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LA Council Rejects Landmark Status for Bob Hope Home

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday rejected historical-cultural monument status for legendary comedian Bob Hope's Toluca Lake home.

The vote pitted Councilman David Ryu, who represents the Toluca Lake area and initiated the application, against the daughter of the late entertainer, who was against the designation because she said it would go against her father's wishes.

The council voted 8-2 in favor of the designation, but required a unanimous 10 votes to move forward.

While the plan was being considered, a council committee tangled with conflicting views on designating the 15,000- square-foot home a historical-cultural monument. The Cultural Heritage Commission voted in November against the designation.

Hope's daughter, Linda, told Councilman Jose Huizar's committee and the commission that the designation would go against her parents' wishes because the proceeds from the sale of the home are to be donated to the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation, which she chairs.

The designation would lower the value of the home, she said. She also argued that with streets and buildings named after her father, the landmark designation for their home is unnecessary.

"Overturning the commission's decision to deny would contradict my father's wishes and I know he would be disappointed if we could not sell this site for full value to further fund our foundation," she said.

She also argued that the home was not architecturally significant as it had undergone many renovations.

Commission President Richard Barron told Huizar's committee he was swayed by Linda Hope when she appeared before the commission.

Bob Hope died in 2003 and his wife, Dolores Hope, died in 2011.

The Hopes 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.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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