South Irving Boulevard
500 block

502 South Irving Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 172
  • Built in 1921 as 504 South Irving Boulevard; BPs for house and garage issued 9-1-1921
  • 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 as "504" in October 1922 to Mrs. Edward T. Kennedy and sold by her as "502" to newly married film stars Harold Lloyd and Mildred Davis in April 1923
  • A birthday party for two-year-old Gloria Lloyd was held at 502 on 5-21-1926; attending were Hollywood progeny with names including Barthelmess, Mix, Gilbert, Niblo, Roach, Keaton, Nagel, La Marr, and Chaplin
  • With his star rising, Lloyd decided that domestic arrangements much grander than what could be had in upper-middle-class suburbia were in order; he would be planning and building his famous Greenacres during much of his time on Irving Boulevard. In what might have been one of his last meals at 502 were it not for a kitchen catastrophe, the Times reported on 5-3-1929 that Lloyd's cook, Edith Sloggett, had been severely burned while preparing his dinner the night before
  • Although it appears that Lloyd had moved to Beverly Hills in 1929,  he was still listed at 502 in the 1930 Los Angeles city directory, apparently retaining ownership of his former residence for at least a few years. Ross N. Boggs, until recently the proprietor of the Hotel Van Nuys on Main Street (today, the Barclay), was renting the house in the spring of 1930 when he died of a stroke while visiting Yosemite on 4-18-1930
  • Superior Court judge Joseph P. Sproul was in residence at 502 in 1937; he died on 8-16-1938 after a car accident on the Pacific Coast Highway (then still referred to as the Roosevelt Highway)
  • Retired stockbroker James M. Welch was renting 502 in early 1940, having previously occupied 540 South Rossmore in Hancock Park. His wife Sarah died on 3-31-1940 while the family was living at 502
  • Retired banker Leopold S. Wyler, moving from the house he was renting at 615 South Arden Boulevard, bought 502 in 1940 and remained until at least 1948
  • Eldridge and Ruth Plunkett, brushing aside humble domestic arrangements in the manner of all high-profile evangelists, had acquired 502 South Irving by May 1956. Their large display advertisements appeared in the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers during the '50s and '60s and included coupons to be clipped and filled out and mailed to 502 should the reader wish to be saved or healed (in return, the Plunketts would send a "beautiful golden coin purse"—hint hint). The reverends Plunkett appear to have remained at 502 until Eldridge's death on 10-6-1971

A northeasterly view of the recently
completed 502 South Irving Boulevard, above;
less than two years after it was finished, the house
was sold for a second time and featured in
the Los Angeles Times on 4-22-1923.

While Harold Lloyd had moved on from his one-time Windsor Square home at 502 South Irving
40 years before, he came home to say goodbye at the Scottish Rite Temple on Wilshire
Boulevard, where his funeral was held on March 11, 1971. The Higgins-Verbeck
house looms 
in the background at 637 South Lucerne Boulevard.

505 South Irving Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 151
  • Built in 1920; BPs for house and garage issued 7-2-1920
  • Original commissioner: Carrie M. Mitchell, wife of Albert P. Mitchell
  • Architect: Robert D. Jones in partnership with Sanson M. Cooper acting as contractor
  • Mrs. Mitchell had been married previously to Norris M. Van Brunt of Watertown, New York; the couple had been wintering in Venice for many seasons before he died in 1915. Remarried, Carrie and Albert Mitchell—he was seven years her junior—and her daughter Helen Van Brunt moved into 505 in 1921
  • Albert, in residence in April 1930, departed the scene before 1932; Carrie resumed her first married name and remained at 505 until 1936, when an auction of her belongings, in Helen's name, was held on May 12
  • C. Wesley Roberts, a veteran Los Angeles developer, bought 505 South Irving in 1937. Roberts had built numerous large houses in the city over the decades, including an innovative house in Berkeley Square in 1910. The Robertses were very much an establishment, California Club sort of family, though a little more sophisticated than many; interesting is their brush with famous Floradora girl Evelyn Nesbit, whose husband had shot and killed architect Stanford White atop Madison Square in 1906. (Details of the Robertses' former house and of the family can be found at 21 Berkeley Square)
  • C. Wesley Roberts died of a stroke at 505 South Irving on 5-7-1946
  • Ivy Roberts remained in the house, living with her daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Franklyn Phillips—or at least Mrs. Phillips—until her death in Los Angeles on 8-2-1968; the Phillipses divorced in April 1969 and 505 passed out of the family soon after

The departure of the Van Brunts was signaled by this advertisement in the Times on 5-12-1936

514 South Irving Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; northerly 75' of Lot 171
  • Built in 1919; BPs for house and garage issued 8-29-1919. Garage demolished and replace in 1959
  • Original commissioner: Mary Elizabeth Clerc, mother-in-law of real estate investor Cecil J. Gardner
  • No architect listed on BPs; Cecil J. Gardner acted as contractor
  • Mrs. Clerc and Mr. and Mrs. Gardner all lived at 514. Mrs. Clerc died in Los Angeles on 6-28-1923
  • Gardner sold the house to paint manufacturer Richard H. Oakley in 1929
  • Beatriz and Richard Oakley had two daughters and a son; the wedding of Barbara Oakley took place at 514 on 1-11-1947; on 5-22-1954, that of Jean Oakley also took place at 514 
  • Moving to Pasadena, the Oakleys sold 514 to Dr. Joseph A. Parks in 1955
  • It appears that by 1962 Dr. Parks was succeeded at 514 by Dr. Joseph H. Thayer, an osteopath who had run for mayor of Los Angeles at least twice in the 1940s. Thayer was promptly indicted on charges of conspiracy and grand theft for filing false claims for treating welfare recipients. He was found guilty and sentenced to a term of less than five years in May 1963

515 South Irving Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 152
  • Built in 1919; BPs for house and garage issued 7-16-1919
  • Original commissioner: Bullock's executive William Armfield Holt
  • Architect and contractor: The Frank Meline Company
  • In addition to his role as a vice president of Bullock's, Holt also served as a member the Board of Water and Power Commissioners
  • Holt and his wife, nèe Ethel Rhodes, celebrated their 50th anniversary with a party at 515 on 2-22-1953
  • Holt died at 515 on 5-4-1962
  • Still living at 515, Mrs. Holt died in Los Angeles on 3-5-1966 

520 South Irving Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; northerly 50' of Lot 170 and southerly 25' of Lot 171
  • Built in 1919; BPs for house and garage issued 8-11-1919
  • Original commissioner, architect, and contractor: Preston S. Wright Company, for resale
  • The house was occupied by Grace C. Strohn, the widow of Roys N. Strohn, for several years in the mid 1920s; her widowed sister-in-law, Eleanor Macaulay, was also living there during this time. Mrs. Strohn was living around the corner at 542 South Windsor Boulevard by 1928
  • In and out of 520 by 1927 was the rather complicated extended family of stockbroker James T. Friesner. Friesner's wife was the former Dorothy Morphy; her brother, Evan, was married to their first cousin Emily Ballard, whose brother Russell would marry Dorothy and Evan's sister Gladys in 1930. In addition, a fourth Morphy sibling, Allen, was living at 520 in the spring of 1930, as was Evan Morphy's daughter, Elise. The Friesners appear to have moved to James's mother's house at 522 South Bronson after she died in 1929, leaving 520 South Irving to the Ballards. Russell H. Ballard was the president of Southern California Edison; he died at 520 on 8-24-1932
  • At 520 by 1942 was attorney Lester W. Roth; Roth represented a number of high profile clients over the years, frequently in divorce actions. Among those he championed were the wives of producer Pandro Berman, Groucho Marx, and Myron Selnick. He had also represented Kenneth Ormiston, the employee/lover of holy-roller/charlatan Aimee Semple McPherson (while she claimed to have been abducted, Ormiston had curiously disappeared at the same time in May 1926). Roth was a vice president of Columbia Pictures from 1947 to 1952; he remained at 520 South Irving until at least 1956, and was living in Beverly Hills by 1960

525 South Irving Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 153
  • Built in 1919; BP for house issued 8-25-1919
  • Original commissioner: inventor and wholesale produce dealer Jacques Rousso as a speculative investment; he acted as his own contractor
  • Architect: Henry J. Knauer
  • Rousso sold 525 to real estate investor Ralph B. Wilson, who then sold it to restaurateur George A. Barraclough, in residence by 1922. In 1907, Barraclough had founded the Globe Dairy Lunch, a chain of downtown restaurants that popularized "waiterless" service; by the 1950s, his restaurant efforts had moved west and upscale, including an outlet at Parklabrea (as it was spelled in the complex's early years) with a chef brought over from Chasen's  
  • With their youngest of three sons out of the house, Mr. and Mrs. Barraclough put the house on the market in the summer of 1955

Intending to attract downtown office workers on the go,
George Barraclough used one-arm school-style seating to get 'em in
and out quickly. Fifty years after opening his first outlet, he opened
a restaurant with cushy banquettes, waiters, and live music.

As seen in the Los Angeles Times, 10-24-1920: Jacques Rousso built 525 South Irving Boulevard as an
investment in the fall of 1919, remaining in his own home at 135 South Norton Avenue nearby.

526 South Irving Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; southerly 45' of Lot 170 and northerly 30' of Lot 169
  • Built in 1920; BPs for house and garage issued 1-14-1920
  • Original commissioner, architect, and contractor: Preston S. Wright Company, for resale; occupied by stockbroker, banker, and real estate investor Curt Rosenthal by 1922. Florence Rosenthal, his wife, was a local championship golfer
  • Mr. Rosenthal died in Los Angeles on 11-10-1938
  • Mrs. Rosenthal remained at 526 with her mother, Bertha Levy, until the house was put on the market in 1946, advertisements noting that "immediate possession" was available. It was still for sale, if it wasn't being flipped, in 1950; on 1-13-1952, it was auctioned off
  • Attorney Marvin M. Chesebro was the high bidder; he hired architect/contractor William A. Lundberg, who was building some new houses in Windsor Square during this period, to make slight alterations (BP issued 5-16-1952)
  • Marvin and Genevieve Chesebro divorced in March 1974 and he died in Los Angeles on 2-16-1999. The house remained in the Chesebro family into the early 2000s

As offered in the Los Angeles Times on 1-13-1952

532 South Irving Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; southerly 65' of Lot 169 and northerly 10' of Lot 168
  • Built in 1920; BPs issued 6-2-1920 and 6-7-1920
  • Original commissioner: Joseph Kaiser, a successful dry-goods merchant who had arrived in Los Angeles in 1912 from Madison, Wisconsin
  • Architect: Frank M. Tyler
  • Contractor: Albert W. Pattinson
  • As an investor riding the wave of Los Angeles real estate, Kaiser built 1244 Fourth Avenue in 1912 as his first Los Angeles home. In 1916, he moved to the recently built 515 South Gramercy, designed by Frank M. Tyler; he then commissioned Tyler to design 532 South Irving. When he made his next and final move, it was to the house he built—not employing Tyler—at 400 South Windsor Boulevard in 1924
  • One of Kaiser's sons was automobile dealer Irvin Kaiser, who built 99 Fremont Place in 1936
  • Real estate investor Isaac H. Norton bought 532 from Kaiser to occupy as his own home; he remained until selling the house to Joe Leo, in residence by 1936. Leo was a film exhibitor and brother-in-law of William Fox of the recently formed 20th Century–Fox; his wife, Mary, appears to have still owned the house as late as 1973
  • By 1977, Richard Blackwell, a.k.a. Mr. Blackwell of the "Worst Dressed" list, was in residence with his significant other and business partner Robert Spencer. Blackwell was moving from 531 South Windsor Boulevard

As seen (or not) in the Los Angeles Times on 3-9-1980

533 South Irving Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 154
  • Built in 1923; BP for house issued 11-9-1922, for garage 2-10-1923
  • Original commissioner: clothier Loren Owen Foreman, either as an investment or as his own home; if he intended to live at 533, his plans may have changed due to the death of his wife in March 1923
  • Architect and contractor for house and garage: Arthur R. Kelly
  • Flour miller Stephen Newmark Loew bought 533 in 1924; he stayed until 1941

As seen in the Los Angeles Times on 2-10-1924 at the time of its sale to Stephen N. Loew

541 South Irving Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 155
  • Built in 1920; BPs for house and garage issued 4-13-1920
  • Original commissioner: Real estate investor L. Merle Campbell, for resale
  • Architect: Robert D. Jones in partnership with Sanson M. Cooper acting as contractor
  • The first to occupy 541 was divorcée Annie Waters Stimson, who shed her husband, Ezra, in a sensational 1915 case involving a plump nurse he later married. Ezra T. Stimson was a son of lumberman Thomas D. Stimson, whose famous Richardsonian Romanesque house still stands at 2421 South Figueroa Street; Ezra and Annie lived around the corner at 825 West Adams Street before the big split, which she stayed in before giving up on the old neighborhood, as many were beginning to do, and moved to Windsor Square
  • Upon moving into 541 South Irving, Mrs. Stimson ordered a 48'-by-22' addition to the house comprised of two rooms and a hall (BP issued 6-8-1921). She remained at 541 for a decade until moving down to the Rampart Apartments; the house (and her limousine) were put on the market and an auction of her furnishings held in February 1932
  • Herman A. Russell, variously described as a jeweler and a novelty importer, and his considerably younger wife—another Annie—and their two children were in residence at 541 by 1936; Russell added a windowed dormer to the north side of a rear wing in 1937 (BP issued 11-23-1937)
  • Acquired by real estate operator Hayden Worthington as his own home in the 1950s; his mother, Fannie, died in the house on 1-25-1956. Worthington added a porch to the rear of the house in 1957 (BP issued 7-15-1957). The Worthington family remained at 541 until 1967

As seen in the Times on 2-7-1932: Although she would not be retreating to Rosedale
 until 1951, Annie W. Stimson put everything up for sale, including her wheels.

542 South Irving Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; southerly 90' of Lot 168 and northerly 10' of Lot 167
  • Built in 1919; BPs issued for house and garage 9-15-1919
  • Original commissioners: Dr. John E. and Anna W. Doran
  • Architect: Robert D. Jones in partnership with Sanson M. Cooper acting as contractor
  • The Dorans sold 542 to builder and real estate investor Robert V. Jones in late 1921, who in turn either sold or rented the house to real estate investor Clara Shatto, who occupied the house while she awaited the completion of her next project/home across the street at 555 South Irving (see below) 
  • Mrs. Shatto sold 542 to automobile man Harold L. Arnold in late 1925. Arnold had been a longtime distributor of Hudsons and Dodges who was by 1925 advertising himself as Los Angeles's exclusive Lincoln dealer
  • Arnold was issued two BPs on 1-28-1926 for several alterations to 542; he hired architects Hudson & Munsell to add a rear wing to the house and to add a second story to the garage
  • Arnold remained at 542 until 1934, by which time he was handling Reo automobiles and investing in real estate
  • Moving from 414 South Windsor Boulevard and occupying 542 by 1935 was Dr. Frederic Beall West and his wife, Helen, who were issued a BP on 6-28-1935 to remodel the façade, change windows, and build a rear porch. This seems to be the renovation that removed the front porch from between the porte cochère and a one-room wing at the southwest corner of the house
  • Mrs. West died at Laguna Beach on 6-6-1946; Dr. West remained at 542 until his death on 6-27-1949 after suffering a heart attack at the wheel of his car on Pico Boulevard
  • David H. Atkins bought 542 from West's estate and remained until 1960

As seen in the Los Angeles Times on 11-20-1921, with its original façade

554 South Irving Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; southerly 99.35' of Lot 167
  • Built in 1925; BPs for house and garage issued 6-16-1925
  • 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 before completion to Dr. George W. Brown, an eye, ear, nose, and throat specialist; his family would remain in the house until 1972

Valued at $55,000 when new ($748,000 in 2016 dollars), as seen
above in the Los Angeles Times on 1-27-1926, the house was put on
the market in 1972 by its original owners for $89,500 ($515,261 today).
Seen below in the Times on 7-26-1992, it was offered for $1,195,000
($2,050,000 in 2016); in 2013, it sold for $2,500,000. Real estate
websites estimate its value in 2016 in the vicinity of $3,100,000.

555 South Irving Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 156
  • Built in 1923; BPs for house and garage issued 9-27-1923 (under the address 553 South Irving)
  • Original commissioner: builder Harry H. Belden for resale
  • Architect: Ray J. Kieffer
  • Belden sold 555 before completion to Clara Shatto, widow of real estate developer—and onetime owner of Catalina—George R. Shatto. After her husband's death in 1893, Mrs. Shatto began her own long and extensive involvement in the rapid westward residential and commercial development of the Wilshire corridor. Before moving to 555, she was living across the street at 542 South Irving (see above)
  • Mrs. Shatto had Belden add a maid's room to 555 in 1924 (BP issued 6-16-1924)
  • Mrs. Shatto owned 555 only a short time (she was living in Beverly Hills within a few years); she sold the house to Cyrus Boos, one of four brothers who owned a Los Angeles cafeteria chain. Three of the Booses occupied Windsor Square houses (see 535 and 545 South Plymouth Boulevard and 454 South Windsor Boulevard)
  • Boos had the architect Joseph L. Feil add a sunroom to 555 in 1926 (BP issued 7-30-1926). Boos remained in the house until 1935
  • Produce merchant Charles Andrews was living at 555 by mid 1935; he stayed until at least 1942
  • Andrews sold the house to financier Henry Ream Baker, who was in residence by 1945; Baker had participated in the financing of the Ambassador Hotel and Gaylord Apartments
  • Baker's father-in-law, Bernhard Lacher, died in the house on 3-19-1945; Baker himself died in Santa Monica on 7-1-1948
  • Baker's widow, Ruby, appears to have remained at 555 until her death on 1-31-1976

The Los Angeles Times illustrated four houses in its real estate pages on 5-30-1926; featured
 along with his brother Henry's purchase of 545 South Plymouth Boulevard around
the corner was Cyrus Boos's acquisition of 555 South Irving.

Illustrations: Private Collection; LAT; Restauranting Through HistoryAdsausage