10346 Moorpark Street – Bob Hope’s long-time manor in Toluca Lake is a timeless classic, much like the man himself. Hope and his wife, Dolores, first moved to the property in 1939. They acquired more and more of the surrounding land through the years, creating gardens and adding a variety of outdoor spaces and two pools (one indoor, one outdoor). The walled and gated eight-bedroom estate, today nearly 15,000 square feet, is ripe for entertaining, with an enormous living room extending into a sprawling patio, and a one-hole, three-par golf course. List Price: $23,000,000 / MLS number: 15-821709
The Hope estate was designed in an English traditional style by architect Richard Finkelhor, who also built houses for Barbara Stanwyck and Zeppo and Harpo Marx. The flat sprawling 5.16 acre estate is unusual in Toluca Lake and similar zip codes like it in Sherman Oaks, Encino, Studio City, Bel-Air, Holmby Hills and Beverly Hills. According to a property search conducted by the estate, in similar Los Angeles areas, there are only 22 properties of more than five acres that belong to a single owner. The comedian and movie star collected real estate, and at one point was one of California’s largest individual property owners, holding some 10,000 acres in the San Fernando Valley. This site encompasses four parcels, with multiple structures including a two-bedroom, two-bath pool house.
Hope would often drive a golf cart around the neighborhood on his way to the Lakeside Golf Club down the street.
At the front of the property a 4,000-square-foot guest suite doubled as production office space for Hope’s staff that managed his radio, television, film, and real estate interests.
The soaring foyer leads to a vast formal living room with walls of glass overlooking the breathtaking grounds and a post and beam patio.
The Hopes loved to entertain and planned the home to accommodate large star-studded gatherings as well as informal visits from neighbors like Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. Toluca Lake has long been a favored home base for stars including current residents Steve Carell, Melissa McCarthy and Kiefer Sutherland.
An immense formal living room was renovated in the 1950s by John Elgin Woolf, known as the king of Hollywood Regency style that melds 19th-century French, Greek Revival and Modernist styles into a glitz-glam look. Woolf’s celebrity-studded client list included Judy Garland, Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy and Lillian Gish.
The main house also includes a family room, bar and billiard room, formal dining room, family dining room, commercial grade chef’s kitchen, a library, office, and staff quarters.
A curving staircase rises to the second floor, home to four family bedroom suites and a lavish master wing with a fireplace, his-and-her spa baths and closets, and a shared study.
The Hopes molded the 5.21 acre compound as a place for entertainers and politicians to meet and greet during he 1940s and 1950s. Richard Nixon reportedly landed his helicopter onto the estate on his way to play golf.
In addition to the classic outdoor pool, a glass-enclosed indoor pool and spa look out across the grounds
An array of outdoor spaces on both levels afford stunning views of the sumptuous gardens and lawns, highlighted by a formal rose garden and a one-hole, three-par golf course.
Of course, there is optimism that someone who loves the Hope history will buy the estate, renovate a little — no one has lived there since 2011 — but basically keep it intact. At one time, the Hopes were considered among the largest private landowners in California. But of their many properties, this Toluca Lake estate is where they called home.
Obituaries for the couple say they both died at home in Toluca Lake -– Bob at 100 in 2003 and Dolores at 102 in 2011.
Listing Courtesy of John Aaroe Group, Craig Strong.