Bob Hope Estate in Palm Springs Is Up for Sale

The huge Palm Springs estate of Bob Hope, the comic icon of midcentury film and television, and his wife, Dolores, is being brought to market for the first time this month, at an asking price of $50 million.

Perched high in the exclusive Southridge community, with panoramic views of the Coachella Valley, including the city of Palm Springs the 23,366-square-foot home was designed in 1973 by architect John Lautner. It was built to resemble a volcano, with three visorlike arches and an undulating concrete roof, a hole at its center opening a courtyard to the sky. The roofline has been described as one of the most distinctive works of architecture in the Coachella Valley. The house has also been likened to a giant mushroom.

Used mostly as a second home and entertaining space by the Hope family, it can accommodate as many as 300 guests for dinner under an enormous covered terrace. Each January for many years, the family threw a huge dinner party to mark the end of the Bob Hope Classic golf tournament.

Tony Bennett, Glen Campbell and many other stars and starlets from film and Tv would visit the home. A big buffet would be laid out on the terraced patio, and a clear tent was put up on part of the terrace to keep out the cold while still allowing guests to take in the spectacular nighttime view.

The home has 6 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, 3 half baths, indoor and outdoor pools, a pond, putting greens and a tennis court.

Mr. Lautner, the architect, eventually distanced himself from the project after Mrs. Hope hired a designer to make changes to the interior. None of them constituted a major alteration of the original Lautner design, which included a boulder jutting into the living room; she simply made interior modifications to make it “more livable”.  The changes included –  Extending the dining room toward a balcony and making it possible to get from the bedrooms to the front door without crossing a patio.

Mrs. Hope also commissioned the artist Garth Benton, who painted the murals on the garden walls at the Getty Villa educational center and museum in Malibu, to paint a Rousseau-like mural on the back wall of the bar, and a lush, greenhouse-like wall of plants in the spa, which houses a pool, a hot tub and an exercise area.

 

It was Mrs. Hope who spent the most time at the Palm Springs house, while her husband traveled extensively, and famously, for work. Each November, Mrs. Hope would travel from Toluca Lake with a caravan of cars to carry the clothes, dishes and silverware she thought she would need for the season.

Bob and Dolores Hope, who were avid golfers, loved the desert, Ms. Hope said. The Lautner-designed house was their third home in Palm Springs and their “dream house.”

 

Mr. Hope died in 2003 at the age of 100; Mrs. Hope died in 2011 at 102.

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