2155 West Adams Boulevard

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The house once at the northwest corner of West Adams Street and what was then known as Hermosa Street—now Gramercy Place— was completed in 1904 for Louisa S. Janvier, who had employed as architects the firm of Sumner Hunt and Wesley Eager. In the early 1920s, as William Andrews Clark Jr. sought to take over his entire block of Kinney Heights, he made a deal with wholesale grocer William Spencer Hook Jr., who then owned 2155, to buy its site; the house was then moved a block east in 1923 to 2055 West Adams Street (the "Street" was soon to have its status officially upgraded to "Boulevard"). Hook hired the firm of Morgan, Walls & Morgan to build a foundation on the new lot and to drastically remodel what appears to have been been Hunt & Eager's shingle-style house with a steep roof into a French design, one very much in vogue in the '20s. During this period, there was fierce competition for the residential dollars of affluent Angelenos, with dozens of developments vying for the crown of most fashionable neighborhood. In its real estate reportage, the Los Angeles Times at first mistakely placed Hook's remodeled house in Beverly Hills, which it could easily have been imagined in; although the West Adams neighborhood anchored by the Clark Library and Berkeley Square would fade dramatically during the coming economic crisis and war years, it was still very much a favored district for the city's social Old Guard.

The house was built facing east toward Hermosa/Gramercy, while in its new location it was oriented west toward St. Andrews. It was demolished in 1972; its full story will appear in due course. 




Illustration: LAT