South Windsor Boulevard
500 block

502 South Windsor Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 80
  • Built in 1923; BPs for house and garage issued 12-15-1922
  • Architect and contractor: Paul C. Whitice
  • Original commissioner: William A. Glascock, president of the Puritas Coffee & Tea Company
  • The initial BPs were issued for the address 504 South Windsor Boulevard
  • Glascock added a maid's room in 1928 (BP issued 4-2-1928)
  • Glascock died at 502 South Windsor on 12-14-1929
  • Mrs. Glascock stayed in the house until 1932; she then rented it briefly to another widow, Phila Johnson Burck, before selling it to the spinster sisters Anna and Lydia Kellam in the fall of 1937
  • Anna Kellam died at her Lake Elsinore residence on 10-22-1941
  • The next owner of 502 was another unmarried woman, Nell G. McGann; Miss McGann had been living with her brother and his family at 675 Crenshaw Boulevard until 1943; at around the same time that his sister purchased 502, James F. McGann bought 541 Lorraine Boulevard just around the corner
  • The Reverend William S. Meyer, who came west to Los Angeles from Rochester to be installed as the pastor of Immanuel Presbyterian Church in 1950, acquired 502 by 1954; he would remain at Immanuel until retiring in 1974. The house's longest-term owner, he died at 502 South Windsor on 2-15-1988

As seen in the Los Angeles Times on 10-3-1937 at the time of its first resale

505 South Windsor Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 59 and northerly 15' of Lot 60
  • Built in 1920; BPs for house and garage issued 9-30-1919
  • Original commissioner: Otto Sweet, secretary of A. Hamburger & Sons
  • Architect and contractor: Frank L. Meline
  • Otto Sweet was a son-in-law of Asher Hamburger, who in 1881 had founded A. Hamburger & Sons, the department store that would be purchased by the May Company in 1923; Otto and Carrie Hamburger Sweet, returning from the East, were killed in the wreck of the 20th Century Limited on 12-9-1923 in Western New York State 
  • In the disposition of the Sweets' estates, 505 became the home of Carrie Sweet's sister Belle and her husband, Pincus "Pink" Lorenzo Nathan
  • Belle Nathan died at 505 on 10-12-1940; still living at 505, Pink Nathan died in Los Angeles on 8-24-1946
  • The house became the home of Mr. and Mrs. James Alle by early 1948; the name Alle still appeared in the Los Angeles city directory at 505 South Windsor as late as the issue dated July 1987 

The architect's rendering as seen in the Los Angeles Times on 9-21-1919

514 South Windsor Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; northerly 80' of Lot 79
  • Built in 1920; BPs for house and garage issued 5-27-1920
  • 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 to real estate and insurance executive Harry R. Callender
  • Callender hired Jones and Cooper to make alterations including the addition of a driveway turntable (BP issued 6-14-1923) and to raise the roof of the garage to included a second story for servants' quarters (BP issued 2-21-1924)
  • Callender died on Easter morning (4-8-1928) in Mentone, France, while on a family trip; Mrs. Callender returned to 514 alone and continued to live there until 1936, when she put 514 on the market for $18,750 and moved downtown to the Women's Athletic Club (she died at her son's house on Alta Vista Drive on 1-9-1939)
  • Mr. and Mrs. A. John Nilson and their daughter Norma were he next to move into 514; Mr. Nilson, described variously as a manufacturer and a real estate developer, died on 11-16-1938. Mary Nilson and Norma continued to live at 514
  • Despite her mother's objections to her choice of husband ("adventurer"), Norma Nilson married John Robert Briggs on 1-20-1950; their first of three sons was born on 6-21-1950
  • According to the Los Angeles Times of 7-21-1959, Briggs, described as a "wealthy Pacific Palisades builder," was accused by his wife and mother-in-law (who was still living at 514 South Windsor) of trying to murder them the day before by staging an accident in which he lept from the car they were in before it plunged 450' into Sullivan Canyon and then crawled down to beat the ladies with rocks and a tire iron (some sources describe it as a pickaxe and a scenario in which Briggs got out of the car at the canyon edge, lifted the hood to feign checking for signs of overheating, and then reached in to press the car's "Drive" button); it seems that Briggs had recently persuaded Norma to sign a will to his benefit. On July 25, Norma forgave her husband, later describing the event as "just an accident." Mary Nilson was not in agreement with her daughter on this point
  • In March 1960, Briggs, who had pleaded not guilty on the ground of insanity, was found guilty of attempted murder and received a 1-to-20 year sentence; due to legal technicalities, the California Supreme Court granted him a new trial. By the time this action was to come about Mary Nilson was too ill to testify for the prosecution, which resulted in the charges against Briggs being dropped on 4-20-1964. Still living at 514 South Windsor, Mary Nilson died on 7-25-1964
  • Rather unwisely, Mary Nilson left no will; Norma inherited her estate of $2,708,000; in 1965, Norma sued John Robert Briggs for divorce. He had been suing her for $1,617,250 for "malicious prosecution and false imprisonment," apparently in connection with the 1959 incident. He settled for $388,000 worth of property and Norma got her freedom
  • John Robert Briggs died on 2-28-1971 and is buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery, as are John and Mary Nilson
  • Norma appears to have married John Robert Briggs's brother William B. Briggs in Los Angeles on 8-14-1978, her 54th birthday; she appears to have died in England on 4-15-1997

514 South Windsor Boulevard as seen with
 its original entrance in 1924; a rear corner is seen
below in a photograph made at the same time.

515 South Windsor Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; southerly 75' of Lot 60 and northerly 37' of Lot 61
  • Built in 1914; BP for house issued 6-1-1914; for garage 8-18-1914
  • Original commissioner: automotive parts manufacturer Philip Riedele
  • Architect and contractor: Edward Cray Taylor
  • Philip Riedele was a Minnesota brick manufacturer who had come to Los Angeles in 1910 for his health. By the next year, he was partnered in the automobile spring and bumper business with his brother-in-law, Christian J. Casper; in 1917, he sold his interest in Cambria Spring to Casper and, bringing with him from Cambria a nephew on his wife's side, John B. Rauen, formed two new concerns, the United States Spring Company and the United States Bumper Company (merged in 1928 and eventually absorbed by Rheem) 
  • Riedele died in Washington, D.C., on 4-20-1924 while on a business trip with his wife, Mary, and Mr. and Mrs. Rauen; Mary Riedele succeeded her husband as president of United States Spring & Bumper
  • Mrs. Riedele died at 515 South Windsor on 12-27-1932; John B. Rauen succeeded her as president of the family business
  • Real estate operator Horace L. Averill, moving from 615 Rimpau Boulevard in Hancock Park, rented 515 during the mid 1930s, followed by attorney Clifford A. Rohe for another brief stay. In 1939, John Rauen decided to move to his aunt's house from his home at 223 South Arden Boulevard in New Windsor Square; on 6-27-1939, he was issued a BP for 515 to "remove roof over front terrace and drive." Architect Henry Carlton Newton was hired for this remodeling and to add a new library fireplace and breakfast room bay and to replace double-hung windows with casements (BP issued 7-13-1939)
  • John Rauen died at 515 South Windsor on 7-28-1972; Mrs. Rauen, having left 515, died in Los Angeles on 6-8-1987

As seen in a circa-1916 view toward the northwest before house-building resumed in
Windsor Square after World War I, 515 appears in its original 1914 configuration.
In 1939 remodelings, the front porch was removed in a façade modernization
and a new rear wing, including a second south-side chimney, was added.

524 South Windsor Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; northerly 80' of Lot 78 and southerly 10' of Lot 79
  • Built in 1919; BPs for house and garage issued 6-10-1919
  • Original commissioner: telephone pioneer William A. Childs
  • Childs is credited with developing the telephone switchboard; originally used in law offices, the company he formed for its production, the Law Telegraph Company, was later sold to Western Electric
  • Childs died at 524 South Windsor on 7-18-1933; his widow moved to San Diego and the house was sold to valve manufacturer Frederick C. Kingston by 1938
  • Kingston, who built 409 South Lucerne Boulevard in 1920, had recently married his second wife, Virginia; still living at 524, he died in Los Angeles on 2-19-1955
  • In addition to the small interior remodelings the Kingstons had done in 1947, Mrs. Kingston enlarged the dining room in 1961 (BP issued 9-29-1961). She remained at 524 until at least the mid 1960s
  • A subsequent owner demolished and replaced the original garage in 2010 (demolition BP issued 9-17-2010; BP for replacement issued 9-17-2010 

531 South Windsor Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 62, southerly 53' of Lot 61 and northerly 37' of Lot 63
  • Built in 1916; BPs for house and garage issued 9-28-1916
  • Original commissioner: downtown clothier and real estate investor Louis Isaacs
  • Architect: Hunt & Burns (Sumner P. Hunt and Silas R. Burns)
  • Contractor: Claus G. Nordquist
  • Louis Isaacs was in business with his year-younger brother Max as Isaacs Brothers; in addition to owning the Unique Cloak and Suit House, the brothers developed, among other property, a large parcel bounded by Main, Hill, Eleventh, and Twelfth streets the same year that Louis built 531 South Windsor. A little over a week after acquiring the parcel from Henry Huntington, the Isaacses' syndicate had subdivided it into 44 lots and sold most of these; Broadway, which up to this time had been interrupted by the Huntington property, was cut through, with William Randolph Hearst purchasing the site of the Los Angeles Examiner building, still at Broadway and Eleventh
  • Mr. and Mrs. Hart Isaacs, Louis's newlywed son and daughter-in-law, moved into 531 in 1930
  • Louis Isaacs died at 531 South Windsor on 6-5-1933
  • "Society Girl Dies in Plunge from Tenth-Floor Window": Hortense Isaacs, Louis's 26-year-old daughter, fell to her death from the Pellissier Building on 11-20-1936
  • "Will Sacrifice to Liquidate Estate": In early 1938, Louis's widow Natalie put 531 on the market for $32,500 and moved to the Talmadge
  • Although it is unclear as to when he moved in, Archibald E. Hanson, developer of Rolling Hills Estates on the Palos Verdes peninsula, moved in to 531 South Windsor by 1944
  • Subsequent owners of 531 include Rafael Serrato (by 1953); Mr. and Mrs. Richard C. Seaver (by 1956); Mr. Blackwell (a.k.a. Bensonhurst-born Richard Sylvan Selzer; by 1964); Edwin Steidle (by 1977); and singer Donna Summer (by 1979)

532 South Windsor Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; northerly 80' of Lot 77 and southerly 10' of Lot 78
  • Built in 1924; BP for house issued 4-29-1924; for garage 6-5-1924
  • Original commissioner: clothing manufacturer Saul N. Morris
  • Architect and contractor: Arthur R. Kelly
  • Morris was a partner with his brother-in-laws Benjamin C. Norton and Melville Norton in the firm Norton Bros. and Morris. Melville Norton also lived in Windsor Square, at the recently built 441 South Arden Boulevard
  • Saul Morris was still living at 532 when he died in Los Angeles on 5-10-1939
  • Several family members occupied 532 with Mr. and Mrs. Morris during their occupancy; Cecilia Morris's brother Benjamin C. Norton died on 2-6-1959 while living at 532 
  • Mrs. Morris was still living at 532 when she died on 5-28-1961; the house was on the market by the end of the year

542 South Windsor Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; northerly 85' of Lot 76 and southerly 10' of Lot 77
  • Built in 1920; BP for house issued 9-6-1919
  • Original commissioner: insurance executive Irwin J. Muma
  • Architect and contractor: Arthur R. Kelly
  • On 6-11-1920, the Los Angeles Times reported that Mr. and Mrs. Muma held a housewarming at 542 the evening before
  • A BP for a garage/storage room was issued to Muma on 10-14-1924; plans for this addition were amended on 10-28-1924 to include a "refrigeration room"
  • Irwin J. Muma died suddenly on 1-31-1925; private funeral services were held at 542 on 2-3-1925
  • In 1928, Mrs. Muma appears to have rented 542 to another widow, Mrs. Roys N. Strohn, who later purchased the house. Mrs. Strohn had previously occupied 520 South Irving Boulevard around the corner
  • Mrs. Strohn's daughter Maryann was married at 542 on 6-12-1930
  • Mrs. Strohn died at 542 South Windsor on 11-27-1955
  • Arthur R. Kelly's design today is almost completely obscured by vegetation

The façade of 542 South Arden Boulevard cannot be appreciated today as it could be
soon after completion; the image at top and that of the rear garden appeared
in the August 1921 issue of the trade journal The Western Architect.

550 South Windsor Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 75 and southerly 5' of Lot 76
  • Built in 1921; BPs for house and garage issued 11-19-1920 under the address 554 South Windsor
  • Original commissioner: retired Oklahoma City banker Edward H. Cooke
  • Architect and contractor: Frank L. Meline
  • Still living at 550 South Windsor, Edward H. Cooke died in Los Angeles on 9-19-1939; his widow, Edna Key Cooke, remained at 550 until the mid 1940s 

553 South Windsor Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 64 and southerly 53' of Lot 63
  • Built in 1914; BP for house issued 3-3-1914; for garage 3-28-1914
  • Original commissioner: Nellie Kelly Powers, wife of Illinois civil engineer John F. "Johnny" Powers. Mr. Powers moved to Los Angeles in 1910, turning to real estate investment. He was also the majority owner of the original Minor League Los Angeles Angels baseball team from 1915 to 1921
  • Architect and contractor: The Milwaukee Building Company
  • A BP was issued in Mrs. Powers's name on 4-23-14 to "reinforce attic floors with belly rod trusses which reinforce joists that were cut contrary to the Building Dept's orders"
  • Mr. and Mrs. Powers and her divorced sister, Reece K. Lawler, were in residence by the end of 1914
  • On 8-31-1919, the Times reported that 553 was sold by John F. Powers to "an Oklahoma oil man." This was Charles Grant Tibbens, moving west from Tulsa; after a stop in Venice, the Powerses would move to Pasadena
  • On 10-5-1925, Tibbens was issued a BP "to remove slide doors and put gable on roof," the latter in an unspecified location
  • In 1930, Tibbens was renting 553 to Hollywood art director James Reid for $500 a month
  • Still maintaining 553 South Windsor, Charles Tibbens died in Tulsa on 12-18-1935, age 68; he left his widow, Levina, and five children, including 15-year-old Rex
  • Described as "bank owned," 553 was on the market in January 1937 for $35,000; by November, the price was $25,000. Apparently still unsold by May 1940, it was still being offered by a bank "at a fraction of its cost"
  • Interior and industrial designer Frank H. Baden was in residence by 1942; Baden was by then also an instructor at the Chouinard Art Institute
  • After Baden and his wife, Jane, moved to Beverly Hills by 1948, 553 South Windsor was auctioned off to an unspecified party on 10-26-1949 
  • In residence by the mid 1950s was Dorothy Hewes Bell, a one-time real estate broker who was active in politics; she had been at Manual Arts High School in the 1910s with, among other well-known Angelenos, Frank Capra, composer Nacio Herb Brown, Buron Fitts (lieutenant governor of California during 1927-1928 and afterwards district attorney of Los Angeles County), and Goodwin J. Knight, governor of California from 1953 to 1959 and then Mrs. Bell's Windsor Square neighbor at 540 South Arden Boulevard
  • Mrs. Bell's uncle, William H. Price, was living at 553 South Windsor when he died in Los Angeles on 11-19-1964 at age 100
  • Mrs. Bell was still listed in the city directory at 553 in July 1965; she was in Los Feliz by 1968

The designer-builder's proposal for 553 South Windsor Boulevard
was seen in the Los Angeles Times on 1-25-1914. The paper remarked on the
 speed with which the Powerses closed on the property (on 1-13-1914), hired a builder
(two days later), and approved the plans (on 1-24-1914). Construction was to begin as
soon as possible; once BPs were issued in March, it did. An elaborate landscaping
scheme later added to the front of 553 South Windsor was removed during a
thorough renovation of the 105-year-old property during 2018-2019.

A glimpse of the Powers house appeared in the 1917 comedy short Somebody Lied
starring Priscilla Dean and Harry Carter; six years later, after Charles Tibbens had moved
into 553, the house appeared in another short, The Kid Reporter, starring child actress Baby
Peggy and featuring a chase scene partially filmed in front. The palm seen at the curb to the
right of the driveway is the same one towering there today, as seen at top. It is one of the
dozens of ancient palms lining South Windsor Boulevard from Wilshire to Third Street.

Illustrations: Private Collection; CSLLAT; NHM; The Western Architect;
John Bengtson/Silent Locations