2527 South Grand Street

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  • Built in 1889 by businessman George Mason on Lots 66, 67, and 68 of the Longstreet Tract (the property was at the time described as part of a subdivision of the Hancock Survey)
  • The Los Angeles Herald of October 2, 1889, reported that Mason had just been sold the three 60-by-165-foot lots; on October 6, the paper noted that within the previous week a building permit had been issued to him for a house and barn on the parcel. No images of the house have as yet been found
  • On July 7, 1888, the Herald reported that "Mr. George Mason and family have just arrived from the East and will make Los Angeles their home. Mr. Mason is a banker and brings plenty of means with him." Arriving via Iowa and pre-statehood South Dakota, George Mason, with interests in banking, lumber, mining, and real estate, was born in Chautaugua County, New York, on July 1, 1841. His obituary appearing in the Herald on April 25, 1909, the day after his death, stated that "it was on his farm near Chautaugua lake...that the original Chautaugua session was held. Land from this farm was later secured for the Chautaugua grounds." Mason remained a lifelong follower of the Chautaugua educational and cultural movement, even to the point of collapsing and dying moments after finishing a speech to one of its gatherings in Los Angeles's Eastlake Park
  • The Mason family would own the northwest corner of Adams and Grand for over 50 years. After the death of George Mason, his widow, Harriett, and the Masons' four surviving children formed The Mason Company in 1910 to manage and add to the family properties. Pierre D. Mason became the president; among its new projects, the company began construction of the Consolidated Building, still at 724 South Spring Street, in 1913
  • Harriett Mason left 2527 South Grand in 1913 and would be living alongside Pierre and his wife in a Westmoreland Avenue duplex built by the Mason Company that year; while at the time the Adams district had acquired a lush, settled air of seeming permanence, Pierre, understanding the explosive potential for residential development across Los Angeles, saw before others what its effect would be on his family's old neighborhood. The replacement of 234 West Adams—caddy-corner and one lot east in relation to 2527 South Grand—with the Darby apartment hotel in 1909 signaled the demise of this stretch of Adams as one of just single-family residences. By early 1915, the Masons were renting the house to the California Chiropractic College and did so until the following year, when the ethics of the college's president, Albert W. Richardson, began to be questioned by the authorities
  • In 1916, the house was rented to the family of General José Maytorena, the former governor of Sonora under Pancho Villa; Maytorena was fleeing Mexico after the collapse of the Villa cause. (Maytorena bought and moved into 502 South Harvard Boulevard in the spring of 1917; that house was demolished in 2017) 
  • The Mason Company was issued a demolition permit for 2527 South Grand on April 17, 1918; the company then built a 50-by-180-foot one-story building described as a public garage on the initial building record
  • Choosing one of many neighborhood options for what were by the mid 1920s hoards of old West Adamsites leaving the district, Pierre Mason began building 2100 Live Oak Drive in Los Feliz at the end of 1924; Harriett Mason died in Los Angeles on March 30, 1925. Pierre died in the city on December 18, 1941, after which the property at 2527 West Adams was sold. The building built in 1918 had become a warehouse by then and would, by 1950, be a battery manufacturing plant




George Mason put up a building at the southeast corner
of Broadway and West Fourth Street in 1894 for the use of the
Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. It was designed by architect
Robert B. Young in such a way that two additional stories could later
be added. Mason's name is seen on one of the plate-glass windows.
The Chamber left the building at the end of 1903, after which it
rose higher and became known as the Mason Building. The
Mason heirs sold it in 1922. It was demolished in 1983.





Illustration: Private Collection; LAH; LAPL