Comedian Bob Hope left a legacy of campy jokes and laughs for millions of people.
But for his family camp, the legendary entertainer bequeathed one of Palm Springs’ most famous residences: a 23,366-square-foot architectural wonder that recently listed for nearly $25 million—$9 million less than the figure printed on its price tag last November.
The new list price is shocking considering the estate’s zip code, size (23,366-square feet), and provenance—in addition to the fact that Bob Hope’s family quietly shopped the estate for $50 million in March 2013, before settling on $34 million when it listed in January 2014. Whether or not the estate was overpriced, it appears the Hope family is finally committed to closing this cherished chapter of their lives. Patrick Stewart Properties has the listing.
Known as the Bob and Dolores Hope estate, the dramatic 10-bedroom, 13-bathroom property is unlike any other home in the world. Constructed of massive amounts of concrete, steel, and glass, the home boasts a distinct undulating copper roof that—depending on the angle—resembles a giant mushroom, a nun’s cap, a dormant volcano…or a flying saucer preparing for takeoff. The couple used this “dream home” as a second residence, primarily for entertaining.
The home was built in 1980 by John Lautner, a modernist architect famous for space-age designs (particularly the Chemosphere octagon-shaped house in the Hollywood Hills) that are still featured in popular movies, on TV, and even in video games. Although the home was constructed by a modernist, today’s contemporary design is usually more subtle than Lautner’s eccentric style. Space-age flair in 1980 looks dated compared to its present-day definition (for proof, check out the Star Wars sequels).
One could speculate that Lautner’s over-the-top designs are iconic and influential, but require a specific modern sensibility, especially in today’s recovering market—which might explain the price chop almost by half. Of course, none of this diminishes Lautner’s groundbreaking masterpiece. Ironically, for the location and square footage, the estate may now be a relative bargain for the right buyer.
Overlooking the entire Coachella Valley, the conspicuous California property—located at 2466 Southridge Drive—is wide open and meticulously landscaped on more than 6.2 acres of land. The two-story, gated community home features three pools (private, indoor and exercise), hot tub, pond, a rock formation with waterfall (built into the home’s façade), four fireplaces, soaring ceilings, an elevator, terraces, a guesthouse, and a majestic circular oculus (or sky roof) that is extraordinary. The estate is ideal for entertaining via a huge outdoor courtyard that accommodates 300 people, a bar, tennis court, and of course, a putting green.
Hope, who passed away at 100 years old in 2003, was an avid golfer who often performed holding a golf club. He was a tireless and consummate entertainer of the general public via radio, television and movies; the military, through his 50-year association with the United Service Organization (USO) shows and overseas tours; and family, friends, soldiers and dignitaries at this iconic desert home.
Photos by Patrick Ketchum, Brian Thomas Jones and Tasya Van Ree