Bob Hope's 'contemporary castle' hits market for first time

The Hopes and Modernist architect John Lautner had some disagreements over the design. But the actor and his wife, Dolores, enjoyed the unusual Palm Springs home for decades.

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Feb 26, 2013 2:58PM

The Hope Residence (© Brian Thomas Jones/Patrick Stewart Properties)The Space Age home that famous architect John Lautner designed for actor Bob Hope and his wife, Dolores, has hit the market in Palm Springs, Calif., with an eye-popping $50 million price tag.


The 23,366-square-foot home was completed in 1980, apparently after a rather contentious design process between Lautner and the Hopes. It has six bedrooms, 10 full baths plus three half-baths, a putting green, a tennis court and two pools, one indoors and one outdoors. It’s in an exclusive gated community of Modernist homes in the hills above Palm Springs, providing spectacular views of the Coachella Valley and the San Jacinto Mountains.


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"The whole desert was at your feet," Linda Hope, the couple’s daughter, told The New York Times, describing social events at the estate, which can accommodate 300 for dinner on its covered terrace.


You can see photos here of the home, including several that show the distinctive volcanolike hole in the roof. It’s near another famous Lautner design, the Elrod House, which appeared in the 1971 James bond film, "Diamonds are Forever."

In a 1999 article in Vanity Fair, which said the house cost about $2 million to build, Dolores Hope described the home as a "contemporary castle." It has lots of steel, concrete and glass, with a copper-plated roof and a boulder jutting into the living room.


Reports say that Lautner and the Hopes had some disagreement over the design and furnishing, though Linda Hope told The Times her mother merely sought modifications to make the home more livable. For example, she changed the design so it was possible to get from the bedrooms to the front door without going out to a patio, Linda Hope said.

"I think my mother was a frustrated architect," she told The Times. Her mother also did a lot of remodeling at the family’s primary home in the Los Angeles suburb of Toluca Lake. "My dad used to say every time he went away he needed a road map to get back through his house."


Other reports blamed the disagreements on the actor. Hope "made life hell for my father," Judith Lautner, the architect’s daughter, told the Los Angeles Times in 2008. "He destroyed a lot of the thinking. He just stepped in and said, 'No, no, no.'"

Whatever their disagreements with the architect, the Hopes apparently ended up satisfied with the house, which they used mostly as a vacation home. They kept it until they died, he in 2003 at age 100 and she in 2011 at 102.


This was the Hopes’ third home in Palm Springs. The two others, owned by Dolores Hope's estate, went on the market in December. One sold for $725,000 this month, and the other, listed at $469,000, has been removed from the multiple listing service.


Tags: celebrity
Aug 1, 2014 5:46PM
It's a gorgeous home. I've seen the exterior many times when In Palm Springs. Love it.
Mar 19, 2013 2:44PM
"Other reports blamed the disagreements on the actor. Hope "made life hell for my father," Judith Lautner, the architect’s daughter, . "He destroyed a lot of the thinking. He just stepped in and said, 'No, no, no.'"" 

Isn't it the architects job to translate a clients vision into reality? Rather than to create their own dream and feed their ego instead of giving the client what they want?   Yep, pretty sure it is...
Mar 15, 2013 8:58PM
Don't call anyone a rapist unless they have been convicted. Then I feel all is fair game. Mr. Hope did so much to raise the moral of our troop's at risk of his own life that is the Bob Hope I know and love.
Mar 11, 2013 10:14AM
heard bob hope raped lots of woman there - look it up. that explains that look he always had in his eye....
Mar 11, 2013 9:10AM
If you've ever visited Palm Springs, you've likely seen this house the Hopes built and owned for more than two decades.  Sitting atop a butte at the southeast edge of Palm Springs, the home offers absolutely spectacular views and can be seen from practically everywhere in the valley.  I had the opportunity to visit the house after Bob and Dolores passed away because it was leased for events such as the Palm Springs Intl. Film Festival, and it's truly amazing.  Whoever buys this house will have a showplace!!!

Mar 1, 2013 5:23AM

The size they are using is not the SF size of the home. The home is substantially smaller, in the 16,250 SF range. What theyare using might be all the SF Under Roof, not the air conditioned living space.

The roofline is like a hyperboic parabaloid clovderleaf with a 50' opening in the center. as shown in the photographs the roof line extends out substantially from the home, in the front and in the rear. It also covers the open are between the home and the gym and guest rooms+office.  The home was built for public use, large parties. All of the family rooms are upstairs. The kitchen is uilitarian, laminate cabinets, stainless steel counters.

When he died in 2004, it was on the edge of being classifed as a Fixer, with long term neglected repairs and replacments needed, including slate flooring that was badly cracked, failing air conditioner chillers, an 85' black bottom pool whose plaster was popping, etc. The interior was 1970's westside, not desert decor. The powder room is huge, like 30+feet with lounge areas

It was not worth $21m in 2005, and the market has gone down on top of that fact. Unless it has been substandially renovated/repaired; it is merely a large home on a large lot, that needs updating.


I doubt that there is any value added today because of the Hope name, though there could be 5% or 10%. There is added value because it is an iconic structure that is world famous. This could ad 10% to 15%. The architect, John Lautner, distanced himself from the home, after suing Mrs. Hope and her contractor for not building his design.

The highest current sale in the Low Desert is in the $12m range for an 11,000 SF home. Adjust Down 20% for Condition, up 20% for Size {Law of Deminishing Returns}, ad for the Hope name at 5%-10%, the fame of the structure 10%-15%; and where do you end up. No where near $50m.

It is difficult to imagine how they conjured up the price, although Mrs. Hope thought it was worth $60m when I appraised it, and threatened to not pay the balance of my fee if I did not get the value up, and that I would never get any more work from the Hope Estate. I could hear her talking in the background. I told her CPA my report was completed, that I had over 30 years appraising without ever working for the Hope Estate, and they they were going to pay me or I would lien the home, then sue, and force the sale of the home at market value to get paid. A check came two days later.


Feb 26, 2013 10:26PM
Generous to service folks. God Bless him.
Feb 26, 2013 10:15PM

Since I never met Bob Hope and was not his friend or employee, I can only judge him based on his public actions.  So I look at all the years he spent entertaining our troops in war and peace.  I look at the comfort, the reminders of home, the laughter he brought to those who were on the front lines, and I admire that very much.  I look at all the millions of people he entertained through his movies and comedy routines, and all the smiles he created and I admire him for that. 

None of us are all good or all bad.  But on balance, I think Bob Hope did more good than harm.  I salute him for his efforts on behalf of our troops.

Feb 26, 2013 8:05PM
If it comes up on the ebay thing, I'll put in a bid...
Feb 26, 2013 7:23PM
He and Mrs. Hope were guests of a house guest of mine around 1980. A group of 8 very interesting people. I thought Mrs. Hope a most wonderful LADY. The rest of the group were somewhat put off by him, yet they all seemed very appreciative of my hospitality and left generous tips for my staff. Hope didn't leave a nickel.... I wouldn't have been inclined to have him as a repeat guest.  Sorry to Kiss and tell on a guest but it was a rare occasion that people didn't all want to come back for another visit or that I wasn't happy to see them return.
Feb 26, 2013 6:47PM
Feb 26, 2013 6:45PM
would be nice to be able to see the pics
Feb 26, 2013 6:36PM
he put on a good front but very can ruin people.makes them greedy for even more.
Feb 26, 2013 6:36PM
wow  who is this this degenerate who stated bob hope sucked....obviousely not an American   probably a want-a-b   A "nikniknik' nucklehead?
Feb 26, 2013 6:33PM

obscene excess, I would hav figured BobHope to be somewhat modest, but apparently not.

Feb 26, 2013 6:23PM
Daughter will be laughing all the way to the bank and away from the bank after she cashes the check. She can buy a jet, have cash for fuel and fly anywhere she wants to visit.

I wish only once this could be true for a normal person like me. 
But like other Americans we get screwed on taxes and pay for the rich to laugh all the way from the bank.

It never ends.....America is truly stupid and they are called Congress...........
Feb 26, 2013 6:00PM
Yea...I remember when this was all over the news when it was built...a whopping, $1,000,000...! Then it caught fire...
Feb 26, 2013 5:41PM
In 1977, my family moved to the Coachella Valley.  The Hope's house wasn't finished then, and the sun would shine off the unpainted metal.  I always wondered what the place would turn into when it was finished. 

My youngest brother came to the conclusion that God lived in that house.  It's a natural assumption--after all, he was told that God lived in the heavens, and there, up on a mountain, was a bright, shining edifice in the sky. 

Bob Hope was a great performer and personality.  I'd love to have a tour of that house' maybe I can pretend to be a buyer....
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