2530 South Figueroa Street

  • Built in 1892 on a parcel comprised of Lots 1, 2, and 3 of the Longstreet Tract by David C. Cook, a Chicago publisher of religious tracts. Cook had began putting together a 14,000-acre Ventura County fruit ranch in 1887; coming to Los Angeles to live in 1890, he occupied the John I. Redick house at the southwest corner of Adams and Figueroa, acquiring the opposite corner a year later. On August 20, 1891, the Herald reported the sale of the three Longstreet lots to Cook by Ernst F. C. Klokke. The men may have known each other in Chicago, from which Klokke had also recently relocated, also become a fruit grower, and had built his own Figueroa Street house at 2105
  • No definitive details as to architect or contractor have surfaced as of yet; whether Klokke might have suggested his own architect, Joseph Cather Newsom, is not known, but there is a possibility that Cook might have commissioned him to build 2530 South Figueroa even if, as is known, the architect had already moved back to the Bay Area after the collapse of the famous Southern California Boom of the '80s
  • David Cook was not in residence at 2530 for very long periods of time; it appears that he began to spend most of his time back in Illinois. He  retained ownership of the house through the decade, renting it to two important Angelenos after 1894: On December 30 of that year, the Herald reported that Missouri attorney Jefferson Chandler had returned to Los Angeles with his family "and taken their old residence at 2530 South Figueroa, indicating that the Chandlers had been there the winter before. (The next year, the Chandlers took the Holdridge Collins house at 819 West Adams Street.) In 1896, mining man Oliver P. Posey moved in. Posey and his wife, Sara, would have become aware of the opening of gated Chester Place a stone's throw west down Adams. They set about having an elaborate house built there at #8, into which they moved in the spring of 1900, only to move out the next year after oil operator Edward Doheny made them a cash offer they couldn't refuse. The Poseys then rented 421 West Adams, two doors east of 2530, for a brief stay
  • On November 3, 1901, the Times reported the sale of 2530 South Figueroa by David Cook to another Los Angeles muckety-muck, Walter B. Cline, president of the Los Angeles Lighting Company and the Los Angeles Electric Company
  • On both April 24 and April 26, 1911, Cline was issued a permit to build a new 30-by-50-foot garage; the architect cited on one document is Cline himself; on the other is cited The Los Angeles Gas and Electric Corporation, the successor of Los Angeles Lighting and Los Angeles Electric, which Cline how headed
  • On September 13, 1911, Cline was issued a building permit to replace the wooden front and side entrance steps of the house to concrete versions
  • Cline was issued a permit on August 4, 1922, to build a 6-by-6-foot tool room
  • The Cline family would retain the corner into the 1930s, but, as the exodus of the rich from West Adams accelerated in the '20s, Walter Cline appeared in the city directory at 2530 for the last time in the 1929 edition. Cline and his wife, Clara, were having Arthur Rolland Kelly and Joe Estep design a big new house in Beverly Hills. (Featured in Architectural Digest in 1930, 500 Doheny Road would later be owned by Betty Grable and Harry James, as well as by Carol Burnett)
  • The Department of Building and Safety issued a demolition permit for 2530 on November 1, 1929
  • On July 25, 1930, Cline was issued a building permit to erect a taxpayer on the site of 2530; presumably referring to a miniature golf course, many dozens of which were built in Los Angeles in this era, the 12-by-27-foot structure was described as a "Golf Course Office." Several miniature courses were built along Figueroa, including one across Adams at 2600 South Figueroa, but none appear to have actually been laid out on the site of the Cline house
  • Walter B. Cline died in his sleep at 600 Doheny Road on July 22, 1932. At his death, his estate was worth the equivalent of $35,000,000 in today's dollars
  • It appears that Cline's heirs sold or leased their three Longstreet Tract lots to the Union Oil Company of California, which was issued a permit to build a service station on March 20, 1934 

In a 1930 view from the afternoon shadow of the Automobile Club still at the southwest corner of 
Adams and Figueroa, the Cook-Cline house has recently disappeared after 37 years on its lot.
In the view at top, taken not long before from an upper floor of the club, the house is
seen still standing, with the fronds of the famous Palm Avenue and the tower
of Singleton Court behind it. At right in the more recent view is St.
Vincent's School; it replaced 507 West Adams in 1923 and
was in turn demolished to make way for the Harbor
Freeway. In the foreground is an early traffic
signal of a design referred to as the
"American Bobby," installed
by the auto club in
May 1924.

Illustrations: Private Collection; LAPL