2617 Larmar Road: Opulence in Outpost
Charles Toberman had a grand vision when he acquired this prime section of the east Santa Monica Mountains. His ‘jewel in the hills” was to be his crowning achievement. Because of its proximity to movie studios, Outpost Estates has been home to stars such as Bela Lugosi, Delores Del Rio, and the original blue-eyed troubadour, Frank Sinatra. It’s where 2617 Larmar Road was eventually built. 90 years later, Outpost Estates still reflects Toberman’s original vision as a haven for Hollywood’s elite movers and shakers.
Throughout the 1910s and 1920s, Toberman developed many some of Hollywood’s most iconic buildings, including both the Egyptian and Chinese theaters with Sid Grauman, but he’d had something special in mind for what would become known simply as Outpost Estates.
The area was the site of the first building in what is now Hollywood, a three-room adobe house built in 1853 by Don Tomas Urquidez, near what is now the intersection of Outpost Drive and Hillside Avenue.
General Harrison Grey Otis, the owner of the Los Angeles Times, acquired the estate from Don Tomás through legal wrangling associated with California’s secession to the United States. Otis built a clubhouse on the property for entertaining near Casa Don Tomás, , which he called “The Outpost.”
When Charles Toberman bought the property in 1924, he kept the Outpost name for his planned luxury residential neighborhood. “Outpost” was spelled out in red neon letters 30 feet high-it was the largest neon sign in the United States at the time-to compete with the Hollywoodland sign. Only “Hollywood” remains as a cultural landmark and reminder of booming times. The Outpost sign was dismantled during World War II, but the wreckage of the sign was left in place, buried in the weeds. Even the original foundation and electrical junction boxes survived.
Allowing only grand Spanish-style homes, Toberman oversaw his dream on lots of 10,000-plus square feet. He had a vision of a planned residential community, and was determined to develop his dream. Architecture was limited to pure Spanish with sloped roofs of genuine kiln tiles. Flat roofs were strictly forbidden. He also implemented rigid building restrictions that required plaster wall construction, ensuring enduring strength and earthquake resistance. Opulent homes featured courtyards with splashing fountains, elaborate tile work and beamed ceilings. The meticulously planned development also boasted modern utility lines that ran below the concrete roads and sidewalks.
Outpost is also where Charles Toberman built his ultimate dream house for his growing family in 1926 at 1847 Camino Palmero. His Spanish mansion, recently restored, is set in acres of landscaped gardens. The storied residence features stately palm trees, an enclosed swimming pool, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor barbeques, a pitch and putt golf course, and a horseshoe pitching range. Read more about Charles Toberman and 1847 Camino Palmero in Legacies of LA’s Blog
As Toberman envisioned, Outpost immediately became known as an affluent area with many rich and famous residents. Most of the original houses have been preserved, and Lower Outpost looks much like it did in the 1920s.
2617 Larmar Road carries on Toberman’s lavish vision with a distinctly modern flair.
The gourmet kitchen holds all of the necessary conveniences for today’s entertaining.
Three bedrooms, each with a view and its own unique private retreat. And three luxurious bathrooms, of course.
2617 Larmar is near Runyon Canyon Park and Wattles Garden Park. The home’s expansive views encompass the Los Angeles Downtown skyline, the iconic Griffith Park Observatory, and an unobstructed natural terrain of Runyon Canyon and the Trebek Open Space.
Plenty of flat grounds for a garden party, or perhaps a putting green?
2617 Larmar’s private respite above Hollywood. As a result of Toberman’s design sense and attention to the latest refinements in living, luxurious homes, and development sense, Outpost Estates was acclaimed far and wide. Throughout the last century, Toberman continued to open new and carefully planned segments of this exclusive area.
There simply is no end at 2617 Larmar to the creative spaces designed for personal enjoyment. One has to think that Charles Toberman had this sort of indulgence in mind when he planned Outpost.
In the early part of last century, Toberman was quoted in the newspapers as predicting a period of prosperous growth for all of Hollywood. And there truly seemed to be every indication among the extravagant Spanish Baroque Revival Mediterranean estates. Perhaps the most notable are the Dolores Del Rio estate on Outpost Circle formerly owned by fashion designer Richard Tyler, and the Drew Barrymore estate now owned by Juicy entrepreneur, Gila.
Hollywood starlet, Dolores del Rio built her showplace home in the Outpost Estates in 1926. Considered by film historians one of the most beautiful faces from cinema, del Rio was the first Latina crossover star in Hollywood in the 1920s and 1930s, and was to become and one of the most important female figures of the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema in the 1940s and 1950s.
A female Latin Lover, and counterpart to Rudolph Valentino, del Rio starred successful silent films like What Price Glory?, Resurrection, and Ramona. She was featured in talkie films, too, and can be seen in Bird of Paradise opposite Joel McCrea, and Flying down to Rio, noted for being the first screen pairing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
With its massive living room, baronial fireplace, and 15-foot ceilings, Del Rio’s elegant estate was right in keeping with Toberman’s vision. The 6,221 square feet of living space includes a formal dining room, an updated kitchen with breakfast area, a den, an office wing and a paneled library. The 2.1-acre property, has a swimming pool with fountain sprays, a spa and mature landscaping. And a 40-foot loggia with arches and original tile runs along the back of the house. Recently on the market, Del Rio’s estate on Outpost Drive sold $4,450,000 in August, 2015.