Outpost Estates


Outpost Estates, in the heart of Old Hollywood, has an amazing and interesting history.  Fortunately, most of the original houses have been preserved, and Lower Outpost looks much like it did in the 1920's.  Below is a little more detail on our history.  But first, a few interesting facts: In the 1920's, Outpost Estates once had a sign not unlike the Hollywoodland sign (which later became the Hollywood sign).  The OUTPOST sign is still there, buried in the weeds.  It was one of the largest neon signs in the world.  The Outpost Estates development was one of the first neighborhoods in the country to offer all-underground utilities. In 1853, Don Urquidez built the first adobe home on an Indian burial ground at what is now the intersection of Outpost Dr. & Hillside Dr.  Subsequently, General Otis, a veteran of the Spanish American War, purchased the original Outpost acreage from Don Tomas Urquidez.   General Otis renamed the adobe "The Outpost" and it became a clubhouse of sorts for his buddies from his military days. This piece of real estate would change hands a number of times before becoming part of the Outpost Estates.  In fact, around 1920, Mr. Otis sold the property to Charles E. Toberman, future developer of Outpost Estates. In 1922, Mr. Toberman, who had acquired "The Outpost" acreage from General Otis, sold his choice piece of property to Jesse L. Lasky for $157,000.   Unfortunately, this turned out to be a mistake. By 1924, having purchased 325 acres to the north of this property in "Hay Canyon" from Myra Hershey for the development of Outpost Estates, Mr. Toberman was confronted with a problem.  The property he sold to Jesse Lasky prevented any access to Franklin Avenue, which was essential to permit the subdivision of Outpost Estates.  So, Mr. Toberman re-purchased those desperately-needed ten and a half acres of "Tract 4820" (what is today a part of Franklin Avenue, Outpost Drive and El Cerrito Place) in April of 1924 from Jesse L. Laskey for the staggering sum of $275,000.  He then embarked on his dream of developing Outpost Estates, "one of the most exclusive and beautiful residential parks in the world". Over the next twenty years, Mr. Toberman oversaw the development of Outpost Estates, a planned community which he regarded as his supreme achievement of the more than fifty-three subdivisions he developed in Hollywood. In the early 1920's, times were good.  By 1926, Mr. Toberman was in the midst of an extensive improvement program on tract #9408, the Outpost Drive and Outpost Circle area, the heart of his Outpost Estates.  He had a vision of a planned residential community, a "jewel in the hills" and was determined to develop his dream.  Architecture was limited to pure Spanish with sloped roofs of genuine kiln tiles.  Flat roofs were strictly forbidden.  He also implemented rigid building restrictions that required plaster wall construction, ensuring enduring strength and earthquake resistance.  In fact, many of the original residences have survived all subsequent earthquakes  with no discernable damage. The original Outpost Estates was an up-to-date development, with ornamental street lights, concrete roads and sidewalks, and underground utilities...all the last word in modern planning.  Lots ranged in price from $30,000 to $50,000, a huge sum at that time. As a result of his design sense and attention to the latest refinements in living, luxurious homes and building sites in the area were in great demand. Outpost Estates was acclaimed far and wide, and Mr. Toberman continued to open new and carefully planned segments of this exclusive area.  He was quoted in the newspapers as predicting a period of prosperous growth for all of Hollywood.  And there truly seemed to be every indication of this. October 29, 1929, without warning, and with a shattering impact to all of America, the Wall Street stock market crashed.  Charles Toberman had to face the grim fact that not only was he in debt for $2.7 million dollars, but almost all of his sources of revenue to meet his obligations had been cut off. In 1933, Prohibition was repealed, but this did not stimulate the general business climate.  To make matters worse, the Long Beach earthquake hit in March of that same year, causing a great loss of life and property damage.  By 1934, the banks had established a hiatus on residential financing, and private enterprise was at a virtual standstill.  Fortunately, the clientele interested in buying in Outpost Estates were top stars of the day and multimillionaires from Texas and the East.   So, palatial homes continued to be built throughout the Depression years.  Having survived the first half of the decade, Charles Toberman was able to open two additional tracts, #10881 and #10853, along Outpost Drive by the summer of 1935. By then, Outpost Estates was attracting nationwide attention for its high construction standards and the preservation of park-like natural beauty in its plot apportionment, grading, and landscaping. So, in 1935, Mr. Toberman decided to build a model home to demonstrate a radically new type of construction all steel. The structure located at 2227 Outpost Drive, was acclaimed as "termite proof and fireproof, earthquake resistant and impervious to wear and shrinkage".  Bela Lugosi, the European star famed for his portrayal of Dracula, immediately purchased it. By the late thirties, the growing demand for residential property of high calibre was so great that in 1938 Mr. Toberman opened tract #9932 along Outpost Drive. Although America was still in the throes of the Great Depression and would not see sufficient recovery until the start of World War II, the demand for the highly restricted Outpost Estates was so great that two additional tracts, #11893, Sunny Cove in May of 1940 and #12042, Mulholland Drive in February of 1941 were put on the market.  During the WWII years only one tract, #12775 Outpost Drive and Senalda, was developed.  Finally, in August, 1951, after a lapse of seven years, Mr. Toberman resumed development of Outpost Estates with tract #16146 Carman Crest Drive, and in May, 1952, tract #17398, Macapa Drive, the area above Mulholland known as "17 Acres".  Other residental developments included thos just north of Santa Monica Blvd. After a long illness, Mrs. Charles E. Toberman died in 1970.  Mr. Toberman remained in their home on La Presa until his death at the age of 101 in 1981.

Click to Enlarge
List Of Photos Of Homes In The Outpost Estates
Click to Enlarge
Aerial photo looking NE at the Outpost Estates
Click to Enlarge
Looking north at the Outpost Estates
Click to Enlarge
2057 Castillian Dr.
Outpost EstatesList Of Photos Of Homes In The Outpost Estates
A-2
Outpost EstatesAerial photo looking NE at the Outpost Estates
AER-1930-14
1930
Outpost EstatesLooking north at the Outpost Estates
AER-1930-16
1930
Outpost Estates2057 Castillian Dr.
CD-2057-1
Circa 1930
Click to Enlarge
2115 Castillian Dr. in the Outpost Estates
Click to Enlarge
2115 Castillian Dr. in Outpost Estates
Click to Enlarge
2115 Castillian Dr. in the Outpost Estates
Click to Enlarge
2115 Castillian Dr. in the Outpost Esstates
Outpost Estates2115 Castillian Dr. in the Outpost Estates
CD-2115-1
Circa 1930
Outpost Estates2115 Castillian Dr. in Outpost Estates
CD-2115-2
Circa 1930
Outpost Estates2115 Castillian Dr. in the Outpost Estates
CD-2115-3
Circa 1930
Outpost Estates2115 Castillian Dr. in the Outpost Esstates
CD-2115-4
Circa 1930
Click to Enlarge
2115 Castillian Dr. in the Outpost Estates
Click to Enlarge
2115 Castillian Dr.
Click to Enlarge
2125 Castillian Dr. in the Outpost Estates
Click to Enlarge
2125 Castillian Dr. in the Outpost Estates.
Outpost Estates2115 Castillian Dr. in the Outpost Estates
CD-2115-5
Circa 1930
Outpost Estates2115 Castillian Dr.
CD-2115-7
Cira 1930
Outpost Estates2125 Castillian Dr. in the Outpost Estates
CD-2125-1
Circa 1930
Outpost Estates2125 Castillian Dr. in the Outpost Estates.
CD-2125-2
Circa 1930