Toluca Lake is often associated with a local landmark just outside the city’s border: the oldest remaining Bob’s Big Boy restaurant in the United States: Bob’s Big Boy, named a California Point of Historical Interest in 1993. But it’s another Bob who perfectly encapsulates the history of Toluca lake: Bob Hope, whose Hope Estate at 10346 Moorpark Street is an icon in itself.
Hope’s compound spans three separate parcels of land for a total of 3.86 acres including the area where “Richard Nixon’s helicopter once landed on the back lawn so the president could play a round at the nearby Lakeside Golf Club,” according to the L.A. Times. Hope also famously entertained everyone from Lucille Ball to Jack Benny and “tried out punch lines on his kids in the dining room.” A dining room that stands up to design scrutiny today.
The compound’s eight-bedroom, eight-bath main house is a 14,876 square feet of luxuriously appointed living space. Offering exceptional privacy behind gates, the main house greets guests with a stunning formal reception area leading to a glass-fronted formal living room overlooking the lush grounds and post and beam patio.
The gourmet kitchen is custom from top to bottom, with an immense island, commercial appliances, and a butler’s pantry. The upstairs features four bedroom suites including the luxe master wing with fireplace, his-and-her spa baths and closets, and handsome study. The property also features a two-bedroom guesthouse, two-bedroom guest quarters, 4,000 square feet of office space, a billiard room, bar, expansive terrace overlooking the gardens, and an indoor pool and spa.
Singular architectural details abound, courtesy of architect Robert Finkelhor’s original 1939 English Traditional design and the touch of Hollywood Regency architect John Elgin Woolf, who remodeled the property in the 1950s.
Outside, the grounds create a private retreat in the middle of the city with lush gardens, vast lawns, a large patio, a shady arbor, a resort pool, and a one-hole golf course.