The legendary comedian Bob Hope probably did as much as anyone to define the image of the California community of Palm Springs. Among other things, the comedian founded the Palm Springs Bob Hope Golf Classic in 1964 and relentlessly promoted the desert hideaway in the Coachella Valley located a two-hour drive east of Los Angeles.
In The Frontier of Leisure: Southern California and the Shaping of Modern America, Lawrence Culver explains that Hope’s wife Dolores had become enamored of a house that the great midcentury modern architect John Lautner designed for a Palm Springs interior designer named Arthur Elrod in 1968—you can see it in the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever:
If Elrod wanted a party house, Bob and Dolores Hope asked for an entertainment complex. Dolores Hope had been enchanted by the Elrod House, and the Hope House revisited the domed Elrod design, with a much larger dome intended to evoke the forms of the mountains nearby. Now, however, the dome was open to the sky and served to enclose a large courtyard. The space devoted to the couple’s personal residence was relatively small, as most of the behemoth structure was intended to be used to entertain, feed, and potentially house hundreds of guests. When Dolores Hope’s husband saw Lautner’s design, he reportedly quipped that “at least when they come down from Mars they’ll know where to go.” Though Bob Hope consented to the project, Lautner and Dolores Hope had a difficult relationship. She repeatedly asked for changes that required redesigns. A devastating fire during construction also slowed building and resulted in a less ambitious design than Lautner’s initial plan. He subsequently looked back on the project with regret, but the Hope residence nevertheless became a Palm Springs landmark.
The property is located at 2466 Southridge Drive. The house is 23,366 square feet and contains 10 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms. The lot is roughly six acres in size. As recently as a year ago was on the market for $50 million. Right now, however, the same property is available on Estately for approximately half of that—the current listing price is $24,999,000.
Here’s the description:
Mere words cannot describe this majestic and historical piece of architecture which was the largest private residence designed by John Lautner and commissioned by legendary Bob & Dolores Hope. The property has entertained dignitaries from all over the world and is viewed by many as one of the most iconic pieces of architecture in the world.
Some affluent DM reader should buy the thing and invite us all over for a party.
More after the jump…