Bob Hope – Thanks for the Memories

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Bob and Delores Hope.

Bob and Delores Hope.

It’s hard to believe that Bob and Delores Hope are no longer with us, but their memories will always live on in our hearts. This reporter shared many great memories with the couple, especially reminiscing about Bob’s over 700 USO shows, and all the many great stars and starlets he would pull together to entertain our troops; boosting moral. He seemed in awe that I had the gumption to head to Korea as the only woman reporter at the time to cover the war for Mr. Hearst. Plunked down in the mud with my typewriter at Pork Chop Hill or the front lines with our fighting boys for over six months; getting the real scoop. I was in uniform and just one of the many soldiers, only I was fighting it out on paper for the world to see.

Personal property from their two homes was recently sold by Julien’s Auction House in Beverly Hills, thanks to the help of daughter, Linda Hope. She was at the helm along with the other trustees of the Hope estate, lovingly organizing her parents many memories and collectibles to present and make available for the public. Proceeds from the auction went to benefit the various Bob and Delores Hope charity organizations. Some of her parent’s belongings were gifted to the Smithsonian Museum and also the Golf Hall of Fame.

Earlier this February, their Palm Springs home went on the market at $50 million. Often referred to as the Western White House and designed by famed architect, John Lautner in 1973, the 17,500 square foot home was well underway when it was completely destroyed by a fire caused from a welder’s torch, to the tune of $1.5 million.

Once the wreckage was cleared and reconstruction began anew, the Hopes changed the original design of the home, interfering with Lautner’s vision causing a rift that eventually distanced Lautner from the project. Known for his visionary style, Lautner designed many homes in the Palm Springs area, notably the Arthur Elrod home, a stone’s throw from the Hope estate.

Recently their Toluca Lake home has been placed on the market at a whopping $27.5 million. Considered by many to be the most fabulous home in the San Fernando Valley, it is definitely a show piece, resting on five acres including its own putting green, naturally.

Containing eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms, this English traditional designed home just shy of 15,000 square feet is indeed impressive. Not forgetting the adjoining guest house complete with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, the 4,000 square foot office, plus an additional two bedroom staff residence, you can almost hear Robin Leach proclaiming it a home for the rich and famous. It’s nice to know Bob Hope had a much grander idea for this five acre parcel as opposed to the one time walnut grove it once was.

Auction results were exciting, in particular a Japanese green and gold gilt George I cabinet from the Toluca Lake home estimated at $75 to $85 thousand going for almost double the estimate at $168,000. There seemed to be something to accommodate just about everyone’s budget for those lucky enough to bring a part of Bob and Delores Hope into their own homes to enjoy.

And thanks for the memories.

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