3100 West Adams Boulevard


In 1902, Emeline Childs, the rich widow of old Angeleno Ozro W. Childs, commissioned Frederick L. Roehrig to build a big modern Colonial house on a large tract she had acquired at the southwest corner of Adams and Arlington streets. It was initially designated as 2300 West Adams Street, the number altered circa 1912 in accordance with citywide address alterations and street-name changes resulting from various annexations. The south side of Adams west from Manhattan Place, at the top of a slope in an extension of old West Adams beyond the city limits, had become an estate area, with large, set-back houses from which there were spectacular southerly views. The neighborhood had begun to decline even before Mrs. Childs died at home in 1935, although her house would last another 43 years. Its stables were demolished in 1945 after 3100 became the home of the Children's Home Society; when the house itself came down in March 1978, there were reverberations of the demolition of the Richfield Building nine years earlier, stirring some to action in theretofore preservation-averse Los Angeles. For urban archaeologists, at least, some of its sidewalk stone wall remains. The views seen here give an idea of the scale of the largest West Adams houses, not mere suburban residences, but indeed estates whose owners might have chosen Beverly Hills or Bel-Air had they built in the 1920s instead of a few decades earlier.

Latter Days: According to the Children's Home Society,
"The start of World War II brought in even more homeless children,
 prompting CHS to expand by purchasing 'The Big White House'.” The
The relative age of the view below can be gauged by the 1953
Chevrolet parked near the building's southeast corner. 

A remnant of the Childs property can
be seen today—the photograph below was taken
in June 2012—running west on the south side of
Adams Boulevard from Arlington Avenue.


In a northerly view taken before 1945, the Childs house and its stable are at bottom left center 

Illustrations: Private Collection; LAPLChildren's Home Society of California;
Google Street View