924, just in time for his eldest daughter, Catherine, to hold her wedding there. At its completion, the 1847 Camino Palmero was prominently featured in Architectural Digest magazine.

Cover of Architectural Digest, featuring 1847 Camino Palmero.

Architectural Digest, 1925, Courtesy: David Ko

Images of 1847 Camino Palmero exterior in Architectural Digest.

Architectural Digest, 1925

1847 Camino Palmero balcony and view below.
These old photos demonstrate that the grandeur of 1847 Camino Palmero hasn’t abated throughout the years. From the elegant wrought iron gateway to the elaborate stairway, the home’s majestic details have been impeccably preserved for future generations.

Gates of 1847 Camino Palmero in Architectural Digest.

Architectural Digest, 1925

Front steps of 1847 Camino Palmero in Architectural Digest.

Architectural Digest, 1925

1847 Asbury Apartments, aerial view.

Photo courtesy: LA Conservancy

Architects Clarence H. Russell and Norman Walton Alpaugh was also known for designing and building Asbury Apartments, a prominent landmark between Lafayette and Westlake Parks. The 13-story Asbury Apartments soared to 151 ft above street level. Units were sold individually in what was termed the “own-your-own” plan, creating the ultra-exclusive expectations with rare amenities such as electricity operated throughout the building, and a parking garage accessible by elevator. Two rooftop signs advertising Asbury in neon were restored recently. The Russell Alpaugh Architectural firm is credited Emanu-El Synagogue, Los Angeles, CA constructed 1924-1925.

Inside pages of Architectural Digest, featuring 1847 Camino Palmero.1847 Camino Palmero living room1847’s Grand living room with hand-carved stone fireplace and five double doors opening out to front patio, enclosed rear courtyard and 40 ft. sun room able to entertain 300 guests.

1847 Camino Palmero bedroom. 1847 Camino Palmero librarySolid walnut-paneled library, with one of eight fireplaces

1847 Camino Palmero dining room.Elegant formal dining room with hand-stenciled ceiling.

toberman_bedroomfireplace_WM 1847 Camino Palmero billiards roomThe formal billiard room with hand-stenciled ceiling to right with a separate card room.1847 Camino Palmero smaller dining room.

Social activity at 1847 Camino Palmero .

Free Enterprise: Foundation of America’s Greatness A Biography of Charles E. Toberman, Grace Koopal

The kitchen has been re-envisioned to current chef-grade standards to entertain the throngs of guests 1847 Camino Palmero was historically known to welcome. This except from Toberman’s biography gives an idea of how 1847 Camino Palmero was enjoyed by many.1847 Camino Palmero stairwell and foyer.Upstairs, five family bedroom including two master suites all with city views.

1847 Camino Palmero master bedroom. 1847 Camino Palmero bedroom. 1847 Camino Palmero twin beds. In all, there are fourteen bathrooms with ten in the main residence all with original tile.

1847 Camino Palmero tennis courts.

1847 Camino Palmero indoor pool.1847 Camino Palmero aerial view of the house and gate.There are over two acres of rolling lawns, formal gardens and private paths that lie beyond 14-foot wrought iron electric gates.

1847 Camino Palmero, aerial view of the side of the house.

1847 Camino Palmero, aerial view of the front of the house.A secret rose garden, and avocado, lemon, grapefruit, orange and mandarin orange trees: the expansive gardens are simply phenomenal.

 

Charles E. Toberman in his later years.

Free Enterprise: Foundation of America’s Greatness A Biography of Charles E. Toberman, Grace Koopal

Within nine years of arriving in Los Angeles in 1907, Charles Toberman became one of the most acclaimed commercial and residential builders in the state of California. Some of the landmarks he developed include the Chinese Theatre, the Egyptian Theatre, the Hollywood Roosevelt and classic bank buildings many of the 30 iconic structures are still standing. A tribute to his vision into the future.

Description of the financial support for the Chinese Theater.

Free Enterprise: Foundation of America’s Greatness A Biography of Charles E. Toberman, Grace Koopal

Toberman’s domain stretched from the Hollywood Hills on the north to Beverly Blvd on the south and Vermont Avenue on the east to Doheny Drive on the west. Toberman once reflected that it was the awesome publicity generated by Hollywood–not the climate or the sea–that was behind the remarkable development of Southern California. Toberman saw the studios and the life that swirled around them with clarity.

Photo courtesy: Waterand power.org

Photo courtesy: Waterandpower.org

Announcement for the formal opening of the Chinese Theater.

Press Courier. May 20, 1927

Toberman convinced Sid Grauman to join him in building two large movie palaces in Hollywood, the Egyptian and the Chinese. He also built one of Hollywood’s first supper clubs, The Montmarte (where a young Bing Crosby performed) as well as the Roosevelt Hotel, the Max Factor Building, the Hollywood Masonic Temple and the El Capitan Theater.

Toberman developed more than 40 subdivisions including Outpost, Los Angeles Outpost Estates – said to be one of the most carefully planned subdivisions in the country. In 1914 Toberman acquired ten acres of land in Hollywood for $70,000 that was to become the Outpost Estates residential neighborhood where Bela Lugosi and other stars lived in splendid Mission Revival homes.

The old home of Bela Lugosi in Outpost Estates.

Free Enterprise: Foundation of America’s Greatness Toberman built this home where first Bela Lugosi lived. Years later, Toberman lived in it. A Biography of Charles E. Toberman, Grace Koopal

Most of the original houses have been preserved, and lower Outpost looks much like it did in the 1920’s. Outpost Estates was cutting edge for the times as it was one of the first neighborhoods in the country to offer all-underground utilities.

7150 La Presa Drive Photo Credit: Free Enterprise: Foundation of America's Greatness A Biography of Charles E. Toberman, Grace Koopal

7150 La Presa Drive Photo Credit: Free Enterprise: Foundation of America’s Greatness A Biography of Charles E. Toberman, Grace Koopal

Toberman lived to be 101, spending last years of his life in his home at 7150 La Presa Drive in the Outpost Estates where he died following a long illness.

First National Bank, viewed from the street.

First National Bank, 1927 Photo courtesy: Walk and Ride LA

A plaque on Hollywood’s First National Bank Building (which Toberman built) reads:

Charles Edward Toberman

“Mr. Hollywood”
“At this intersection in 1907, CE Toberman looked into the future, liked what he saw, and through dedication to hard work and free enterprise, began to build Hollywood!”

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