Otherworldly Craftsmanship

Space-age architecture meets organic design in a Hollywood legend’s hilltop estate



Brian Thomas Jones

The story goes that back in 1973 when Bob Hope first saw a model of the Palm Springs home modernist architect John Lautner conceptualized for him and his wife Dolores, the Hollywood legend walked around the pool table it sat on, inspecting the model’s futuristic domed roof with a hole that opens to the sky, and cracked, “Well, at least when they come down from Mars, they’ll know where to go.”

Indeed, the home exemplifies the “organic space-age” aesthetic that established Lautner as one of the 20th century’s most esteemed architects. A protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright, he designed some 200 noteworthy projects, among them the celebrated Elrod House, also located in Palm Springs and featured in numerous films, including the 1971 Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever. At more than 23,000 square feet, the Hope House is Lautner’s largest, and perhaps most visually striking, domestic creation.

After a fire set construction back by several years, the hilltop home — which sits on 6 acres in the Santa Rosa Mountains’ exclusive Southridge neighborhood with commanding views of the Coachella Valley — was finally completed in 1980, with seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, indoor and outdoor pools, gardens and a pond, a putting green, a tennis court, and enough room on the outdoor covered terrace to accommodate 300 guests. Over the years, the Hopes used the concrete, steel, and glass “mushroom home” to entertain and host parties, inviting such guests as Tony Bennett and Glen Campbell. In 1991, the Hopes welcomed hundreds of veterans to the house to celebrate the close of the Gulf War.

Capped by a curving copper roof that complements the sloping contours of the mountains, the home, dubbed by Dolores Hope as a “contemporary castle,” also features a dramatic, natural boulder that juts out of the lower level entertainment area and works by the famed mural painter Garth Benton, which ornament the bar and indoor pool and exercise area. The Hopes’ monumental dream estate went on the private market in February 2013 with an asking price of $50 million; now the home is listed on the open market at a reduced price of $34 million.

Location: Above Palm Springs in the exclusive Southridge community

Asking price: $34 million
Square footage: Approximately 23,000
Special features: Indoor and outdoor pools, a tennis court, and a putting green
Agent: Patrick Stewart Properties, Patrick Jordan and Stewart Smith; Windermere Real Estate Southern California; 760-325-9091; www.windermeresocal.com

Comments to this website are moderated by staff. While all comments are welcome, we encourage all to be polite and please do use this system for advertising or business promotions. Any complaint towards a business or service should be directed directly to that business and not posted here. If anyone has a complaint that a comment is defamatory, please contact me at tmay@palmspringslife.com and I will take appropriate action promptly. Thank You

Add your comment:
Palm Springs Life

Related Articles

Color Play

In the tony Thunderbird Heights neighborhood of Rancho Mirage — which has counted Gerald Ford, Anne Rice, and Michael S. Smith among its residents — sits a decidedly down-to-earth classic 1960s ranch house.

Home of the Month: Palatial Retreat

Sitting on 1.23 acres in The Renaissance at Clancy Lane in Rancho Mirage, the 9,500-square-foot home boasts picturesque, 360-degree mountain views.

Getting Back on Track

Housing prices continued to inch up in May for the seventh consecutive month, even as sales continued on a year-over-year decline.

Escena Golf Club Offers Room With a View, Combined Living Space

The Panorama Home at Escena Golf Club in Palm Springs combines the living, dining, and kitchen space with breath-taking views of the San Jacinto Mountains.

Coachella Valley Real Estate Market is a Demographic 'Super Mix'

The Coachella Valley is an eclectic mix of peoples, lifestyles, backgrounds, ages, incomes and wealth – a demographic super mix from all over the country and even the world.

Promotions + Contests

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

Experience the beauty, romance and excitement of the Palm Springs area when you enter to be the lucky winner of this romantic couple’s getaway
90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Each month, a first place winner will be selected to win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!And, each month, three additional runners up will be selected to win a wonderful Palm Springs area Dining certificate!
2013/14 Best of the Best

2013/14 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Pets on Parade 2014 Photo Contest

Pets on Parade 2014 Photo Contest

Enter your “Cutest Pet” photo in the Pets on Parade 2014 Photo Contest. Online users will be able to like the Cutest Pet photos from six (6) categories.