South Windsor Boulevard
400 block

400 South Windsor Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 86
  • Built in 1924; BPs for house and garage issued 5-14-1924. While these give the address as 404, it appears to have been designated 400 before completion
  • Original commissioner: Joseph Kaiser, a successful Madison, Wisconsin, dry-goods merchant, who arrived in Los Angeles in 1912
  • Architect: Ellet P. Parcher
  • Contractor: Joseph Kaiser
  • Joseph Kaiser died on 8-27-1933; the house was on the market a year later for $26,500 ($471,000 in 1916 dollars)
  • Kaiser's older of two sons Irvin was robbed in the driveway of 400 on 5-29-1925 by a bandit who arrived in a taxi that waited for him to complete the deed. Irvin Kaiser became a well-known automobile dealer in Los Angeles and would later build 99 Fremont Place; he and his brother Harold owned Kaiser Brothers Oldsmobile for decades. Harold Kaiser bought 540 South Rossmore Avenue in Hancock Park in 1938

401 South Windsor Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 53
  • Built in 1920; BP for garage issued 1-16-1920 (under the address "405 Windsor Boulevard"); for house 2-2-1920
  • Original commissioner: lumber dealer Charles W. Bohnhoff
  • Architect: William S. Garrett
  • Contractor: Alex Grant
  • In 1932 Charles and Hattie Bohnhoff were living at 401 with their son Clarence and his wife Elta, who moved into the house from their own after 1930; while the circumstances are unclear, 401 was being advertised for sale in a bank liquidation in September 1933
  • Mr. and Mrs. Alonzo Merritt Fayram were in residence by the end of 1933; they made small additions in 1934. Alonzo and Rachel Fisher Fayram separated later in the decade; an advertisement appeared in the Los Angeles Times on 3-12-1939 stating that the owner of 401 "wants to liquidate...immediately." (Lon, as he was known, would be sharing a house with his partner C. Morris Thomas; they are buried together at Forest Lawn. Although she would retain her second husband's name, Rachel would in future be listed in directories as a widow. The Fayrams' son, Richard—who'd been born to Rachel and her first husband, Clyde Yerge—would grow up to be a noted atomic scientist before he died of complications of chicken pox in 1956, age 36)
  • "Mrs. Fisher Fayram," as she now styled herself, was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Harrison Fisher of 3043 Wilshire Boulevard
  • The contents of the house, including "davenports, love seats, and knickknacks," was auctioned off on February 19, 1940
  • Financier and rancher Robert McJohnston Jardine and his wife, Helena, were in residence by early 1943. Still living at 401, Mrs. Jardine died in Los Angeles on 8-19-1964. Mr. Jardine left the house not long after
  • Architecture photographer Max Eckert and his partner, interior designer Jack Lowrance, decorated numerous Southern California houses in a high-Houston style, including their own. After doing their number on 523 Muirfield Road in Hancock Park in the late 1970s, they flipped it and did the same with 401 South Windsor Boulevard

401 South Windsor Boulevard as seen before a south-side second-floor addition, window deletions
above the entrance porch, and revisions to its Italianate under-eave brackets.

An auction of the lavish furnishings of 401 South Windsor
was advertised in the Los Angeles Times on 2-18-1940. Below: An
image of the house appeared in the Times on 9-13-1981, with a description
of Charles Bohnhoff's careful supervision of the quality of the oak, walnut,
and mahogany used and his attention to construction details. Noted
also were the bowling alley and screens original to the house.

414 South Windsor Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 85
  • Built in 1920; BPs for house and garage issued 11-10-1919
  • Original commissioner: Sanson M. Cooper for his own firm on spec
  • Architect: Robert D. Jones in partnership with Sanson M. Cooper acting as contractor
  • Sold soon after completion to investment broker Beecher Laswell, who died in the house on 10-16-1933
  • In 1923, Beecher Laswell and his son Roger Laswell were charged with assault on Episcopalian minister Robert Gooden, the latter's headmaster at Harvard Military School; charges were later dropped. Roger became an uncredited bit actor in B movies; he was married and divorced twice and died at age 47

The S. M. Cooper Company advertised 414 South Windsor
in Los Angeles Herald classifieds during the summer of
1920; the house was often promoted with other of
Cooper's speculative Windsor Square projects

such as 444 South Irving Boulevard.

415 South Windsor Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 54
  • Built in 1920; BP for house issued 6-28-1920; for garage 7-14-1920
  • Original commissioner: retiree Jefferson L. Byrne
  • Architect and contractor: The Frank Meline Company
  • Byrne sold 415 to Joseph Toplitzky, a prominent real estate operator and financier, theater owner, philanthropist and civic booster, in 1923
  • Toplitzky immediately hired the firm of Morgan, Walls & Morgan (Octavius Morgan, John A. Walls, and Octavius Weller Morgan) to add a bath and to enclose a porch with glass (BP issued 10-11-1923)
  • In 1927, Toplitzky again hired the Morgan firm—now Morgan, Walls & Clements (Stiles O. and Robert O. Clements now in the partnership)—to add a bedroom, bath, and dressing room (BP issued 7-29-1927)
  • After suffering from a kidney disorder for six weeks, Toplitzky died at 415 South Windsor on 9-2-1935, age 46
  • 415 South Windsor was sold to land developer Robert Lee Watson, who was in residence by 1938. Watson was a descendant of the pioneering Dominguez family of Southern California; he was an officer in the the Dominguez Estate Company, the Dominguez Water Company, and his own Watson Land Company
  • Watson died at 415 on 5-25-1939; his widow, Louisa P. Watson, remained in the house into the 1960s

Seen in the Los Angeles Times on 7-25-1920,
above. Below, 415 South Windsor is seen from the rear
on 10-7-1923 at the time of its first sale.

The front hall of 415 was featured in an architectural review in the Times on 3-1-1925

424 South Windsor Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 84
  • Built in 1921; BPs for house and garage issued 3-30-1921
  • Original commissioner: insurance executive William Monroe McGee
  • Architect and contractor: The Frank Meline Company
  • McGee added a sunroom to the rear of the house in 1928 (BP issued 8-29-1928)
  • McGee's wife, Nellie, died on 6-28-1940; he left 424 several years later to remarry before he died in 1950. The house was turned over to his son by a previous marriage, William H. McGee (also an insurance man), who remained until his divorce  and remarriage in 1956; succeeding him was investment banker Mark Davids and Mrs. Davids, moving east from Brentwood

425 South Windsor Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 55
  • Built in 1915; BPs for house and garage issued 1-2-1915
  • Original commissioner: Sheda Lowman Kline, 24-year-daughter of the late Isaac and Amy Lowman of 3087 Wilshire Boulevard; in March of the previous year, Sheda had married attorney Eugene F. Kline 
  • Architect: Meyer & Holler a.k.a. the Milwaukee Building Company
  • Contractor: The Milwaukee Building Company
  •  The Klines stayed only briefly at 425 before moving to Brentwood, a new development even farther flung than Windsor Square, the latter in what was then called the "West End" of Los Angeles; the house was sold in the spring of 1916 to Don A. Goodwin, a hotelier based in Akron, Ohio
  • In May 1916, Goodwin hired the Milwaukee Building Company to make alterations including the conversion of a patio into a breakfast room, a sleeping porch into a bathroom, and attic space into a bedroom and sunroom
  • On 4-17-1919, the Los Angeles Record reported that Kitty Gordon, the well-known English stage actress, skipped town owing $500 rent on her home at 425 South Windsor Boulevard, taking 40 trunks but leaving behind a Russian wolfhound
  • By 1922, 425 South Windsor Boulevard was being rented by Isabella Rintoul Knapp, who would remain until the completion of her new house at 400 South Hudson Avenue in Hancock Park in late 1924
  • Sold in the spring of 1929 to Edward A. Dickson, editor and publisher of the Los Angeles Evening Express; Dickson was moving from a house he had built at 510 South Lucerne Boulevard in 1920 

The Los Angeles Times of 6-18-1916 featured 425 at the time of its sale to Don A. Goodwin

434 South Windsor Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 83 (and, until 1962, the northerly 50' of Lot 82)
  • Built in 1912; BP for house issued 7-12-1912; for garage 2-24-1913
  • Original commissioner: real estate developer Dr. Edwin Janss
  • Architect: J. Martyn Haenke. Haenke and William J. Dodd began practicing together at about the time the first BP was issued for 434 and appear to have collaborated on a second Janss project around the corner at 455 Lorraine Boulevard; Dodd was not granted his license to practice architecture in California until May 1913
  • Contractor: George B. Evans
  • The Janss family, who were subdividing in parts of eastern Los Angeles city and county and in Orange County, and who would go on to develop Westwood, were planning a residential compound for themselves on six Windsor Square lots, with Fifth Street as the southern border, between Windsor and Lorraine boulevards. (A seventh lot was purchased across Windsor for a communal garage.) Janss Investment Company partners were Edwin, Harold, and Herman Janss and their father Dr. Peter Janss, along with the latter's son-in-law Harold H. Braly; the intention was for Haenke to build four houses in the compound for all but Herman. Only 434 South Windsor and 455 Lorraine were completed; perhaps the family began to think better of working together as well as living together, a lovely dynastic idea that seldom pleases a majority for long. It could also be that other Los Angeles neighborhoods, leafier and less rectilinear and suburban, called, the family instead seeing a chance to drop the compound plan and flip their Windsor Square holdings. Edwin and Herman would wind up near each other in Los Feliz by 1923
  • 434 South Windsor was sold to oil operator Frederick O. Funk in 1918, who remained until 1934; his daughter Dellvera was married at 434 on 10-12-1922
  • Next sold to brain surgeon Dr. Hans Von Briesen, who remained until 1960
  • Briesen or the next owner sold off the southerly 50' of the property—the northerly half of Lot 82—by 1962, on which 444 South Windsor was built that year. Also that year a garden pergola was moved from the sold-off parcel to Lot 83 (0.41 acres) and a carport added (BPs issued 3-28-1962; carport demolished 2014)
  • A major renovation begun in 2014 was completed in August 2016; the house was placed on the market that month for the ambitious Westside price of $12,995,000

The Edwin Janss house is seen above nearing
completion in late 1912 and below in the Los Angeles Times
on 1-5-1913; the upper and lower porches seen at the southeast
corner of the house were enclosed by the second owner in 1919.
The garden rendered in the Times drawing was on a parcel sold
off in 1962 and replaced with 444 South Windsor.

The Janss house appeared in the comedy short Somebody Lied (released on April 5, 1917); it is
seen here from the porte-cochère of 435 South Windsor, details of which appear just below.

435 South Windsor Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 56
  • Completed in 1915; BP for house issued 11-25-1914; for garage 12-15-1914
  • Original commissioner: Sadie M. Behrendt, wife of insurance executive Sam Behrendt
  • Architect and contractor: Meyer & Holler, a.k.a. the Milwaukee Building Company
  • Some detail of the exterior of 435 appears in the 1917 comedy short Somebody Lied, starring Priscilla Dean and Harry Carter, one image of which is seen in the description of 434 South Windsor above. (Ninety years later the house appeared in the perhaps even less remembered Fracture, starring Ryan Gosling and Rosamund Pike)
  • Mr. and Mrs. Behrendt remained in the house until 1928, when they moved to the Biltmore
  • Succeeding the Behrendts was automotive parts manufacturer Edwin Locksley Stanton; he was a partner in the Vickers Manufacturing Company, founded in Los Angeles in 1921. Stanton remained in California when Vickers moved to Detroit in 1929 (the company is now part of the Eaton Corporation). Stanton turned to oil and cattle ranching
  • In 1936, Stanton hired his brother's contracting firm, Stanton-Reed, to enlarge a room and add a fireplace. (BP issued 3-17-1936; Forrest Stanton's company was the builder of many Windsor Square houses)
  • Still living at 435 South Windsor, Stanton died in the house on 6-5-1963. His obituary in the Los Angeles Times reported that in 1937 he had bought most of Santa Cruz Island in the Channel Islands, where he ran a cattle operation
  • Mrs. Stanton, née Evelyn Carey, was still living at 435 when she died in Los Angeles on 11-20-1973
  • In recent decades 435 South Windsor Boulevard has been owned by interior designer Suzanne Rheinstein. Simpler post-Edwardian styles by way of the restrained eye of Elsie de Wolfe and W. & J. Sloane were coming into fashion by the time the house was completed and would generally have been the sort favored by the upper-middle-class builders in suburban Windsor Square; the house that Sam and Sadie Behrendt moved into in 1915 is now decorated in an opulent, arguably even more superannuated style (a video tour of which is here) that will appeal to some and drive others to run for a Case Study house or an Arts District loft

444 South Windsor Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; northerly 50' of Lot 82
  • Built in 1962: BP for house and attached garage issued 9-20-1962
  • Original commissioner: Lis I. Schlueter, wife of insurance agent Herman J. Schlueter
  • Architect and contractor: none indicated on BP
  • The northerly 50' of Lot 82 is the result of the subdivision of property once attached to 434 South Windsor (the southerly 50' of Lot 82 is attached to 454 South Windsor)
  • Still living at 444, Mrs. Schlueter died in Los Angeles on 6-29-1978; Mr. Schlueter, known as Pete, was a member of the boards of the Los Angeles County Arboretum and the Huntington Library; he later remarried a woman born the same month that the BP for 444 was issued. He died in Los Angeles on 10-13-1992 at age 70. The Schlueter family still owns the house

445 South Windsor Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 57
  • Built in 1912; BP for house issued 4-20-1912; for "barn" 5-23-1912
  • Original commissioner: Charles S. Hall, a builder, apparently on spec; Hall entered the chemical business after 445 was built
  • Architect: Frank M. Tyler
  • Contractor: Charles S. Hall
  • One of the earliest houses to be built in Windsor Square, 445 was sold during or soon after completion to retired Isle of Man–born contractor Daniel Teare, late of San Francisco
  • Still living at 445, Daniel Teare died in Los Angeles on 10-22-1932
  • Mrs. Teare, née Jane C. Kneale, died in Riverside on 10-28-1933
  • 445 South Windsor was on the market in late 1935 for $22,000
  • Attorney James P. Fitzpatrick was the next owner, in residence by 1938; he would remain at 445 for more than 30 years

The front porch and porte-cochère of 445 had its Craftsman detail
 stripped away during a period of the style's disfavor; the original design appeared
in the comedy short Somebody Lied, released on April 5, 1917.

454 South Windsor Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 81 and southerly 50' of Lot 82
  • Built in 1918; BPs for house and garage issued 8-3-1918
  • Original commissioner: retired Iowa capitalist James P. Martin
  • Architect and contractor: Frank L. Meline
  • In 1922, Martin sold the house to cafeteria-chain executive Henry Boos
  • In 1926, Boos exchanged houses with confectioner Walter M. Petitfils; Petitfils moved into 454 and Boos into 545 South Plymouth Boulevard
  • In 1927, Petitfils sold 454 to New York banker and industrialist Edgar L. Marston. The first Mrs. Marston had died in in 1923, with Mr. Marston marrying the considerably younger divorcée Ann Treadway Ellis two years later. The Marstons made a number of alterations to 454 in 1927 (BP issued 8-10-1927) and 1928 (BP issued 10-23-1928). On New Years Day 1932, Marston's twice-divorced 32-year-old daughter Jennie Francis Marston Adams Burgard married Metropolitan Opera baritone Lawrence Tibbett. Tibbett is frequently mentioned as having lived at 454, but he was in fact based in New York. Edgar L. Marston died in Los Angeles on 9-23-1935
  • Following her separation from John Barrymore in 1935, actress Dolores Costello moved from Beverly Hills with her two young children temporarily to 605 South Irving Boulevard; contrary to many reports, Barrymore did not live there or at 454 South Windsor, which Costello bought from Ann Marston in November 1936. Costello married her obstetrician, Dr. John Vruwink, in December 1939 and he moved into 454. The Vruwinks divorced in 1951 and the house was sold to attorney and Pepperdine University law school benefactor Odell McConnell, who was moving from 346 South Lucerne
  • McConnell remained at 454 until his death there on 5-7-1992; the house was left to Pepperdine, which sold it the next year to attorney Frederick McKnight. He remained until 2005
  • For a comprehensive history of 454 South Windsor Boulevard, see Nelson White's study here

As seen in the Los Angeles Times on 4-2-1922 at
the time of its sale to Henry Boos, above. A view of the rear
was seen in The Architectural Digest circa 1925.

455 South Windsor Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 58
  • Built in 1920; BPs for house and garage issued 11-18-1919
  • Original commissioner: Sanson M. Cooper for his own firm on spec
  • Architect: Robert D. Jones in partnership with Sanson M. Cooper acting as contractor
  • First sold to Elmer W. Clark, vice-president and general manager of Union Oil Company of California; Clark left 455 in 1926 and moved to the Talmadge
  • Real estate operator Albert G. Gibbs was next in residence; on 1-19-1927, he was issued a BP for the excavation of a basement installation of a Wurlitzer pipe organ
  • Gibbs's musical ambitions came to an end when the Pacific Mortgage Guaranty Company acquired the house in 1933 and was issued a BP on 12-15-1933 to "tear away [the] organ machinery room" and replace it with a garden room
  • Gilbert J. Shea moved in by the spring of 1934; Shea was a partner in the family firm, the J. F. Shea Company, one of the largest contractors on the West Coast and nationally. Still privately held, the Shea Company participated in the construction of the Colorado River aqueduct, Hoover Dam, and the Golden Gate and Bay bridges, among many other projects
  • Shea's five-year-old daughter, Mollie Lou, and her neighborhood friend, Kingston McKee of 409 South Lucerne Boulevard, ingested ant paste on 3-18-1937 in Kingston's backyard. The Times reported the next day that the pair's stomachs were successfully pumped at the Georgia Street Receiving Hospital and described them as "inseparable pals who probably will marry each other twenty years from now if the romance isn't broken up." Apparently it was broken up; in 1958, still living at 455 South Windsor, Mollie Lou married another boy she may have known as a child. Stuart O'Melveny's grandparents, the Henry O'Melvenys, lived around the corner at 501 South Plymouth Boulevard in a house moved from 3250 Wilshire Boulevard in 1930. (Stuart O'Melveny's father was dead by 1958; his mother was by then remarried to Julia Child's father, John McWilliams) 
  • Shea left 455 South Windsor by 1960
  • The Franklin F. Moulton family was in residence from 1960 until at least 2008

Now bank-owned, 455 South Windsor was being prepared for sale when auctioneer
Charles K. Wiese 
hired Dick Whittington to photograph the house in 1932. It was
sold to Gilbert Shea, whose business was going strong during the Depression.

Illustrations: Private Collection; California State LibraryLAT; LAPLUSCDL;
John Bengtson/HarpodeonThe Architectural Digest
Dick Whittington/USCDL