330434082_d579446344_m

The Shame Of The USS Liberty Revisited

Fortunately, or unfortunately, some news stories have lives of their own. It’s as if they don’t want to die, which is sometimes a very good thing. Such a story is the disgraceful tale involving the USS Liberty, a disgrace which began more than forty one years ago and continues to this day.

Neither the disgrace nor the shame of the USS Liberty applies in any way to its crew or to its captain, William McGonagle, who subsequently received the Congressional Medal of Honor in recognition of his bravery and refusal to leave the Liberty’s bridge despite being wounded. The shame is on America, the shame is on our shameless politicians, and the shame is on Israel.

For those still unaware of what transpired on the afternoon of June 8th, 1967 in the waters off the Sinai Peninsula, a quick primer: The USS Liberty was a converted Victory ship, a 455 foot American naval vessel then being used for intelligence gathering during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It was attacked by Israeli air and naval forces, strafed and torpedoed, leaving 34 sailors dead and 174 injured and severely maimed.

A confessed news junky, I had never heard about the Liberty until a decade or so ago, testimony perhaps to the massive cover-up that followed the attack.

Back in January, 2008, I posted an article on my website, an interview with Rick Aimetti, a petty officer first class assigned to Damage Control aboard that U.S. Navy vessel. He was one of the survivors and still vividly recalled the events of that day.

The fortuitous circumstances and the content of that interview are detailed here: “Remembering the USS Liberty,” (January 10, 2008, genelalor.com/blog1/?p=19.)

A calm, reticent and composed man, Rick was nevertheless passionate in his recollections, especially about the friends he lost, but also in his certainty that it was a deliberate attack by a presumed ally on an unarmed American ship.

That assault continued for hours even though the Liberty was clearly marked and flying the stars and stripes. Subsequent waves of Israeli helicopter gunship pilots would later testify that no flag was visible, which was true. It had been obliterated.

Israeli helicopters first took out the ship’s antennae and shot down the flag mast before launching torpedoes in an attempt, first, to cripple the Liberty’s communications and, second, to sink the ship.

It struck me that with a new president taking office less than a month from today there was a possibility, however remote, that President Obama would do what eight presidents before him failed to do, namely, give official, government recognition of the Liberty heroes who died and were wounded that June day, and to acknowledge why they died and were wounded.

That Israel attacked and killed 34 and injured 174 Americans on the Liberty is indisputable. Israel ultimately admitted as much and paid reparations. What it never did was concede intent. Instead, Israel to this day alleges it was a “mistake,” a mistake which could only have been made by blind Israeli helicopter pilots and blind Israeli torpedo boat captains.

Petty Officer First Class Rick Aimetti was a witness and a survivor of the attacks on the USS Liberty but he can hardly be considered an objective observer. Running for cover, seeing your dead and bleeding fellow sailors, and trying to keep your ship from going down aren’t situations conducive to objectivity.

His status as an eye-witness has been supported by numerous other accounts, however. Our military and our politicians just love investigations, studies, and inquiries even if they rarely uncover the truth, that whole, nothing but the truth that scares the uniforms off our military leaders and which makes our politicians dive for cover when they can’t admit it.

Such is the truth of the USS Liberty. It has festered on some American consciences and in some American souls for over four decades now.

Five years ago, the National Security Agency, which was instrumental in the outfitting and in the mission of the Liberty, declassified, (under pressure), documents, recordings, and interviews relating to the assault on the USS Liberty: nsa.gov/liberty/

Although that wealth of material and information is fascinating, it nevertheless is transparently slanted as can be seen in the interviews of personnel who admit to being pro-Israel and in the greatly redacted translated transcripts of the Israeli pilots: nsa.gov/liberty/recordings.cfm

Far more objective is this analysis of the events of June 8th, 1967: lewrockwell.com/orig/margolis12.html . There Eric Margolis dares to spell out the truth and dares to explain and substantiate what really happened that day.

The unvarnished truth about the USS Liberty is ugly and shameful

Perhaps President Barack Hussein Obama will address that truth and redress the grievances of the crew members such as Rick Aimetti?

One can always hope for “change” from Obama, no?

(To follow: “Reactions,” “Consternation,” “Blame.”

http://genelalor.com/

Find More Liberty Bell Articles

9209510431_b4d524cf0a

Pritzker Pavilion Concert

A few nice independence hall images I found:

Pritzker Pavilion Concert
independence hall

Image by fiskadoro
July 3, 2014, Independence Eve.

U.S. Congressmen Conduct Legislative Exchange with Pakistani Parliamentarians
independence hall

Image by U.S. Embassy Pakistan
A delegation of U.S. Congressmen conducted a seminar with members of the Senate and National Assembly of Pakistan on February 24 as part of an ongoing legislative exchange program sponsored by the U.S. House Democracy Partnership, which began in March 2010. Since then, the House Democracy Partnership has encouraged legislative development to strengthen the independence and efficacy of Pakistan’s National Assembly and Senate through Congressional visits to Islamabad and training and seminar programs in Washington for visiting Pakistani members of parliament and key parliamentary staff.

The one-day seminar was held at the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Studies (PIPS), an institute proposed by Pakistan’s National Parliament in 2005 and developed and built with U.S. government assistance.

14761469406_36d2889364_m

History of Vietnam

Most people will be aware of Vietnam’s late 20th century history, but there is much more to Vietnam’s history than just the Vietnam War.

There is archaeological evidence to suggest human inhabitation several thousand years ago. By 1200BC, agricultural progress had led to wet rice growing and the making of bronze, evidenced by the number of bronze weapons, tools and drums found in the Red River plains.

In 111 BCE, the Chinese Han Dynasty consolidated Nanyue (now the northern part of Vietnam) into their empire and for the next 1,000 years Nanyue was under Chinese rule. By 938 AD, Nanyue had regained its independence and was then ruled by a number of successive imperial dynasties.

Between the 11th and 18th centuries, Nanyue expanded to the south conquering the kingdom of Champa and part of the Khmer Empire. The final dynasty, the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), united the country into what we know today as Vietnam.

During the Nguyen Dynasty, Vietnam’s capital was in the ancient Imperial City of Hue, which contains Vietnam’s Forbidden City believed to modelled on that of Beijing. Unfortunately, the Forbidden City was almost completely destroyed during the Tet Offensive in 1968, but much remains to be seen in this important historic city.

The last emperor, Bao Dai abdicated in 1945 and handed power to the French-led puppet government. France had been eroding Vietnam’s independence since 1859 and in 1885 the whole country became part of French Indo-China.

The French forced significant political and cultural changes on Vietnamese society. A Western-style system of education was developed, and Christianity was promoted widely in Vietnamese society. the French largely ignored increasing calls for self-government and civil rights.

An independence and resistance movement began to grow. In 1941, Japan invaded and conquered French Indo-China and this saw the emergence of the Viet Minh, a communist, nationalist liberation movement led by Ho Chi Minh, seeking independence from France as well as to oppose the Japanese occupation.

When the Japanese were defeated in 1945, Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam independent, but the French didn’t accept this, leading to war, which lasted until 1954. A cease fire was agreed and Vietnam was separated into South and North.

In the late 50s, the pro-Hanoi Vietcong began a guerrilla campaign to overthrow the government of South Vietnam, which they considered to be a colonial government in disguise. The USA, concerned by the spread of communism in S.E. Asia send “advisors” to help the South. By 1968, full USA troop action was being taken against the Vietcong.

Ho Chi Minh died in 1969 and never saw the victory he sought, but he is still revered among the Vietnamese as their liberator. His body is preserved in the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in central Hanoi. Long lines of people wait every day to file past him and pay their respects. Next to the mausoleum is the Ho Chi Minh Museum depicting where he lived and worked.

Throughout Vietnam are museums dedicated to remembering the war. In Ho Chi Minh City, is The War Remnants Museum, a must see for anyone interested in late 20th century history. In central Vietnam, in Quang Ngai province, lies the village of My Lai, scene of one of worst atrocities of the war. Mai Lai Massacre Memorial site has been built to remember the hundreds of innocent villagers shot by US troops. In Ho Chi Minh City, tourist can visit the many tunnels built by the Viet Cong under what was then Saigon. The 75-mile (121 km)-long complex of tunnels at Củ Chi has been preserved by the government of Vietnam, and turned into a war memorial.

The war lasted until April 1975, when all American personnel were withdrawn and Saigon fell to the Vietcong.
Today Vietnam is at peace for the first time in many, many years. You can visit Indochina Odyssey Tours to get more information about this.

Recommend Vietnam Tour Package:

Classic Halong Bay Tour
Mekong Delta and Angkor Wat

Indochina Odyssey Tours – Your trustworthy Indochina Vietnam tour operator since 1987. Personalized and worry-free service in tours, hotels and tickets in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand.

25627629050_14b6c449bf

Stop!

A few nice philadelphia images I found:

Stop!
philadelphia

Image by nrg_crisis
A whole bunch of them, actually

Curtis Organ (1935), Christ Church, Philadelphia

Happy Palm Sunday!

14646485024_94488ea362

Nice Philadelphia photos

Check out these philadelphia images:

Philadelphia Pa ~ Hyatt at The Bellevue ~ Aka The Bellevue-Stratford Hotel ~ Mezzanine ~ My Vintage Film
philadelphia

Image by Onasill ~ Bill Badzo
George Boldt owned the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel outright. The present building opened in 1904. Over two years in the making and costing over ,000,000 (in 1904 dollars), the Bellevue-Stratford was described at the time as the most luxurious hotel in the nation and perhaps the most spectacular hotel building in the world. The Bellevue. In December 1996 the hotel joined the Hyatt chain’s Park Hyatt boutique division and was renamed Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue. In 2010 the name was shortened to Hyatt at The Bellevue.

12703429584_7a94939f5c

Cool Philadelphia Traffic images

A few nice philadelphia traffic images I found:

18b – Gibbons Residence – 1915 S Oxford Ave
philadelphia traffic

Image by Kansas Sebastian
West Adams Heights

“Nowadays we scarcely notice the high stone gates which mark the entrances on Hobart, Harvard, and Oxford streets, south of Washington Boulevard. For one thing, the traffic is too heavy, too swift; and then, again, the gates have been obscured by intrusions of shops and stores. At the base of the stone pillars appears the inscription “West Adams Heights.” There was a time when these entranceways were formidable and haughty, for they marked the ways to one of the first elite residential areas in Los Angeles. . . In the unplanned early-day chaos of Los Angeles, West Adams Heights was obviously something very special, an island in an ocean of bungalows—approachable, but withdrawn and reclusive—one of the few surviving examples of planned urban elegance of the turn of the century.”

– Carey McWilliams, “The Evolution of Sugar Hill,” Script, March, 1949: 30.

Today West Adams Heights is still obviously something special. The past sixty years, however, have not been kind. In 1963 the Santa Monica Freeway cut through the heart of West Adams Heights, dividing the neighborhood, obscuring its continuity. In the 1970’s the city paved over the red brick streets and removed the ornate street lighting. After the neighborhood’s zoning was changed to a higher density, overzealous developers claimed several mansions for apartment buildings. Despite these challenges, however, “The Heights,” as the area was once known, has managed to regain some of its former elegance.

The West Adams Heights tract was laid out in 1902, in what was then a wheat field on the western edge of town. Although the freeway now creates an artificial barrier, the original neighborhood boundaries were Adams Boulevard, La Salle Ave, Washington Boulevard, and Western Avenue. Costly improvements were integrated into the development, such as 75-food wide boulevards (which were some of the first contoured streets not to follow the city grid), lots elevated from the sidewalk, ornate street lighting, and large granite monuments with red-brass electroliers at the entrance to every street. These upgrades increased the lot values, which helped ensure the tract would be an enclave for the elite.

One early real estate ad characterized the neighborhood stating: “West Adams Heights needs no introduction to the public: it is already recognized as being far superior to any other tract. Its high and slightly location, its beautiful view of the city and mountains make t a property unequaled by any other in the city.”

The early residents’ were required to sign a detailed restrictive covenant. This hand-written document required property owners to build a “first-class residence,” of at least two stories, costing no less than two-thousand dollars (at a time when a respectable home could be built for a quarter of that amount, including the land), and built no less than thirty-five feet from the property’s primary boundary. Common in early twentieth century, another clause excluded residents from selling or leasing their properties to non-Caucasians.

By the mid 1930’s, however, most of the restrictions had expired. Between 1938 and 1945 many prominent African-Americans began to make “The Heights” their home. According to Carey McWilliams, West Adams Heights became known “Far and wide as the famous Sugar Hill section of Los Angeles,” and enjoyed a clear preeminence over Washington’s smart Le Droit Park, St. Louis’s Enright Street, West Philadelphia, Chicago’s Westchester, and Harlem’s fabulous Sugar Hill.

West Adams Heights, now also known as Sugar Hill, played a major role in the Civil Rights movement in Los Angeles. In 1938 Norman Houston, president of the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company, and an African-American, purchased a home at 2211 South Hobart Boulevard. Legal Action from eight homeowners quickly ensued. During that period, other prominent African-Americans began to make Sugar Hill their home – including actress Hattie McDaniels, dentists John and Vada Summerville, actress Louise Beavers, band leader Johnny Otis, and performers Pearl Baily and Ethel Waters, and many more. On December 6, 1945, the “Sugar Hill Cases” were heard before Judge Thurmond Clark, in LA Superior Court. He made history by become the first judge in America to use the 14th Amendment to disallow the enforcement of covenant race restrictions. The Los Angeles Sentinel quoted Judge Clark: “This court is of the opinion that it is time that [African-Americans] are accorded, without reservations and evasions, the full rights guaranteed them under the 14th Amendment.” Gradually, over the last century people of nearly ever background have made historic West Adams their home.

The northern end of West Adams Heights is now protected as part of the Harvard Heights Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ). The Historic West Adams area of Los Angeles (which includes West Adams Heights) boasts the highest concentration of turn-of-the-century homes west of the Mississippi, as well as the highest concentration of National Historic Landmarks, National Register of Historic Places, National Historic Districts, State Historic Landmarks, Los Angeles Cultural-Historic Monuments, and Historic Preservation Overlay Zones in the city. The entirety of West Adams Heights should be nominated as a National Register Historic District, for the quality of homes, the prominence of the architects, notoriety of the people who lived in the neighborhood, and the role it played in civil rights.

Perhaps a quote adapted from a fireplace mantle in the Frederick Rindge mansion best symbolizes the optimism which exists in West Adams: “California Shall be Ours as Long as the Stars Remain.”

01 – Harvard Street Monument – Harvard Blvd & Washington Blvd, 1902.

Nearly destroyed by neglect and vandals over decades of inner city decay, the Harvard and Hobart Boulevard monuments were restored in 2002.

02 – Frank Southerland & Grace Pirtle Hutton, and John A Pirtle Residence – 2047 La Salle Ave – 1907

According to the property permit, the house was built for E B Spencer in 1906. Most likely he built this house on speculation (as he did two years earlier at 2039-2041 La Salle Ave), because according to the LA County Tax Assessor’s Office, John A Pirtle purchased this property in 1907. The same year there appears an article in the LA Herald announcing the engagement of Frank Southerland Hutton to Miss Grace Pirtle, who lived with her parents at 1819 S Union Ave, and their plans to build a house in Los Angeles after their honeymoon. Another 1907 article indicates the happy couple were married and moved into their new home on La Salle Ave. But, by 1909, they’ve moved to 1827 S Normandie and John A Pirtle is shown at the La Salle house. John Pirtle was a Southern California industrialist who appears to have made his fortune in the oil fields of Tennessee, Alabama, and Texas, through a company called the Beaumont Exchange and the Oriole Oil Company. He also speculated in water, with the West Los Angeles Water Company, West Side Water Company and the Glendale Consolidated Water Company. Frank Hutton was a well-known and respected Los Angeles lawyer, a partner of the firm Schweitzer and Hutton. This 1907 house is an unassuming looking American Craftsman bungalow, which hides its actual size. Beneath the long, low slung slope of the gable is a rather large house of 2-1/2 stories. The rounded, Colonial Revival styled balcony rail is an unusual feature.

03 – Robert K Wilson, J Frank & Virginia N Waters, and Mark & Mamie (May) E Phelps Residence – 2039-2041 La Salle Ave – 1905 – Frank Dale Hudson and Julius W Krause

Dutch Colonial in West Adams Heights is a rare architectural style, probably already deemed to be passé, but two examples exist nonetheless. The other Dutch is on South Hobart, built for C I D Moore, and is turned on its side, giving it a more Cotswold appearance. This Dutch Colonial is a straight-on interpretation of the vernacular. The architect of the house is reported to be Julius W Krause. Prior to 1895 Krause was partnered with Frank Dale Hudson, of the firm Hudson and Munsell. For a time Krause was also the Superintendent of Building for the City of Los Angeles. The original builder of this house was E B Spencer, however it’s obvious he built it in 1905 on speculation (just as he did two years later the house at 2047 La Salle Ave). This house was quickly sold the same year to Robert K Wilson who Just as quickly flipped it in 1907 to J Frank Waters. Six months later Waters sold the residence to Mark and Mamie (May) E Phelps. The Phelps’s lived at this resident until Mark’s death in 1924. Mark Phelps was described as a pioneer of Los Angeles, first finding success in mining, then as a live-stock dealer. He retired just 3 months before his death. By 1926 J E Phillips who was reported to be living at this address was arrested for smuggling Moonshine Whiskey in his car. In 1943, William J Morris, a building contractor, was the resident, according to his obituary.

04 – Wilbur Wells & Blanche Lillian Smith Keim Residence – 2033 La Salle Ave – 1904

Wilbur Wells Keim graduated from the Pharmacy School at UC Berkeley in 1902. He married Miss Blanche Lillian Smith in 1903. A large reception for the couple was held at the West Adams Heights mansion of Wesley W Beckett, 2218 S Harvard Blvd. The couple began building their house on La Salle in 1904. Keim opened a pharmacy with Edward R Neill (Keim-Neill Drug Co) just a few blocks away on the Southwest corner of Washington and Normandie, at 1890 W Washington Boulevard. Their daughter, Lorraine Keim was a 1925 graduate of USC and a member of the Kappa Alpha Sorority. The house itself is a mystery. The front porch is Craftsman. The eves under the second story and the overall shape appear to be Colonial Revival. The front door with the half sidelights and smaller window openings suggest an older structure which was moved to this location and remodeled. The effect, unfortunately, isn’t quite successful.

05 – William A & Rose H Jenkins Residence – 2029 La Salle Ave – 1909

Originally the address was 1949 La Salle Ave, but a reorganization of addresses by the city to make them more uniform changed it to 2029 La Salle Ave sometime around 1909-1910.

06 – Frank A & Marie C Von Violand Vickery Residence – 2025 La Salle Ave – 1909

When Frank A Vickery passed away he left a sizable estate. Numerous properties were advertised for auction in the February 28, 2014, issue of The California Outlook, including three in West Adams Heights (1947 La Salle Ave, 2017 La Salle Ave, and 2025 La Salle Ave). Vickery had purchased these unimproved lots in 1906 from the Gopher Land Company as investments and improved the lots. Frank Vickery was a mining industrialist with many interests, including the Pan-American Hardwoods Company in Mexico and the San Gabriel River Rock Company. The Vickery’s lived at 341 Andrews Blvd (S St Andrews Pl), in a 1907 mansion they built for ,000. According to the LA Times and LA Herald society pages, they entertained often. In May, 1910, the Vickery’s sold their St Andrews Pl home through the Althouse Brothers for ,000, to Mrs. Frederick Fischer, and relocated to their 2025 La Salle Ave home. After Frank Vickery’s death, auction, either the house didn’t sell at auction or his wide decided to continue living at the residence. The 1923-24 Southwestern Blue Book lists her at this location, with visiting on “Third Wednesdays. “ Mrs. Vickery was also a member of the Ebell and Friday Morning Clubs. Although this house must have been smaller and less opulent than their St Andrews Place residence, it is still a handsome American Craftsman home, with only minor alterations.

07 – Income property owned by Frank A Vickery – 2017 La Salle Ave – 1909

When Frank A Vickery passed away he left a sizable estate. Numerous properties were advertised for auction in the February 28, 2014, issue of The California Outlook, including three in West Adams Heights (1947 La Salle Ave, 2017 La Salle Ave, and 2025 La Salle Ave). Vickery had purchased these unimproved lots in 1906 from the Gopher Land Company as investments and improved the lots. Frank Vickery was a mining industrialist with many interests, including the Pan-American Hardwoods Company in Mexico and the San Gabriel River Rock Company. The house is American Craftsman, and the architect and builder was the Alfred E Georgian, Co.

08 – La Salle Ave Streetscape
Looking South on La Salle Ave (from left to right):
A. 2047 La Salle Ave – Hutton-Pirtle Residence
B. 2041 La Salle Ave – Phelps Residence
C. 2029 La Salle Ave – Hull Residence
D. 2033 La Salle Ave – Keim Residence
E. 2025 La Salle Ave – Frank A & Marie C Von Violand Vickery Residence
F. 2017 La Salle Ave – Income Property owned by Frank A Vickery

09 – Stanley Frederick & Sue A Shaffer McClung – 1959 La Salle Ave – 1905 – Robert Farquhar Train & Robert Edmund Williams

Imagine this house as it might have been in 1905: the long sloping roof of natural shingles, which would have matched the color of the shingled siding; ornate rails along the porch, widows weep, and above the bay window; a full chimney and no bars on the windows or doors. The effect would have been striking, and will again when the house is one day restored. It’s one of the most significant surviving houses on La Salle. It was designed by the architecture team of Robert Farquar Train and Robert Edmund Williams (Train & Williams), for Pacific Mutual Secretary Stanley F McClung. He was part of the “Old Company” forced out of power in the early 1930’s along with his brother-in-law George Ira Cochran.

10 – Income property owned by Frank A Vickery – 1947 La Salle Ave – 1909

When Frank A Vickery passed away he left a sizable estate. Numerous properties were advertised for auction in the February 28, 2014, issue of The California Outlook, including three in West Adams Heights (1947 La Salle Ave, 2017 La Salle Ave, and 2025 La Salle Ave). Vickery had purchased these unimproved lots in 1906 from the Gopher Land Company as investments and improved the lots. Frank Vickery was a mining industrialist with many interests, including the Pan-American Hardwoods Company in Mexico and the San Gabriel River Rock Company. The house is a handsome American Craftsman residence, making use of horizontal siding to make it appear wider.

11 – Evan G & Matilee Loeb Evans and William A & Rose H Haley Jenkins Residence – 1929 La Salle Ave – 1903 – Allied Arts Co

This home is American Craftsman designed in 1903 by The Allied Arts Co (as was its neighbor at 1919 La Salle Ave), a prominent architecture firm responsible for many LA landmarks, including the recently restored Hall of Justice. A J Carlson was the contractor. Evan G Evans, from Chicago, IL, arrived in Los Angeles in the late 1990’s, and married Matilee Loeb in 1898. The Mr & Mrs Evans were prominent in the society pages. The second owner, William (Will) Jenkins, was like many of his neighbors, a Capitalist. Jenkins appears to have had his hand in many enterprises, including the Madera Canal & Irrigation Company. Mrs. Jenkins passed away August 5, 1933, at her home at 148 S Irving Blvd, survived by her husband.

12 – John H & Evangeline “Eva” Rose Clark Tupper and Thomas M & Mary P Sloan Residence – 1919 La Salle Ave – 1903 – Allied Arts Co

John H and Wilbur S Tupper were born in Evansville, Wisconsin, the children of John H and Mary Sophia Foster Tupper. In the 1800’s the brothers relocated in San Francisco found themselves in the insurance industry. Wilbur Tupper became Vice-President of Conservative Life and again both brothers moved to Los Angeles. Wilbur was destined for success and after the death of then-president Frederick Hastings Rindge, he became president of both Conservative Life and Pacific Mutual (founded by Leland Stanford). Wilbur’s house was located at 2237 S Harvard Blvd and John’s at 1919 La Salle Ave, within the same tract. In 1906 Wilbur suddenly resigned from the company in scandal involving another woman (not his wife). He fled to Chicago, abandoning his wife and position. His brother John probably suffered for his brother’s indiscretion, which may help explain his sudden departure from the neighborhood and the sale of his house to Thomas M Sloan. About the same time Thomas Sloan had been promoted to Assistant General Freight Agent of the Sante Fe Railroad. This transitional Victorian/Craftsman house was designed in 1903 by the Allied Arts Co, (as was its neighbor at 1929 La Salle Ave), a prominent architecture firm responsible for many LA landmarks, including the recently restored Hall of Justice. A J Carlson was the contractor.

13 – Charles Kraft Residence – 1913 La Salle Ave – 1913 – Earl E Scherich

A more modest and later addition to the neighborhood, this 1913 Craftsman Bungalow was built for Charles Kraft, Vice-President of the J C Huggins Co, a brokerage and loan company. The home was designed by Architect Earl E Scherich, and May L Greenwood, builder.

14 – Roland Paul Residence Gates – 1986 W Washington Blvd – 1905 – Sumner P Hunt and Arthur Wesley Eager (Demolished)

Between a bicycle shop and a convalescence home are the gates to 1986 W Washington Blvd, which remain the only evidence that a home designed by Hunt & Eager once stood here. Originally commissioned by Mrs. R Fitzpatrick of Pico Blvd, in February of 1905, it was quickly turned over to pioneer Col Charles F Howland, who lived around the corner at 1902 S Harvard Blvd. He attempted to sell it in September, 1905, to Walter Rose, but the deal apparently fell through. In November, 1905, Col Howland successfully sold the home to Roland Paul.

15 – Elizabeth L Kenney Residence – 2012 W Washington Blvd – 1906 – Philip Gengembre Hubert (Attributed)

When this home was built, Philip Gengembre Hubert, celebrated New York City architect, was listed as the owner. It was most-likely designed by him on speculation. His residence was already established in 1903 at 2144 S Hobart Blvd. Hubert was responsible for designing many New York City landmarks, including the Chelsea Hotel, and after nearly 40 years in practice Hubert retired to Los Angeles, where he died in 1911. This home was sold to Elizabeth L Kenney, the second female to graduate the law department at Stanford University and continued her education at Northwestern University in Chicago. Kenney became the first practicing female attorney in Los Angeles in 1897, entering into practice with her uncle. The house, unfortunately, has been mistreated with a layer of stucco and aluminum windows. We can only hope evidence of the house’s original nature lies underneath.

16 – Commercial Block – 2034 W Washington Blvd (formerly the home of Nathaniel Dryden, 1902 S Harvard Blvd)

Evidence of how quickly Los Angeles was changing in the early 20th Century can be seen in this attractive commercial block. Nathaniel Dryden, an architect and engineer who built the Brand Library in Glendale and the Robinson Mansion in Beverly Hills, built his home on this corner in 1903. Just 20 years later it had been replaced by a commercial building already. Such was the value of land in the quick-growing city.

17 – Clara Pitt Durant Residence – 1909 S Harvard Blvd. 1908. Sumner P Hunt and Arthur Wesley Eager

Barely visible from the street, the current owners prefer to be hidden by the trees and shrubs. This large Craftsman home was designed by Hunt & Eager for Ms. Clara Pitt Durant. A divorcee from Michigan, Ms. Pitt took her settlement and began a new life in Los Angeles. The history of the house is recorded at: www.invisiblemanor.com

18 – Charles Clifford and Belle Case Gibbons Residence – 1915 S Oxford Ave – 1903 – Frank M Tyler.

This house, designed by Frank M Tyler, is unusual for the neighborhood because it is completely sheathed in shingles, including the front porch columns. It is a Transitional Victorian/Craftsman in the Shingle Style, with Colonial and Tudor touches. It was built for Charles Clifford Gibbons and Belle Case Gibbons, who came to Los Angeles in 1884. Mr. Gibbons worked his way to from stock boy to general manager of Hale’s Dry Goods Store. His employer, Jas M Hale was a relation of San Francisco’s Hale’s Bros. Department Store, the national chain. C C Gibbons died in 1910 after an illness and in 1912 the house was sold to Matt and Mary Conway. Matt Conway made his business in real estate and land speculation. Coincidentally, the third owner, Jon Fukuto, was also a proprietor of a chain of Los Angeles grocery stores call Jonson’s Supermarkets (the name being a play on words, combining “Jon” and “Sons”). In 1945, after being released from the Gila Internment Camp in Arizona, Mr. Fukuto moved his family to Los Angeles where he established the business.

08a – La Salle Ave Streetscape(E)
philadelphia traffic

Image by Kansas Sebastian
West Adams Heights

“Nowadays we scarcely notice the high stone gates which mark the entrances on Hobart, Harvard, and Oxford streets, south of Washington Boulevard. For one thing, the traffic is too heavy, too swift; and then, again, the gates have been obscured by intrusions of shops and stores. At the base of the stone pillars appears the inscription “West Adams Heights.” There was a time when these entranceways were formidable and haughty, for they marked the ways to one of the first elite residential areas in Los Angeles. . . In the unplanned early-day chaos of Los Angeles, West Adams Heights was obviously something very special, an island in an ocean of bungalows—approachable, but withdrawn and reclusive—one of the few surviving examples of planned urban elegance of the turn of the century.”

– Carey McWilliams, “The Evolution of Sugar Hill,” Script, March, 1949: 30.

Today West Adams Heights is still obviously something special. The past sixty years, however, have not been kind. In 1963 the Santa Monica Freeway cut through the heart of West Adams Heights, dividing the neighborhood, obscuring its continuity. In the 1970’s the city paved over the red brick streets and removed the ornate street lighting. After the neighborhood’s zoning was changed to a higher density, overzealous developers claimed several mansions for apartment buildings. Despite these challenges, however, “The Heights,” as the area was once known, has managed to regain some of its former elegance.

The West Adams Heights tract was laid out in 1902, in what was then a wheat field on the western edge of town. Although the freeway now creates an artificial barrier, the original neighborhood boundaries were Adams Boulevard, La Salle Ave, Washington Boulevard, and Western Avenue. Costly improvements were integrated into the development, such as 75-food wide boulevards (which were some of the first contoured streets not to follow the city grid), lots elevated from the sidewalk, ornate street lighting, and large granite monuments with red-brass electroliers at the entrance to every street. These upgrades increased the lot values, which helped ensure the tract would be an enclave for the elite.

One early real estate ad characterized the neighborhood stating: “West Adams Heights needs no introduction to the public: it is already recognized as being far superior to any other tract. Its high and slightly location, its beautiful view of the city and mountains make t a property unequaled by any other in the city.”

The early residents’ were required to sign a detailed restrictive covenant. This hand-written document required property owners to build a “first-class residence,” of at least two stories, costing no less than two-thousand dollars (at a time when a respectable home could be built for a quarter of that amount, including the land), and built no less than thirty-five feet from the property’s primary boundary. Common in early twentieth century, another clause excluded residents from selling or leasing their properties to non-Caucasians.

By the mid 1930’s, however, most of the restrictions had expired. Between 1938 and 1945 many prominent African-Americans began to make “The Heights” their home. According to Carey McWilliams, West Adams Heights became known “Far and wide as the famous Sugar Hill section of Los Angeles,” and enjoyed a clear preeminence over Washington’s smart Le Droit Park, St. Louis’s Enright Street, West Philadelphia, Chicago’s Westchester, and Harlem’s fabulous Sugar Hill.

West Adams Heights, now also known as Sugar Hill, played a major role in the Civil Rights movement in Los Angeles. In 1938 Norman Houston, president of the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company, and an African-American, purchased a home at 2211 South Hobart Boulevard. Legal Action from eight homeowners quickly ensued. During that period, other prominent African-Americans began to make Sugar Hill their home – including actress Hattie McDaniels, dentists John and Vada Summerville, actress Louise Beavers, band leader Johnny Otis, and performers Pearl Baily and Ethel Waters, and many more. On December 6, 1945, the “Sugar Hill Cases” were heard before Judge Thurmond Clark, in LA Superior Court. He made history by become the first judge in America to use the 14th Amendment to disallow the enforcement of covenant race restrictions. The Los Angeles Sentinel quoted Judge Clark: “This court is of the opinion that it is time that [African-Americans] are accorded, without reservations and evasions, the full rights guaranteed them under the 14th Amendment.” Gradually, over the last century people of nearly ever background have made historic West Adams their home.

The northern end of West Adams Heights is now protected as part of the Harvard Heights Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ). The Historic West Adams area of Los Angeles (which includes West Adams Heights) boasts the highest concentration of turn-of-the-century homes west of the Mississippi, as well as the highest concentration of National Historic Landmarks, National Register of Historic Places, National Historic Districts, State Historic Landmarks, Los Angeles Cultural-Historic Monuments, and Historic Preservation Overlay Zones in the city. The entirety of West Adams Heights should be nominated as a National Register Historic District, for the quality of homes, the prominence of the architects, notoriety of the people who lived in the neighborhood, and the role it played in civil rights.

Perhaps a quote adapted from a fireplace mantle in the Frederick Rindge mansion best symbolizes the optimism which exists in West Adams: “California Shall be Ours as Long as the Stars Remain.”

01 – Harvard Street Monument – Harvard Blvd & Washington Blvd, 1902.

Nearly destroyed by neglect and vandals over decades of inner city decay, the Harvard and Hobart Boulevard monuments were restored in 2002.

02 – Frank Southerland & Grace Pirtle Hutton, and John A Pirtle Residence – 2047 La Salle Ave – 1907

According to the property permit, the house was built for E B Spencer in 1906. Most likely he built this house on speculation (as he did two years earlier at 2039-2041 La Salle Ave), because according to the LA County Tax Assessor’s Office, John A Pirtle purchased this property in 1907. The same year there appears an article in the LA Herald announcing the engagement of Frank Southerland Hutton to Miss Grace Pirtle, who lived with her parents at 1819 S Union Ave, and their plans to build a house in Los Angeles after their honeymoon. Another 1907 article indicates the happy couple were married and moved into their new home on La Salle Ave. But, by 1909, they’ve moved to 1827 S Normandie and John A Pirtle is shown at the La Salle house. John Pirtle was a Southern California industrialist who appears to have made his fortune in the oil fields of Tennessee, Alabama, and Texas, through a company called the Beaumont Exchange and the Oriole Oil Company. He also speculated in water, with the West Los Angeles Water Company, West Side Water Company and the Glendale Consolidated Water Company. Frank Hutton was a well-known and respected Los Angeles lawyer, a partner of the firm Schweitzer and Hutton. This 1907 house is an unassuming looking American Craftsman bungalow, which hides its actual size. Beneath the long, low slung slope of the gable is a rather large house of 2-1/2 stories. The rounded, Colonial Revival styled balcony rail is an unusual feature.

03 – Robert K Wilson, J Frank & Virginia N Waters, and Mark & Mamie (May) E Phelps Residence – 2039-2041 La Salle Ave – 1905 – Frank Dale Hudson and Julius W Krause

Dutch Colonial in West Adams Heights is a rare architectural style, probably already deemed to be passé, but two examples exist nonetheless. The other Dutch is on South Hobart, built for C I D Moore, and is turned on its side, giving it a more Cotswold appearance. This Dutch Colonial is a straight-on interpretation of the vernacular. The architect of the house is reported to be Julius W Krause. Prior to 1895 Krause was partnered with Frank Dale Hudson, of the firm Hudson and Munsell. For a time Krause was also the Superintendent of Building for the City of Los Angeles. The original builder of this house was E B Spencer, however it’s obvious he built it in 1905 on speculation (just as he did two years later the house at 2047 La Salle Ave). This house was quickly sold the same year to Robert K Wilson who Just as quickly flipped it in 1907 to J Frank Waters. Six months later Waters sold the residence to Mark and Mamie (May) E Phelps. The Phelps’s lived at this resident until Mark’s death in 1924. Mark Phelps was described as a pioneer of Los Angeles, first finding success in mining, then as a live-stock dealer. He retired just 3 months before his death. By 1926 J E Phillips who was reported to be living at this address was arrested for smuggling Moonshine Whiskey in his car. In 1943, William J Morris, a building contractor, was the resident, according to his obituary.

04 – Wilbur Wells & Blanche Lillian Smith Keim Residence – 2033 La Salle Ave – 1904

Wilbur Wells Keim graduated from the Pharmacy School at UC Berkeley in 1902. He married Miss Blanche Lillian Smith in 1903. A large reception for the couple was held at the West Adams Heights mansion of Wesley W Beckett, 2218 S Harvard Blvd. The couple began building their house on La Salle in 1904. Keim opened a pharmacy with Edward R Neill (Keim-Neill Drug Co) just a few blocks away on the Southwest corner of Washington and Normandie, at 1890 W Washington Boulevard. Their daughter, Lorraine Keim was a 1925 graduate of USC and a member of the Kappa Alpha Sorority. The house itself is a mystery. The front porch is Craftsman. The eves under the second story and the overall shape appear to be Colonial Revival. The front door with the half sidelights and smaller window openings suggest an older structure which was moved to this location and remodeled. The effect, unfortunately, isn’t quite successful.

05 – William A & Rose H Jenkins Residence – 2029 La Salle Ave – 1909

Originally the address was 1949 La Salle Ave, but a reorganization of addresses by the city to make them more uniform changed it to 2029 La Salle Ave sometime around 1909-1910.

06 – Frank A & Marie C Von Violand Vickery Residence – 2025 La Salle Ave – 1909

When Frank A Vickery passed away he left a sizable estate. Numerous properties were advertised for auction in the February 28, 2014, issue of The California Outlook, including three in West Adams Heights (1947 La Salle Ave, 2017 La Salle Ave, and 2025 La Salle Ave). Vickery had purchased these unimproved lots in 1906 from the Gopher Land Company as investments and improved the lots. Frank Vickery was a mining industrialist with many interests, including the Pan-American Hardwoods Company in Mexico and the San Gabriel River Rock Company. The Vickery’s lived at 341 Andrews Blvd (S St Andrews Pl), in a 1907 mansion they built for ,000. According to the LA Times and LA Herald society pages, they entertained often. In May, 1910, the Vickery’s sold their St Andrews Pl home through the Althouse Brothers for ,000, to Mrs. Frederick Fischer, and relocated to their 2025 La Salle Ave home. After Frank Vickery’s death, auction, either the house didn’t sell at auction or his wide decided to continue living at the residence. The 1923-24 Southwestern Blue Book lists her at this location, with visiting on “Third Wednesdays. “ Mrs. Vickery was also a member of the Ebell and Friday Morning Clubs. Although this house must have been smaller and less opulent than their St Andrews Place residence, it is still a handsome American Craftsman home, with only minor alterations.

07 – Income property owned by Frank A Vickery – 2017 La Salle Ave – 1909

When Frank A Vickery passed away he left a sizable estate. Numerous properties were advertised for auction in the February 28, 2014, issue of The California Outlook, including three in West Adams Heights (1947 La Salle Ave, 2017 La Salle Ave, and 2025 La Salle Ave). Vickery had purchased these unimproved lots in 1906 from the Gopher Land Company as investments and improved the lots. Frank Vickery was a mining industrialist with many interests, including the Pan-American Hardwoods Company in Mexico and the San Gabriel River Rock Company. The house is American Craftsman, and the architect and builder was the Alfred E Georgian, Co.

08 – La Salle Ave Streetscape
Looking South on La Salle Ave (from left to right):
A. 2047 La Salle Ave – Hutton-Pirtle Residence
B. 2041 La Salle Ave – Phelps Residence
C. 2029 La Salle Ave – Hull Residence
D. 2033 La Salle Ave – Keim Residence
E. 2025 La Salle Ave – Frank A & Marie C Von Violand Vickery Residence
F. 2017 La Salle Ave – Income Property owned by Frank A Vickery

09 – Stanley Frederick & Sue A Shaffer McClung – 1959 La Salle Ave – 1905 – Robert Farquhar Train & Robert Edmund Williams

Imagine this house as it might have been in 1905: the long sloping roof of natural shingles, which would have matched the color of the shingled siding; ornate rails along the porch, widows weep, and above the bay window; a full chimney and no bars on the windows or doors. The effect would have been striking, and will again when the house is one day restored. It’s one of the most significant surviving houses on La Salle. It was designed by the architecture team of Robert Farquar Train and Robert Edmund Williams (Train & Williams), for Pacific Mutual Secretary Stanley F McClung. He was part of the “Old Company” forced out of power in the early 1930’s along with his brother-in-law George Ira Cochran.

10 – Income property owned by Frank A Vickery – 1947 La Salle Ave – 1909

When Frank A Vickery passed away he left a sizable estate. Numerous properties were advertised for auction in the February 28, 2014, issue of The California Outlook, including three in West Adams Heights (1947 La Salle Ave, 2017 La Salle Ave, and 2025 La Salle Ave). Vickery had purchased these unimproved lots in 1906 from the Gopher Land Company as investments and improved the lots. Frank Vickery was a mining industrialist with many interests, including the Pan-American Hardwoods Company in Mexico and the San Gabriel River Rock Company. The house is a handsome American Craftsman residence, making use of horizontal siding to make it appear wider.

11 – Evan G & Matilee Loeb Evans and William A & Rose H Haley Jenkins Residence – 1929 La Salle Ave – 1903 – Allied Arts Co

This home is American Craftsman designed in 1903 by The Allied Arts Co (as was its neighbor at 1919 La Salle Ave), a prominent architecture firm responsible for many LA landmarks, including the recently restored Hall of Justice. A J Carlson was the contractor. Evan G Evans, from Chicago, IL, arrived in Los Angeles in the late 1990’s, and married Matilee Loeb in 1898. The Mr & Mrs Evans were prominent in the society pages. The second owner, William (Will) Jenkins, was like many of his neighbors, a Capitalist. Jenkins appears to have had his hand in many enterprises, including the Madera Canal & Irrigation Company. Mrs. Jenkins passed away August 5, 1933, at her home at 148 S Irving Blvd, survived by her husband.

12 – John H & Evangeline “Eva” Rose Clark Tupper and Thomas M & Mary P Sloan Residence – 1919 La Salle Ave – 1903 – Allied Arts Co

John H and Wilbur S Tupper were born in Evansville, Wisconsin, the children of John H and Mary Sophia Foster Tupper. In the 1800’s the brothers relocated in San Francisco found themselves in the insurance industry. Wilbur Tupper became Vice-President of Conservative Life and again both brothers moved to Los Angeles. Wilbur was destined for success and after the death of then-president Frederick Hastings Rindge, he became president of both Conservative Life and Pacific Mutual (founded by Leland Stanford). Wilbur’s house was located at 2237 S Harvard Blvd and John’s at 1919 La Salle Ave, within the same tract. In 1906 Wilbur suddenly resigned from the company in scandal involving another woman (not his wife). He fled to Chicago, abandoning his wife and position. His brother John probably suffered for his brother’s indiscretion, which may help explain his sudden departure from the neighborhood and the sale of his house to Thomas M Sloan. About the same time Thomas Sloan had been promoted to Assistant General Freight Agent of the Sante Fe Railroad. This transitional Victorian/Craftsman house was designed in 1903 by the Allied Arts Co, (as was its neighbor at 1929 La Salle Ave), a prominent architecture firm responsible for many LA landmarks, including the recently restored Hall of Justice. A J Carlson was the contractor.

13 – Charles Kraft Residence – 1913 La Salle Ave – 1913 – Earl E Scherich

A more modest and later addition to the neighborhood, this 1913 Craftsman Bungalow was built for Charles Kraft, Vice-President of the J C Huggins Co, a brokerage and loan company. The home was designed by Architect Earl E Scherich, and May L Greenwood, builder.

14 – Roland Paul Residence Gates – 1986 W Washington Blvd – 1905 – Sumner P Hunt and Arthur Wesley Eager (Demolished)

Between a bicycle shop and a convalescence home are the gates to 1986 W Washington Blvd, which remain the only evidence that a home designed by Hunt & Eager once stood here. Originally commissioned by Mrs. R Fitzpatrick of Pico Blvd, in February of 1905, it was quickly turned over to pioneer Col Charles F Howland, who lived around the corner at 1902 S Harvard Blvd. He attempted to sell it in September, 1905, to Walter Rose, but the deal apparently fell through. In November, 1905, Col Howland successfully sold the home to Roland Paul.

15 – Elizabeth L Kenney Residence – 2012 W Washington Blvd – 1906 – Philip Gengembre Hubert (Attributed)

When this home was built, Philip Gengembre Hubert, celebrated New York City architect, was listed as the owner. It was most-likely designed by him on speculation. His residence was already established in 1903 at 2144 S Hobart Blvd. Hubert was responsible for designing many New York City landmarks, including the Chelsea Hotel, and after nearly 40 years in practice Hubert retired to Los Angeles, where he died in 1911. This home was sold to Elizabeth L Kenney, the second female to graduate the law department at Stanford University and continued her education at Northwestern University in Chicago. Kenney became the first practicing female attorney in Los Angeles in 1897, entering into practice with her uncle. The house, unfortunately, has been mistreated with a layer of stucco and aluminum windows. We can only hope evidence of the house’s original nature lies underneath.

16 – Commercial Block – 2034 W Washington Blvd (formerly the home of Nathaniel Dryden, 1902 S Harvard Blvd)

Evidence of how quickly Los Angeles was changing in the early 20th Century can be seen in this attractive commercial block. Nathaniel Dryden, an architect and engineer who built the Brand Library in Glendale and the Robinson Mansion in Beverly Hills, built his home on this corner in 1903. Just 20 years later it had been replaced by a commercial building already. Such was the value of land in the quick-growing city.

17 – Clara Pitt Durant Residence – 1909 S Harvard Blvd. 1908. Sumner P Hunt and Arthur Wesley Eager

Barely visible from the street, the current owners prefer to be hidden by the trees and shrubs. This large Craftsman home was designed by Hunt & Eager for Ms. Clara Pitt Durant. A divorcee from Michigan, Ms. Pitt took her settlement and began a new life in Los Angeles. The history of the house is recorded at: www.invisiblemanor.com

18 – Charles Clifford and Belle Case Gibbons Residence – 1915 S Oxford Ave – 1903 – Frank M Tyler.

This house, designed by Frank M Tyler, is unusual for the neighborhood because it is completely sheathed in shingles, including the front porch columns. It is a Transitional Victorian/Craftsman in the Shingle Style, with Colonial and Tudor touches. It was built for Charles Clifford Gibbons and Belle Case Gibbons, who came to Los Angeles in 1884. Mr. Gibbons worked his way to from stock boy to general manager of Hale’s Dry Goods Store. His employer, Jas M Hale was a relation of San Francisco’s Hale’s Bros. Department Store, the national chain. C C Gibbons died in 1910 after an illness and in 1912 the house was sold to Matt and Mary Conway. Matt Conway made his business in real estate and land speculation. Coincidentally, the third owner, Jon Fukuto, was also a proprietor of a chain of Los Angeles grocery stores call Jonson’s Supermarkets (the name being a play on words, combining “Jon” and “Sons”). In 1945, after being released from the Gila Internment Camp in Arizona, Mr. Fukuto moved his family to Los Angeles where he established the business.

09b – McClung Residence – 1959 La Salle Ave (E)
philadelphia traffic

Image by Kansas Sebastian
West Adams Heights

“Nowadays we scarcely notice the high stone gates which mark the entrances on Hobart, Harvard, and Oxford streets, south of Washington Boulevard. For one thing, the traffic is too heavy, too swift; and then, again, the gates have been obscured by intrusions of shops and stores. At the base of the stone pillars appears the inscription “West Adams Heights.” There was a time when these entranceways were formidable and haughty, for they marked the ways to one of the first elite residential areas in Los Angeles. . . In the unplanned early-day chaos of Los Angeles, West Adams Heights was obviously something very special, an island in an ocean of bungalows—approachable, but withdrawn and reclusive—one of the few surviving examples of planned urban elegance of the turn of the century.”

– Carey McWilliams, “The Evolution of Sugar Hill,” Script, March, 1949: 30.

Today West Adams Heights is still obviously something special. The past sixty years, however, have not been kind. In 1963 the Santa Monica Freeway cut through the heart of West Adams Heights, dividing the neighborhood, obscuring its continuity. In the 1970’s the city paved over the red brick streets and removed the ornate street lighting. After the neighborhood’s zoning was changed to a higher density, overzealous developers claimed several mansions for apartment buildings. Despite these challenges, however, “The Heights,” as the area was once known, has managed to regain some of its former elegance.

The West Adams Heights tract was laid out in 1902, in what was then a wheat field on the western edge of town. Although the freeway now creates an artificial barrier, the original neighborhood boundaries were Adams Boulevard, La Salle Ave, Washington Boulevard, and Western Avenue. Costly improvements were integrated into the development, such as 75-food wide boulevards (which were some of the first contoured streets not to follow the city grid), lots elevated from the sidewalk, ornate street lighting, and large granite monuments with red-brass electroliers at the entrance to every street. These upgrades increased the lot values, which helped ensure the tract would be an enclave for the elite.

One early real estate ad characterized the neighborhood stating: “West Adams Heights needs no introduction to the public: it is already recognized as being far superior to any other tract. Its high and slightly location, its beautiful view of the city and mountains make t a property unequaled by any other in the city.”

The early residents’ were required to sign a detailed restrictive covenant. This hand-written document required property owners to build a “first-class residence,” of at least two stories, costing no less than two-thousand dollars (at a time when a respectable home could be built for a quarter of that amount, including the land), and built no less than thirty-five feet from the property’s primary boundary. Common in early twentieth century, another clause excluded residents from selling or leasing their properties to non-Caucasians.

By the mid 1930’s, however, most of the restrictions had expired. Between 1938 and 1945 many prominent African-Americans began to make “The Heights” their home. According to Carey McWilliams, West Adams Heights became known “Far and wide as the famous Sugar Hill section of Los Angeles,” and enjoyed a clear preeminence over Washington’s smart Le Droit Park, St. Louis’s Enright Street, West Philadelphia, Chicago’s Westchester, and Harlem’s fabulous Sugar Hill.

West Adams Heights, now also known as Sugar Hill, played a major role in the Civil Rights movement in Los Angeles. In 1938 Norman Houston, president of the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company, and an African-American, purchased a home at 2211 South Hobart Boulevard. Legal Action from eight homeowners quickly ensued. During that period, other prominent African-Americans began to make Sugar Hill their home – including actress Hattie McDaniels, dentists John and Vada Summerville, actress Louise Beavers, band leader Johnny Otis, and performers Pearl Baily and Ethel Waters, and many more. On December 6, 1945, the “Sugar Hill Cases” were heard before Judge Thurmond Clark, in LA Superior Court. He made history by become the first judge in America to use the 14th Amendment to disallow the enforcement of covenant race restrictions. The Los Angeles Sentinel quoted Judge Clark: “This court is of the opinion that it is time that [African-Americans] are accorded, without reservations and evasions, the full rights guaranteed them under the 14th Amendment.” Gradually, over the last century people of nearly ever background have made historic West Adams their home.

The northern end of West Adams Heights is now protected as part of the Harvard Heights Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ). The Historic West Adams area of Los Angeles (which includes West Adams Heights) boasts the highest concentration of turn-of-the-century homes west of the Mississippi, as well as the highest concentration of National Historic Landmarks, National Register of Historic Places, National Historic Districts, State Historic Landmarks, Los Angeles Cultural-Historic Monuments, and Historic Preservation Overlay Zones in the city. The entirety of West Adams Heights should be nominated as a National Register Historic District, for the quality of homes, the prominence of the architects, notoriety of the people who lived in the neighborhood, and the role it played in civil rights.

Perhaps a quote adapted from a fireplace mantle in the Frederick Rindge mansion best symbolizes the optimism which exists in West Adams: “California Shall be Ours as Long as the Stars Remain.”

01 – Harvard Street Monument – Harvard Blvd & Washington Blvd, 1902.

Nearly destroyed by neglect and vandals over decades of inner city decay, the Harvard and Hobart Boulevard monuments were restored in 2002.

02 – Frank Southerland & Grace Pirtle Hutton, and John A Pirtle Residence – 2047 La Salle Ave – 1907

According to the property permit, the house was built for E B Spencer in 1906. Most likely he built this house on speculation (as he did two years earlier at 2039-2041 La Salle Ave), because according to the LA County Tax Assessor’s Office, John A Pirtle purchased this property in 1907. The same year there appears an article in the LA Herald announcing the engagement of Frank Southerland Hutton to Miss Grace Pirtle, who lived with her parents at 1819 S Union Ave, and their plans to build a house in Los Angeles after their honeymoon. Another 1907 article indicates the happy couple were married and moved into their new home on La Salle Ave. But, by 1909, they’ve moved to 1827 S Normandie and John A Pirtle is shown at the La Salle house. John Pirtle was a Southern California industrialist who appears to have made his fortune in the oil fields of Tennessee, Alabama, and Texas, through a company called the Beaumont Exchange and the Oriole Oil Company. He also speculated in water, with the West Los Angeles Water Company, West Side Water Company and the Glendale Consolidated Water Company. Frank Hutton was a well-known and respected Los Angeles lawyer, a partner of the firm Schweitzer and Hutton. This 1907 house is an unassuming looking American Craftsman bungalow, which hides its actual size. Beneath the long, low slung slope of the gable is a rather large house of 2-1/2 stories. The rounded, Colonial Revival styled balcony rail is an unusual feature.

03 – Robert K Wilson, J Frank & Virginia N Waters, and Mark & Mamie (May) E Phelps Residence – 2039-2041 La Salle Ave – 1905 – Frank Dale Hudson and Julius W Krause

Dutch Colonial in West Adams Heights is a rare architectural style, probably already deemed to be passé, but two examples exist nonetheless. The other Dutch is on South Hobart, built for C I D Moore, and is turned on its side, giving it a more Cotswold appearance. This Dutch Colonial is a straight-on interpretation of the vernacular. The architect of the house is reported to be Julius W Krause. Prior to 1895 Krause was partnered with Frank Dale Hudson, of the firm Hudson and Munsell. For a time Krause was also the Superintendent of Building for the City of Los Angeles. The original builder of this house was E B Spencer, however it’s obvious he built it in 1905 on speculation (just as he did two years later the house at 2047 La Salle Ave). This house was quickly sold the same year to Robert K Wilson who Just as quickly flipped it in 1907 to J Frank Waters. Six months later Waters sold the residence to Mark and Mamie (May) E Phelps. The Phelps’s lived at this resident until Mark’s death in 1924. Mark Phelps was described as a pioneer of Los Angeles, first finding success in mining, then as a live-stock dealer. He retired just 3 months before his death. By 1926 J E Phillips who was reported to be living at this address was arrested for smuggling Moonshine Whiskey in his car. In 1943, William J Morris, a building contractor, was the resident, according to his obituary.

04 – Wilbur Wells & Blanche Lillian Smith Keim Residence – 2033 La Salle Ave – 1904

Wilbur Wells Keim graduated from the Pharmacy School at UC Berkeley in 1902. He married Miss Blanche Lillian Smith in 1903. A large reception for the couple was held at the West Adams Heights mansion of Wesley W Beckett, 2218 S Harvard Blvd. The couple began building their house on La Salle in 1904. Keim opened a pharmacy with Edward R Neill (Keim-Neill Drug Co) just a few blocks away on the Southwest corner of Washington and Normandie, at 1890 W Washington Boulevard. Their daughter, Lorraine Keim was a 1925 graduate of USC and a member of the Kappa Alpha Sorority. The house itself is a mystery. The front porch is Craftsman. The eves under the second story and the overall shape appear to be Colonial Revival. The front door with the half sidelights and smaller window openings suggest an older structure which was moved to this location and remodeled. The effect, unfortunately, isn’t quite successful.

05 – William A & Rose H Jenkins Residence – 2029 La Salle Ave – 1909

Originally the address was 1949 La Salle Ave, but a reorganization of addresses by the city to make them more uniform changed it to 2029 La Salle Ave sometime around 1909-1910.

06 – Frank A & Marie C Von Violand Vickery Residence – 2025 La Salle Ave – 1909

When Frank A Vickery passed away he left a sizable estate. Numerous properties were advertised for auction in the February 28, 2014, issue of The California Outlook, including three in West Adams Heights (1947 La Salle Ave, 2017 La Salle Ave, and 2025 La Salle Ave). Vickery had purchased these unimproved lots in 1906 from the Gopher Land Company as investments and improved the lots. Frank Vickery was a mining industrialist with many interests, including the Pan-American Hardwoods Company in Mexico and the San Gabriel River Rock Company. The Vickery’s lived at 341 Andrews Blvd (S St Andrews Pl), in a 1907 mansion they built for ,000. According to the LA Times and LA Herald society pages, they entertained often. In May, 1910, the Vickery’s sold their St Andrews Pl home through the Althouse Brothers for ,000, to Mrs. Frederick Fischer, and relocated to their 2025 La Salle Ave home. After Frank Vickery’s death, auction, either the house didn’t sell at auction or his wide decided to continue living at the residence. The 1923-24 Southwestern Blue Book lists her at this location, with visiting on “Third Wednesdays. “ Mrs. Vickery was also a member of the Ebell and Friday Morning Clubs. Although this house must have been smaller and less opulent than their St Andrews Place residence, it is still a handsome American Craftsman home, with only minor alterations.

07 – Income property owned by Frank A Vickery – 2017 La Salle Ave – 1909

When Frank A Vickery passed away he left a sizable estate. Numerous properties were advertised for auction in the February 28, 2014, issue of The California Outlook, including three in West Adams Heights (1947 La Salle Ave, 2017 La Salle Ave, and 2025 La Salle Ave). Vickery had purchased these unimproved lots in 1906 from the Gopher Land Company as investments and improved the lots. Frank Vickery was a mining industrialist with many interests, including the Pan-American Hardwoods Company in Mexico and the San Gabriel River Rock Company. The house is American Craftsman, and the architect and builder was the Alfred E Georgian, Co.

08 – La Salle Ave Streetscape
Looking South on La Salle Ave (from left to right):
A. 2047 La Salle Ave – Hutton-Pirtle Residence
B. 2041 La Salle Ave – Phelps Residence
C. 2029 La Salle Ave – Hull Residence
D. 2033 La Salle Ave – Keim Residence
E. 2025 La Salle Ave – Frank A & Marie C Von Violand Vickery Residence
F. 2017 La Salle Ave – Income Property owned by Frank A Vickery

09 – Stanley Frederick & Sue A Shaffer McClung – 1959 La Salle Ave – 1905 – Robert Farquhar Train & Robert Edmund Williams

Imagine this house as it might have been in 1905: the long sloping roof of natural shingles, which would have matched the color of the shingled siding; ornate rails along the porch, widows weep, and above the bay window; a full chimney and no bars on the windows or doors. The effect would have been striking, and will again when the house is one day restored. It’s one of the most significant surviving houses on La Salle. It was designed by the architecture team of Robert Farquar Train and Robert Edmund Williams (Train & Williams), for Pacific Mutual Secretary Stanley F McClung. He was part of the “Old Company” forced out of power in the early 1930’s along with his brother-in-law George Ira Cochran.

10 – Income property owned by Frank A Vickery – 1947 La Salle Ave – 1909

When Frank A Vickery passed away he left a sizable estate. Numerous properties were advertised for auction in the February 28, 2014, issue of The California Outlook, including three in West Adams Heights (1947 La Salle Ave, 2017 La Salle Ave, and 2025 La Salle Ave). Vickery had purchased these unimproved lots in 1906 from the Gopher Land Company as investments and improved the lots. Frank Vickery was a mining industrialist with many interests, including the Pan-American Hardwoods Company in Mexico and the San Gabriel River Rock Company. The house is a handsome American Craftsman residence, making use of horizontal siding to make it appear wider.

11 – Evan G & Matilee Loeb Evans and William A & Rose H Haley Jenkins Residence – 1929 La Salle Ave – 1903 – Allied Arts Co

This home is American Craftsman designed in 1903 by The Allied Arts Co (as was its neighbor at 1919 La Salle Ave), a prominent architecture firm responsible for many LA landmarks, including the recently restored Hall of Justice. A J Carlson was the contractor. Evan G Evans, from Chicago, IL, arrived in Los Angeles in the late 1990’s, and married Matilee Loeb in 1898. The Mr & Mrs Evans were prominent in the society pages. The second owner, William (Will) Jenkins, was like many of his neighbors, a Capitalist. Jenkins appears to have had his hand in many enterprises, including the Madera Canal & Irrigation Company. Mrs. Jenkins passed away August 5, 1933, at her home at 148 S Irving Blvd, survived by her husband.

12 – John H & Evangeline “Eva” Rose Clark Tupper and Thomas M & Mary P Sloan Residence – 1919 La Salle Ave – 1903 – Allied Arts Co

John H and Wilbur S Tupper were born in Evansville, Wisconsin, the children of John H and Mary Sophia Foster Tupper. In the 1800’s the brothers relocated in San Francisco found themselves in the insurance industry. Wilbur Tupper became Vice-President of Conservative Life and again both brothers moved to Los Angeles. Wilbur was destined for success and after the death of then-president Frederick Hastings Rindge, he became president of both Conservative Life and Pacific Mutual (founded by Leland Stanford). Wilbur’s house was located at 2237 S Harvard Blvd and John’s at 1919 La Salle Ave, within the same tract. In 1906 Wilbur suddenly resigned from the company in scandal involving another woman (not his wife). He fled to Chicago, abandoning his wife and position. His brother John probably suffered for his brother’s indiscretion, which may help explain his sudden departure from the neighborhood and the sale of his house to Thomas M Sloan. About the same time Thomas Sloan had been promoted to Assistant General Freight Agent of the Sante Fe Railroad. This transitional Victorian/Craftsman house was designed in 1903 by the Allied Arts Co, (as was its neighbor at 1929 La Salle Ave), a prominent architecture firm responsible for many LA landmarks, including the recently restored Hall of Justice. A J Carlson was the contractor.

13 – Charles Kraft Residence – 1913 La Salle Ave – 1913 – Earl E Scherich

A more modest and later addition to the neighborhood, this 1913 Craftsman Bungalow was built for Charles Kraft, Vice-President of the J C Huggins Co, a brokerage and loan company. The home was designed by Architect Earl E Scherich, and May L Greenwood, builder.

14 – Roland Paul Residence Gates – 1986 W Washington Blvd – 1905 – Sumner P Hunt and Arthur Wesley Eager (Demolished)

Between a bicycle shop and a convalescence home are the gates to 1986 W Washington Blvd, which remain the only evidence that a home designed by Hunt & Eager once stood here. Originally commissioned by Mrs. R Fitzpatrick of Pico Blvd, in February of 1905, it was quickly turned over to pioneer Col Charles F Howland, who lived around the corner at 1902 S Harvard Blvd. He attempted to sell it in September, 1905, to Walter Rose, but the deal apparently fell through. In November, 1905, Col Howland successfully sold the home to Roland Paul.

15 – Elizabeth L Kenney Residence – 2012 W Washington Blvd – 1906 – Philip Gengembre Hubert (Attributed)

When this home was built, Philip Gengembre Hubert, celebrated New York City architect, was listed as the owner. It was most-likely designed by him on speculation. His residence was already established in 1903 at 2144 S Hobart Blvd. Hubert was responsible for designing many New York City landmarks, including the Chelsea Hotel, and after nearly 40 years in practice Hubert retired to Los Angeles, where he died in 1911. This home was sold to Elizabeth L Kenney, the second female to graduate the law department at Stanford University and continued her education at Northwestern University in Chicago. Kenney became the first practicing female attorney in Los Angeles in 1897, entering into practice with her uncle. The house, unfortunately, has been mistreated with a layer of stucco and aluminum windows. We can only hope evidence of the house’s original nature lies underneath.

16 – Commercial Block – 2034 W Washington Blvd (formerly the home of Nathaniel Dryden, 1902 S Harvard Blvd)

Evidence of how quickly Los Angeles was changing in the early 20th Century can be seen in this attractive commercial block. Nathaniel Dryden, an architect and engineer who built the Brand Library in Glendale and the Robinson Mansion in Beverly Hills, built his home on this corner in 1903. Just 20 years later it had been replaced by a commercial building already. Such was the value of land in the quick-growing city.

17 – Clara Pitt Durant Residence – 1909 S Harvard Blvd. 1908. Sumner P Hunt and Arthur Wesley Eager

Barely visible from the street, the current owners prefer to be hidden by the trees and shrubs. This large Craftsman home was designed by Hunt & Eager for Ms. Clara Pitt Durant. A divorcee from Michigan, Ms. Pitt took her settlement and began a new life in Los Angeles. The history of the house is recorded at: www.invisiblemanor.com

18 – Charles Clifford and Belle Case Gibbons Residence – 1915 S Oxford Ave – 1903 – Frank M Tyler.

This house, designed by Frank M Tyler, is unusual for the neighborhood because it is completely sheathed in shingles, including the front porch columns. It is a Transitional Victorian/Craftsman in the Shingle Style, with Colonial and Tudor touches. It was built for Charles Clifford Gibbons and Belle Case Gibbons, who came to Los Angeles in 1884. Mr. Gibbons worked his way to from stock boy to general manager of Hale’s Dry Goods Store. His employer, Jas M Hale was a relation of San Francisco’s Hale’s Bros. Department Store, the national chain. C C Gibbons died in 1910 after an illness and in 1912 the house was sold to Matt and Mary Conway. Matt Conway made his business in real estate and land speculation. Coincidentally, the third owner, Jon Fukuto, was also a proprietor of a chain of Los Angeles grocery stores call Jonson’s Supermarkets (the name being a play on words, combining “Jon” and “Sons”). In 1945, after being released from the Gila Internment Camp in Arizona, Mr. Fukuto moved his family to Los Angeles where he established the business.