Thanks For The Memory

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Nick Churton of Mayfair International Realty takes a look at an iconic estate once owned by one of the greatest ever stage and screen comedians and now on the market with brokers, Hilton & Hyland in Beverly Hills.

The road to Toluca Lake, Los Angeles from Eltham in East London was a long but fun one for comedian Bob Hope who emigrated to the US through Ellis Island in 1908. But the king of the one-liner came to be as serious about real estate as he was about comedy. At one time Hope is thought to have been one of the biggest private landowners in Southern California.

One of his principal homes, the Hope Estate, is now on the market. It is not difficult to see the English influence in this home of show biz royalty. The elegant house would be as comfortable in the counties surrounding London as in California. To an Englishman the sweeping roof, the deep eves, gables and feature chimneys all suggest the Arts and Crafts movement that was at its apogee around the time of Hope’s birth in 1903. It also brings memories of the designs of British architects such as Lutyens and Voysey. Perhaps the rear elevation is a little more San Fernando than Surrey. But that’s show biz. Hope, sadly, has delivered his last gag but one thing remains at this property besides the aura of laughter – his famous one-hole golf course.

Built for Hope in 1939, the 14,876 sq ft main house was remodelled in the 1950s and sits in 5.16 walled, gated and completely private acres. The list of guests to this home over the years includes presidents as well as stars of film and the golf course.

Upstairs are four family bedroom suites and a remarkable master wing with his and her bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, and a shared study. Below is a formal reception hall and foyer, a vast living room overlooking the grounds, office, family room, bar, billiards room, formal dining room, family dining room, indoor pool and spa, and chef’s kitchen.

Outside are the gatehouse, staff quarters, offices, outdoor pool, patios, motorcourts, sprawling lawns, the one-hole golf course, and pristine gardens.

House, garden, location and provenance all combine here to offer an iconic estate. But it also serves to remind us of a kind, popular, funny and savvy gentleman. Thanks for the memory, Bob!

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