FOR AN INTRODUCTION TO WINDSOR SQUARE, CLICK HERE

South Arden Boulevard
300 block




300


  • Tract 2136 addition to Windsor Square; Lot 32
  • Built in 1979; BP for house and attached garage issued 10-4-1978
  • Original commissioners: Mr. and Mrs. Randy Ellis
  • Architect: Reed & Reed
  • Lot 32 appears to have remained vacant from the earliest days of Windsor Square—the original tract opened in 1911—until the construction of 300






301


  • Tract 2136 addition to Windsor Square; Lot 1
  • Built in 1921; BPs for house and garage issued 9-1-1921
  • Original commissioner: bakery executive William Maitland Beamish
  • Architect: Frank M. Tyler
  • Contractor: William Maitland Beamish
  • Mr. Beamish's sister, Alethea Davis, is said to have started a bakery in her kitchen after she arrived in Los Angeles from the East Coast with various family members in 1903; the Davis Standard Bread Company and retail Davis Perfection Bakery chain grew from these beginnings to employ 700 Angelenos by 1935. Mrs. Davis, her husband John, and her three brothers were all principals in the company; William Maitland Beamish was the secretary-treasurer
  • The house was built quickly; the Los Angeles Times reported on 1-10-1922 that "Mr. and Mrs. William Maitland Davis are now domiciled in their new home at 301 Arden Boulevard"
  • Beamish added a sun porch to 301 in 1922 (BP issued 11-6-1922)
  • The Beamishes divorced by the end of the decade and left 301; Mrs. Beamish was listed in the 1932 Los Angeles city directory as a "widow"—a common practice of divorcées of the day, apparently to either save face or subtly wish the former spouse dead; Mr. Beamish had only moved to the Jonathan Club
  • A very pretty American Colonial house by a well-known architect, 301 South Arden is unfortunately today almost completely obscured by vegetation







310


  • Tract 2136 addition to Windsor Square; Lot 31
  • Built in 1920; BPs for house and garage issued 5-17-1920
  • Original commissioner: railroad executive Albert S. Edmonds
  • Architect: not specified on original BPs; as in many such cases, the designer was often a draftsman in the contractor's organization
  • Contractor: Stanton, Reed & Hibbard (Forrest Q. Stanton, Harold E. Reed, and Lester H. Hibbard; the latter is listed as architect on some building records pertaining to the firm's projects such as the 1929 garage of 332 South Plymouth Boulevard)
  • Acquired from Edmonds in 1923 by land developer Brian Kennicott Welch, who enlarged the garage in 1924 (BP issued 4-18-1924) and the house later the same year when architect Raymond J. Kieffer was hired to add four rooms and otherwise enlarge it (BP issued 9-17-1924)
  • Welch was inexplicably issued a BP for another garage on the property on 8-23-1928; this appears not to have been built as later BPs indicate only the original house and garage
  • Welch left 310 in 1939







311


  • Tract 2136 addition to Windsor Square; Lot 2
  • Built in 1920; BPs for house and garage issued 12-23-1919
  • Original commissioner, architect, and contractor yet to be verified
  • BPs for 311 were issued on the same day as were those for 317 South Arden next door; the two projects appear to be the work of one of several construction firms who built Windsor Square houses on spec
  • Automobile dealer Louis E. Warner was the first to occupy 311; by 1923, it had become the home of William G. Heberling, who was associated with EMSCO; Heverling stayed until 1930
  • O'Melveny & Myers partner Maynard J. Toll was in residence by 1936; he would remain until moving to 414 South Irving Boulevard by 1944


Offered for sale in 1990: As seen in the Times of May 20, 311 South Arden had become part
of adjoining Hancock Park; such "relocations" were part of a heinous plot by real estate
 interests to eradicate the identity of the older, somewhat dowdier, Windsor Square.
  






316


  • Tract 2136 addition to Windsor Square; Lot 30
  • Built in 1915; BPs for house and garage issued 8-20-1915
  • Original commissioner: real estate investor William A. De Groot
  • Architect and contractor: Lewis C. Carlisle
  • De Groot appears to have lived at 316 for about two years before selling it; his next neighborhood project was down the street at 448 South Arden Boulevard
  • De Groot sold the house to Dr. and Mrs. Allie Lee Pendergrass; Dr. Pendergrass died on October 19 of that year, leaving his wife and three young sons. She appears to have retained ownership of 316 but to have remarried, was then separated or again widowed, and was by 1930 living with her children in a rented apartment on Cloverdale Avenue, having leased 316 to Carrie Preetorious, widow of St. Louis Times publisher Edward Preetorious. Twenty years later, the three Pendergrass brothers were living together back at 316 South Arden though without their mother. A later owner was Union Pacific purchasing agent Robert H. Adams, who died in the house on 11-8-1953







317


  • Tract 2136 addition to Windsor Square; Lot 3
  • Built in 1920; BPs for house and garage issued 12-23-1919
  • Original commissioner, architect, and contractor yet to be verified
  • BPs for 317 were issued on the same day as were those for 311 South Arden next door; the two projects appear to be the work of one of several construction firms who built Windsor Square houses on spec
  • Oil operator Edgar A. Doran was the first to occupy 317; he had the garage widened 14" in 1921. The BP for this alteration was issued on 5-18-1921, citing Harry H. Whiteley as the architect; this may be a clue as to the original architect of the house
  • One of Doran's daughters, Florence, was married in the house on 10-1-1921
  • Doran bought an existing house at 203 North Plymouth Boulevard in 1925 and placed 317 on the market; he died at his new residence on 1-11-1927







322


  • Tract 2136 addition to Windsor Square; Lot 29
  • Built in 1922; BPs issued 9-3-1921
  • Original commissioner: builder Harry G. Robbins, for resale
  • Architect: The Garden City Company of California, a family partnership of the sons of well-known Baltimore architect Frank E. Davis—the already locally established Walter S. and F. Pierpont Davis—and Frank's brother with whom he had practiced in the East, Henry R. Davis
  • Contractor: Harry G. Robbins
  • Robbins lived briefly at 322 before selling it to Saul Magnus, a restaurateur who would become a screenwriter; Magnus died in the house on 11-15-1936. Mrs. Magnus left by 1938
  • The house was soon sold to entertainment lawyer George Washington Cohen, who remained until at least 1969. Cohen died on 12-27-1971; according to his obituary in Variety two days later, he was known as the "father of motion picture contracts" and was one of the 13 original incorporators of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences







325


  • Tract 2136 addition to Windsor Square; Lot 4
  • Built in 1920; BPs for house and garage issued 3-25-1920
  • Original commissioner: Theresa F. Lowenstein, wife of real estate operator Milton W. Lowenstein
  • Architect: Robert D. Jones in partnership with Sanson M. Cooper acting as contractor
  • Lowenstein was in business with his brother-in-law, Harry S. Freiberg, who built his own house a block south at the same time that 325 was constructed; 432 South Arden Boulevard was also designed and built by the team of Robert D. Jones and Sanson M. Cooper
  • Lowenstein truncated his family's name to "Low" between 1940 and 1942
  • Milton W. Low died in Los Angeles on 9-20-1978, still listed in the city directory at 325 South Arden; Theresa Freiberg Low died in Los Angeles on 4-27-1981
  • Theresa Freiberg Low's father, Henry Freiberg—also associated with the family real estate interests—built a third similar Jones/Cooper design at 333 South Arden, next door to 325. BPs for both 333 and 325 were issued on the same day; 325, 333, and 432 South Arden have very similar massing, with façades that vary only in detail







332


  • Tract 2136 addition to Windsor Square; Lot 28
  • Built in 1920; BPs for house and garage issued 3-19-1920
  • Original commissioner: John McPeak, secretary of the Union Oil Company of California
  • Architect/builder: Norman J. Nelson
  • John McPeak collapsed and died suddenly while shopping at a downtown store on 6-20-1934
  • William R. McPeak, the 25-year-old second of three McPeak sons and an army pilot in 1942, attempted suicide in a bathroom at 332 on July 19 of that year by shooting himself in the chest over a broken engagement; he was found by his mother. Lieutenant McPeak survived and married another woman on 8-21-1946
  • Eldest son John F. McPeak was married at 332 South Arden on 1-5-1946
  • Ella McPeak remained at 332 until at least 1960; she died in Los Angeles on 7-13-1963 






333

  • Tract 2136 addition to Windsor Square; Lot 5
  • Built in 1920; BPs for house and garage issued 3-25-1920
  • Original commissioner: Emma J. Freiberg, wife of Henry Freiberg
  • Architect: Robert D. Jones in partnership with Sanson M. Cooper acting as contractor
  • Henry Frieberg was associated with the real estate partnership of his son, Harry S. Freiberg, and his son-in-law Milton W. Lowenstein. All three men employed the Jones/Cooper construction team to build very similar houses at the same time on Arden Boulevard; Lowenstein's house was next door to Henry's at 325 (the BPs for both residences were issued on the same day); Harry's was a block south at 432







340


  • Tract 2136 addition to Windsor Square; Lot 27
  • Built in 1916; BPs for house and garage issued 3-22-1916
  • Original commissioners: Herbert W., Forrest Q., and Edwin L. Stanton, partners in the real estate development company started by their father, Chappel Q. Stanton; within a year, it would be known as The Stanton-Reed Company and soon after that as Stanton, Reed & Hibbard
  • Architect: Anton Reif
  • Contractor: the Stanton organization
  • Edwin L. Stanton appears to have lived in the house before its sale in 1919 to real estate investor Julius J. La Bonte, who is credited with developing commercial Larchmont Boulevard


As seen in the Times on 9-14-1919 at the time of its sale to real estate investor Julius J. La Bonte;
he enlarged the garage in 1920, hiring Stanton, Reed & Hibbard to do the work, and in 1924
converted a screen porch into a sunroom. Although the change is today obscured
by the work of an out-of-control landscaper, what appears to have once been
a recessed entrance portico has been altered to a less pleasing design.







341


  • Tract 2136 addition to Windsor Square; Lot 6
  • Built in 1916; BPs for house, garage, and chauffeur's quarters issued 2-16-1916
  • Original commissioner: real estate investor and dealer John B. Althouse
  • Architect: Frank M. Tyler
  • Contractor: John B. Althouse
  • Althouse moved into 341 upon completion; after his next project at 268 South Van Ness Avenue was finished two years later—also designed by Tyler—he moved there and offered 341 for sale
  • The Los Angeles Times reported on 4-13-1919 that Althouse had recently sold 341 to Harriet S. Newland, wife of stockbroker Edward H. Newland
  • The Times reported on 9-17-1922 that Newland had sold 341 to William A. Faris, secretary-treasurer of Faris-Walker, proprietors of the downtown department store known as the Fifth Street Store


As seen in the Los Angeles Times on 9-17-1922 at the time of its sale to Edward H. Faris;
what was once delineated architecturally as a porte-cochère has been remodeled so
as to now appear as an afterthought of a garage punched into the façade.







347


  • Tract 2136 addition to Windsor Square; Lot 7
  • Built in 1920; BP for house issued 5-5-1920; for garage 6-4-1920
  • Original commissioner: Charles B. Bergin, vice president and secretary of the Los Angeles Soap Company
  • Architect: Joe M. Estep, a longtime associate of Arthur R. Kelly
  • Contractor: William Kirk
  • After Bergin retired in 1928, he divorced his wife and married a woman 26 years his junior, much to his family's dismay (a brother sought to declare him incompetent and in danger of spending all his money on her); the new Mr. and Mrs. Bergin put 347 on the market and moved to Beverly Hills 
  • Purchased in 1929 by newspaperman, magazine editor (Photoplay), and film story editor Julian Johnson and his wife; Johnson had once been the main squeeze of famous vaudevillian-turned-nightclub-owner Texas Guinan. Johnson became the head of the story department at Twentieth Century–Fox in 1932 and remained until his retirement in 1957. He was still living at 347 South Arden when he died there on 11-12-1965
  • Original garage demolished and replaced in 2014 (demolition BP and BP for new building both issued 8-21-2014)
  • On the market in January 2017 (following a bankruptcy) for $7,700,000







348


  • Tract 2136 addition to Windsor Square; southerly 60' of Lot 26
  • Built in 1936; BP for house issued 3-26-1936
  • Original commissioner: Ora Rowe Thom, widow of real estate operator Erskine Pembroke Thom, whose father Cameron Erskine Thom had been the mayor of Los Angeles from December 1882 to December 1884
  • Architect: Edwin Westberg
  • Contractor: Ralph Holden
  • Mrs. Thom died on 9-5-1950; three weeks later, on 9-28-1950, her daughter Rowena Thom Rathbone was issued a BP to add a garage to the property
  • The house was offered for rent, furnished, in the summer of 1953; it was offered for sale in late 1958 as "perfect for small family"







353


  • Tract 2136 addition to Windsor Square; Lot 8
  • Built in 1920; BPs for house and garage issued 1-6-1920
  • House was originally numbered 355, alteration for unknown reasons to 353 occuring between 1976 and 1985
  • Original commissioner: Lillian H. Ducommun, wife of Charles A. Ducommun, president of the hardware company that has evolved into the aerospace firm of today
  • Architect: Robert D. Jones in partnership with Sanson M. Cooper acting as contractor
  • Charles A. Ducommun died in the house on 2-6-1934; Mrs. Ducommun remained in the house until her death on 7-10-1951







354


  • Tract 2136 addition to Windsor Square; Lot 25
  • Built in 1920; BPs for house and garage issued 7-13-1920
  • Original commissioner: businessman William B. Bohn
  • Architects: Larralde & Barber (Joseph A. Larralde and William Barber)
  • Contractor: George May
  • Bohn expanded the pantry and added a sunroom in 1925 (BP issued 7-7-1925)
  • The well-known Bohn Syphon Refrigerator had been developed by W. B. Bohn's father; W. B. moved to Los Angeles in 1911 to open a branch of the concern
  • When his nephew Haskell Bohn was kidnapped in July 1932, W. B. Bohn negotiated successfully with his captors. Haskell's father was Gebhard Bohn II, who ran the company in St. Paul
  • The Bohns left 354 in the 1940s and resettled in Brentwood
  • The original garage was replaced in 1966 (demolition BP issued 4-20-1966) with a new garage and "rumpus room" (BP issued 3-30-1966)







Illustrations: Private Collection; LAT