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L.A. City Council moves one step closer to making Bob Hope estate a historic landmark

The Los Angeles City Council moved one step closer toward designating the Bob and Dolores Hope estate a cultural landmark Friday, adding another chapter to the saga of the property’s potential sale.

Councilman David Ryu saw the pending demolition of outbuildings at the Toluca Lake property and called for emergency legislation. The council voted 12 to 0 to halt any demolition while the city considers whether to deem the estate a historic-cultural monument.

A 2013 study by the Los Angeles Historic Resources Survey listed the 5.16-acre estate as potentially historic because of its ties to the entertainment industry. It was built in 1939.

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“We’re blessed in Los Angeles to have a number of entertainers and personalities that contribute to the fabric of our diverse city. Bob Hope is one of those personalities: He is an American icon,” Ryu said in a statement.

The decision to include the estate in the city’s list of monuments rests with the Cultural Heritage Commission, Ryu said.

“It’s important that the city’s historic-cultural resources are celebrated and rich architecture preserved for future generations,” he said.

Hope, who died in 2003 at age 100, had a prolific career as a comic actor, singer and dancer — appearing in scores of films that included the “Road” series with Bing Crosby. He won five honorary Academy Awards and one humanitarian award. His wife, Dolores, died five years ago at 102.

The comedian collected real estate and at one point was one of California’s largest individual property owners, holding some 10,000 acres in the San Fernando Valley alone. But it was the house at 10346 Moorpark St. that he considered home, according to his daughter, Linda Hope.

Records show Linda Hope obtained a demolition inspection permit Friday for an existing garage, production building and pool house at the family estate.

Hidden from the street behind fences and privacy hedges, the compound centers on a 14,876-square-foot main house with grand formal areas, a billiards room, a library and five bedrooms, including a master wing.

Other structures include a two-bedroom guesthouse and separate staff quarters and offices.

Two floors of living space in the main house afford views of landscaped grounds, which include a swimming pool, a one-hole golf course and rose gardens. An indoor swimming pool and spa sit adjacent to the guesthouse.

“The Moorpark house is a very special property in the Valley and something that meant a whole lot to my mother and dad,” Linda Hope told The Times in 2013. “They built what for them was kind of a dream house.”

She put the house on the market that year, with an asking price of $27.5 million.

“Putting the Moorpark house on the market, in a way it’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” Hope said. “It’s been an occupation for two years at least. Every time we’d open a closet, we’d go, ‘Ahh!’ ”

By 2015, the house was listed at $12 million.

sarah.parvini@latimes.com

For more California news follow me on Twitter: @sarahparvini

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