The Los Angeles City Council Tuesday rejected a historic-cultural monument designation for the late Bob Hope’s longtime Toluca Lake home.
Hope’s daughter opposed the designation and spoke against it.
The vote was 8-2, with Councilman Paul Krekorian and Council President Herb Wesson voting against the designation, which needed 10 votes for passage.
Linda Hope, as she had previously told the Cultural Heritage Commission and the Planning and Land Use Management Committee, said the designation would go against her father’s wishes.
She said he wanted the home to be sold so the profits could go to the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation, which she chairs, and the designation would reduce the property’s value.
Hope also reminded the council that the Cultural Heritage Commission voted against the designation in November.
“My parents cared very much for those in need, and we ask that you do not deprive our foundation of much needed funds to help those suffering and those that served our country,” she said.
Hope added that her father wanted the home’s proceeds to go to the foundation so that “people could be his living legacy, not an old building that is in need of repair and not worth anything.”
Councilman David Ryu, in a last-ditch effort to preserve the home, had amended his motion to reduce the designation from the property’s entire five acres, which the Planning Department had recommended, to the lot’s original two acres, and to only include the home’s exterior.
After showing his colleagues a video with highlights of the comedian’s career and interviews with some members of the Los Angeles Conservancy, which supported the designation, Ryu said naming the home a historic-cultural monument would not prevent its sale.
“There are very, very few homes that are entirely associated with one icon for the life of the entire property, and this is the case of this home,” Ryu said.
The Planning and Land Use Committee earlier this month forwarded the motion to the full council without a recommendation. Councilman Jose Huizar, the committee’s chair, had said there was additional information he wanted to get before deciding how to vote.
Because the Cultural Heritage Commission voted against designating the 15,000-square-foot home a historical-cultural monument, 10 council votes were required for passage of Ryu’s motion.
Linda Hope argued before Huizar’s committee that with streets and buildings named after her father, the landmark designation for his longtime home is unnecessary. She also argued that the home was not architecturally significant as it had undergone many renovations.
Her parents built the French and Tudor revival style estate in 1939 and used it as their primary residence until their deaths. It was designed by architect Robert Finkelhor, with some expansions and remodeling work designed by John Elgin Woolf.
Bob Hope died in 2003 and his wife, Dolores, died in 2011.
—City News Service