Explore Palm Springs: Bob Hope House

Fourty years ago, fire guts partially completed structure of famous couple



During construction of the home for Bob and Delores Hope, an accident led to a fire that gutted the partially completed structure on July 24, 1973.

courtesy of he Palm Springs Historical Society

Legendary actor and comedian Bob Hope first came to Palm Springs in 1930.

Hope and his wife Dolores were immediately taken with the desert and soon were spending weekends at Deep Well Ranch. It was not long before they purchased a home on Buena Vista Drive, dubbed “the Honeymoon Cottage.”

A fixture in Palm Springs for most of his life, Hope was even made Honorary Mayor of Palm Springs in 1951. Later, the Hopes purchased a home on El Alameda that they lived in until they moved into their custom built John Lautner designed home perched on the mountain in Southridge.

Though it is now a significant landmark recognized by all desert residents, completion of the project was threatened on July 24, 1973. During construction of the unique home, an accident led to a fire that gutted the partially completed structure. Firefighters contained the blaze and construction crews were soon back to work on the now iconic home.

The Hopes finally moved into the home in 1979.

As Palm Springs celebrates its 75th anniversary, there are a multitude of ways to learn more about this desert treasure. One of the more intriguing methods is by exploring the city’s history.

Weekly, the Palm Springs Historical Society will share a story whose time and place corresponds with today.

The Palm Springs Historical is located at 221 S. Palm Canyon Drive. For more information, visit www.pshistoricalsociety.org

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