TOLUCA LAKE ( —  The LA City Council voted Friday to move closer to making Bob Hope’s former home a historical landmark.

Translation: No buyer or developer would be able to purchase the property and tear it down. The house is in escrow.

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In the heart of Toluca Lake stands the former house of a Hollywood icon.

“It’s a landmark. I think his house was built in the ’30s, so he basically built Toluca Lake,” said neighbor Tim Grayson.

He has lived a few streets over from the Bob and Dolores Hope estate for more than a decade.

“We have a very very strong feeling about Bob Hope and his family, so we’d hate to see any portion of it torn down,” said Grayson.

But that’s exactly what the potential new owners want to do.

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The 5-acre property on Moorpark Drive, listed at $12 million, is not only in escrow but a pre-inspection has been completed and the estate is staged for demolition.

The City Council passed an emergency motion to immediately consider designating the Hope estate a historical monument. The motion, introduced by council member David Ryu, passed unanimously.

Until the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission considers the matter next month no one can do anything to the existing property.

The proposed new owners say the plan isn’t to tear down the main house, just the pool house, guesthouse and Hope’s office.”

The office  is where he hosted dignitaries like Ronald Reagan and a who’s who list of celebrities. Neighbors say they’re sympathetic to the incoming owners wishes to personalize the aging estate.

“I could see maybe redoing it, but it is kind of that house so would be great to keep it the way it is,” said neighbor Claire Langdon.

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The empty lot connected to the Hope estate has already been sold and there are two new homes under construction there.