Holidays in the San Fernando Valley: Lilley Hall in Toluca Lake
It’s the oldest children’s choir in the San Fernando Valley, 50 years old to be exact. Every night after Thanksgiving, you can hear them caroling on the corner of Mariota and Moorpark, at Lilley Hall, a two-story Tudor Revival home built in 1927.
Lilley Hall was named after Joseph J. Lilley, the former music director for Paramount Studios as well as composer and arranger for Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, who resided there from 1954 until his death in 1971. Coincidentally, 1954 was also the same year the film , White Christmas was released for which Lilley wrote the musical score.
Current residents and homeowners, Glenn Geller and his husband Jim Maresca, treasure this bit of connection to Christmas lore since they have been collecting retro holiday decor for years. The 52 life sized, blow mold members of the choir are just the top of the ice berg.
At the center of the yard is an 18-foot tall tower of about 100 toy soldiers. Geller built the base for the soldiers to stand on and used fishing wire to protect them from being tossed around by the wind.
“Every year, we have to do something bigger, and so I thought I want to do a tower of blow molds and the only thing I could collect in a large quantity was the soldiers.,” shares Geller in an interview with Spectrum 1.
This annual display is inspired by Geller’s childhood memories and fueled by his nostalgia of Christmases past. Their attic alone holds 5,000 plus ornaments used to decorate 11 Christmas trees each year. He spends a lot of time on eBay, looking for authentic items to add to his growing display.
Putting up their holiday decor is hard work but for Geller and Maresca, the smiles and happiness their holiday display brings is its own reward, especially last year, at the height of the pandemic.
“It’s been pretty rough for everybody and I think it’s nice to have something feel normal.”
Lilley Hall’s display is up until New Year’s Day. Stop by, hear the choir’s serenade, and the enjoy the amazing Christmas display.
To get the latest updates, follow them on Instagram @lilley_hall_toluca_lake.