422 West Adams Boulevard


  • Built in 1901 on Lot 13 of the Treat Tract, apparently on spec, by William H. Schweppe of St. Louis, a major investor in Los Angeles real estate at the time. Issuance of the building permit to Schweppe was reported in the Los Angeles Herald on May 23, 1901; on August 25, the Times reported the sale of the 100-by-135-foot lot, with a nine-room house "just erected" on it, to Mahala Hunter Bostwick, the widow of copper and silver miner Willis Adelbert Bostwick, who had died in 1890
  • Architect: Lester S. Moore
  • Mrs. Bostwick appears to have been a tireless socialite, entertaining, when not traveling the world, her Ebell and Friday Morning club friends regularly at 422 over the years; in August 1918, she surprised that cohort by marrying Campbell Hardy, described as a retired Eastern capitalist. Born in Ohio in 1850, Mrs. Hardy appears in various records to have shaved five years off her age, which would have rendered her 14 when she married her first husband in May 1870; in the rather large announcement of her second marriage in the Times on August 31, 1918, she was now 10 years younger, her age given as 58 to her groom's 59. Mrs. Hardy reported herself to be 59 in the 1920 Federal census enumerated in January 1920; she died in Los Angeles at an actual age of 72 on September 15, 1923
  • Campbell Hardy was last listed at 422 in the city directory of 1925
  • Even as Adams Street was being upgraded to boulevard status during the mid 1920s, traffic and population pressures and the lure of newer developments gutted the former "aristocratic" neighborhoods along the thoroughfare. While the high-end districts along what was now West Adams Boulevard were young compared to the now century-old developments that would replace them (Windsor Square and Fremont Place among them), the houses were drafty Victorian and Edwardian anachronisms that had become expensive to maintain. Property owners could sell in a high market for conversion into apartments, or move and rent their old residences as reliable sources of income
  • By 1926, the widow Margaret Hawkins was renting 422 and running it as a boarding house; besides her eight-year-old son, she had seven lodgers by 1930. The owner during this period—along with 428 West Adams next door—appears to have been John C. Quinn of Sedalia, Missouri; Quinn had retired as a merchant there earlier in the decade, moving to Los Angeles, where he invested in real estate. He died in March 1929, after which his brother James P. Quinn assumed responsibility for his California holdings. On March 16, 1931, J. P. Quinn was issued a building permit to make repairs and to paint the house, apparently in preparation for sale. The permit indicates that the house was at the time a single-family dwelling
  • Within two years, the house had been purchased by transportation superintendent Ralph W. Anderson and his wife, Kathryn, who rented rooms. Anderson was still there in 1945, when, on October 2, he was issued a permit to install a new roof
  • Anderson appears to have remained the owner of 422 until it was condemned for the Harbor Freeway along with its neighbors 414 and 428; it was demolished by the end of 1953. The northbound lanes of what is now known as The 110 run right through its living rooms

While 422 West Adams survived the extension southward of Flower Street in the early
'30s, northbound lanes of the extension's successor, the Harbor Freeway, were
aimed directly through it. Its neighbor, 428, had been pushed back on its
lot to accommodate the lengthened Flower, and it managed to
survive the freeway by being moved to 39th Street.

Illustrations: Private Collection