903 East Adams Boulevard


  • Built in 1903 on spec by Elvaton Welcome Elder, vice-president and manager of the Bartlett Music Company and a real estate investor; his partner in Bartlett, John F. Salyer, had recently completed 705 East Adams two blocks west. Elder was issued a building permit for a $2,000 seven-room frame house on Lot 15 of Grider & Dow's Orangedale Tract in April 1903; by late July he was running classified ads in the Los Angeles Herald offering 903 East Adams Street for sale. On August 29, the Herald reported that Lillie J. Holland had paid $4,000 for it. Mrs. Holland was the wife of Moses J. Holland, an employee of a pool hall at 846 South Main Street
  • The Hollands left 903 East Adams in 1905; the house was then occupied by the family of George O. Vick, recently arrived in Los Angeles from Hutchinson, Kansas, and renting prior to their move to 903 at least two other nearby South Los Angeles houses. George's son Walter A. Vick and his wife Carrie and their young son moved in with his father and mother, Susan, who would die at 903 on August 3, 1908. Various of Vick's relations and connections would occupy 903 until at least 1948, including those by the name of Hanks. While ownership may have remained in or transferred among members of one extended family, the house appears to have been rented to outsiders during the 1910s, including to "hair goods" purveyor Max Factor during 1916. The next year, Alice Hanks, a divorcée, and her son Louis T. Hanks, moved in; The Hanks's relationship to the Vicks is unclear, but George O. Vick was living with Alice Hanks at 903 in the early 1920s before he moved in with Walter and Carrie on West 28th Street. Coincidentally, as was Moses J. Holland's, Louis Hanks's occupation was in table games. He ran a billiards parlor, also selling tobacco, at 2528 South Central Avenue
  • Alice Hanks was still living at 903 East Adams Boulevard when she died on April 8, 1948
  • The house was acquired soon after Mrs. Hanks's death by Jacob Sanderson; on December 21, 1948, the Department of Building and Safety issued him a permit to repair fire damage
  • The Bright Throne Baptist Church occupied the house in the latter half of the 1950s; it appears to have reverted to residential use after 1960
  • Benjamin F. Spikes was the owner of 903 East Adams in 1964; on September 28 of that year, he was a issued permit by the Department of Building and Safety to demolish it. Spikes immediately replaced 903 with the six-unit apartment building on the site today

Illustration: Private Collection