746 West Adams Boulevard


  • Built circa 1887, if not before, on part of Lot 1 in Block 22 of Hancock's Survey. The .863-acre parcel was sold by Sarah E. Bartlett to Caroline M. Seymour in June 1886; it is unclear as to whether the house, which Miss Seymour would live in until 1939, was built by her or a predecessor 
  • Caroline M. Seymour, known as Carrie, was the niece of Caroline M. Seymour Severance, who had been living on a 10-acre orange grove adjacent to Miss Seymour's acquisition since 1875. Miss Seymour had been living several blocks east at 243 West Adams with her father, James O. Seymour, and her brother Orson since 1878. After Scotland-born Mrs. Seymour died on April 11, 1887—she was Carrie and Orson's stepmother—James and Orson moved into 746 West Adams with Carrie
  • In 1886, Mrs. Severance and her husband T.C. began to develop their 10 acres at 806 West Adams; in the process, a large lot carved from it between the Seymours' 746 and the Severances' 806 was given to the Severances' son Mark Sibley Severance, who built 758 West Adams in 1888, a much grander house than the flanking cottages of the Seymours and the Severances; Sib, as he was known in the family, sold 758 out of the fold in 1902

Mere glimpses of 746 survive. Los Angeles landscape photographer Lemuel S. Ellis captured the front
yard of the Seymour property, seen at top, in 1890. The roof of 746 is also seen in a street view
taken in front of the Charles Capen house at 818 West Adams Street, out of view to the
right. Mark Sibley Severance's 758 West Adams is at right in this frame; the roof
of the Seymours' 746 West Adams is seen near center. Behind the low
wall ran a zanja, an open ditch that brought water south
from the Los Angeles River via Figueroa Street
to supplement wells and windmills in
the early days before mains.

  • James O. Seymour died at 746 West Adams on March 31, 1902. Carrie and Orson, who was also unmarried, remained in the house. Orson died there on July 7, 1912
  • Caroline Seymour was always in charge of the house; she would be making additions and improvements to it even into her 80s, well after she became the sole occupant of 746. A small addition was made in the summer of 1904; a room with a fireplace was added in 1920. Ten years later, another room was added to the west side of the house
  • Caroline Seymour was listed at 746 West Adams in the Los Angeles city directory as late as the 1939 edition. By the next year, she was living in a boarding house at 921 West 30th Street. She died in Los Angeles on September 4, 1941

Caroline Seymour's 746 West Adams as depicted on an adaptation of a 1900 insurance map sits
between the original 734 West Adams—replaced with a much larger 734 by lumber and
utilities magnate William G. Kerckhoff in 1908—and the house her cousin
Mark Sibley Severance built at 758 West Adams Street in 1888.

  • Louise Kerckhoff of 734 West Adams next door died on July 18, 1946, leaving her house to the U.S.C. School of Medicine; the university also acquired the property at 746, apparently during the 1940s, after Carrie Seymour left to move to 30th Street. The house at 746 was demolished before the publication of the 1950 Sanborn insurance map
  • On January 11, 1962, the Times reported that the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic, which once occupied the home of Louise Kerckhoff's sister-in-law Mrs. Herman Kerckhoff at 1325 West Adams and was at the time housed at Children's Hospital, had signed a long-term lease for the lot at 746 West Adams with U.S.C. for $1 a year. On February 7, 1963, the Department of Building and Safety issued a permit for the construction of a new building there. The clinic moved in on July 23 and remained for over 30 years. The structure was designed by celebrated architect Robert J. Neutra and remains in place today as a Modernist counterpart to the 1906 Kerckhoff house next door

On the site of 746 West Adams today is Richard J. Neutra's Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic, built
in 1963. Today it houses the Institute for Multimedia Literacy, a research unit of U.S.C.'s
School of Cinematic Arts. The view here is from the lawn of 734 West Adams.

Illustrations: Private Collection; LAPL; Lemuel S. Ellis