1256 West Adams Boulevard


Still standing on a central stretch of Adams comprised of houses less grand than those to the east and west, 1256 is re-imagined here as it might have looked closer to its construction in 1902. The house has a connection to serious Los Angeles history, having been built by an Angeleno as important as any builder of the biggest dwellings: Joseph Barlow Lippincott, who that year became supervising engineer of all U. S. Reclamation Service activity from the Klamath River in Oregon to the lower Colorado River in Arizona and California. It was during a 1904 trip through the Eastern Sierra with Fred Eaton that plans were hatched to bring water to Los Angeles via the seminal aqueduct from the Owens Valley, completed in 1913, with Lippincott having served as assistant chief engineer on the project alongside William Mulholland. The Los Angeles Herald of September 7, 1902, reported that Lippincott had recently been issued a building permit to have the contracting team of John G. Frankland and John B. Franklin begin work on the eight-room house. Forty years later, Lippincott was still living at 1256—and still very active as an engineer—when he died suddenly in Riverside County on November 4, 1942. He had had his 78th birthday just a few weeks before.

In an article headlined "Floods From Snows Wasted in Lake of Owens Valley" that appeared in the
Los Angeles Times on August 6, 1906, Joseph B. Lippincott (left), with Fred Eaton and
William Mulholland, was pictured days after his resignation from the
Reclamation Service to begin work on the aqueduct.

Illustrations: Private Collection; Water and Power Associates