Residents prepare for Hoover Tour of Homes

The 56th annual Hoover Tour of Homes will take place this Saturday, and will feature four local homes, including one formerly owned by a famous wrestler and another owned by a current school board member.

The annual tour raises thousands of dollars for graduating Hoover High seniors.

Glendale residents Ammar Kharouf and Guy DeConte will open up their Mediterranean-style home on Royal Boulevard, where the Hoover High jazz band will perform.

Built in 1927, the home was once owned by heavyweight professional wrestler Ed “Strangler” Lewis, who won the World Heavyweight Champion six times and had a career that spanned four decades.

Kharouf, who moved into the home with his partner two and a half years ago, said the former owners left a newspaper article about the wrestler that he framed and displays in a downstairs room once used as the servants’ quarters.

In 2008, the 30 homes on the block became part of the city’s first historic district — the Royal Boulevard Historic District.

Kharouf and DeConte routinely peruse antique stores to find lamps and furniture pieces for their home, which boasts items from the 1920s and 1930s, and Kharouf treasures living in a home with far-reaching history.

“You can’t find homes these days that are built this way,” he said. “It’s just the charm of the house coupled by its history… knowing its history makes it more of a joy. And especially if you like renovating and decorating, it sort of gives you that inspiration to bring it back to life as it was during its heyday.”

This year, the annual Hoover Tour of Homes aims to raise $20,000 that will fund scholarships for seniors graduating from Hoover in 2014. At each home, students will serve as docents.

School board member Mary Boger will also welcome visitors to her home, where she will host a tea and offer baked goods prepared by Hoover High students enrolled in the school’s bistro program.

She moved into her 1937 home with her family on Capistrano Drive in 1988.

Among her ventures near and far with her husband, Donald, Boger has collected whale oil lamps and other nautical-themed treasures.

Her vast collection of nativity sets will be on display as well as a small Christmas tree decorated with ornaments that either came from Washington, D.C. or have a political theme.

What: Hoover Tour of Homes

When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday

Cost: $27 in advance or $30 (cash only) on the day of the tour. To purchase tickets, visit or call (818) 243-7700, Ext. 216.

More information: Call Keith Sorem at (818) 230-8049 or email him at


Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.


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