340 West Adams Boulevard


  • Originally built at 234 West Adams in 1893 by real estate operator Wesley Clark as his own home; the building permit was issued to his wife, Sarah J. Clark, during the week of February 6, 1893
  • Architect: James H. Bradbeer; Bradbeer would be forming his well-known partnership with Walter Ferris in August 1893
  • After putting 234 West Adams on the market when he left to live in his new Westmoreland Place development in October 1905, Clark, either unable to find a buyer or changing his mind, retained ownership, renting it to insurance man James J. Mellus for several years until he decided to redevelop the lot. With plans in hand by architect John C. Austin for a 70-foot-tall hotel, and after being issued a permit on July 13, 1909, for the relocation of 234, Clark had the house trucked 600 feet west to a parcel in the Lee & Johnson Tract comprised of the easterly 40 feet of Lot 3 and the westerly 30 feet of Lot 4. The house's new address would be 340 West Adams Street
  • Clark added a garage to the property at 340 after being issued a building permit on January 21, 1911, hiring John C. Austin as architect. Austin had designed Clark's Hotel Darby, with which he had replaced the house after it was moved from 234 West Adams
  • At its new location, the house became staff quarters for the hotel and was designated the Darby Annex. Once Clark acquired 226 West Adams, next door to the Darby, by early 1914, it became the new Annex; while 340's ownership over the next 20 years is unclear, it was rented, by Clark or a new owner, to Mexican attorney Angel Lopez Negrete and his family until 1920
  • By 1924, in the midst of the decade's massive population rise that would more than double the number of Angelenos and put enormous demands on housing, the owner of 340 joined the legions of West Adams householders who seized the profit opportunity by either selling their former residences—the bulk of them barely 20 years old—and moving to newer, more modern neighborhoods—or converting them to, or demolishing or relocating them for, multi-unit buildings
  • In 1924, draper Andrew Potter and his wife, Jennie, a nurse, were renting 340 and subletting rooms; four years later, Albert J. Ott was renting 340 and living there with his wife, daughter, granddaughter, and nephew, as well as nine boarders. In 1940, the house was occupied by at least eight families
  • Lawrence and Myrtle Pyle were the owners of 340 by late 1944; on December 28 of that year, Mrs. Pyle was issued a building permit to replace the roof. The Pyles began operating what they termed a "guest home for the elderly," one certified by the city as suitable for ambulatory residents only. After Lawrence Pyle died in Los Angeles on September 5, 1953, Mrs. Pyle continued operating the home until at least 1958
  • The demolition date of 234/340 West Adams is unclear; it appears in aerial photography from 1964 but not in images from 1972, by which time its site had been taken over by Los Angeles County as parking for various social services buildings on Grand Avenue between Adams and West 28th Street

As advertised in the Los Angeles Times on January 5, 1958

Illustrations: Private Collection; HathiTrustLAT