1662 West Adams Boulevard


  • Built in 1903 by 27-year-old real estate operator Glenn D. Edmonds on a parcel comprised of Lot 4 and the easterly 32.5 feet of Lot 3 of Block 1 of the Edmonds Adams Street Tract, a subdivision developed with his father, James H. Edmonds, as J. H. Edmonds & Son. The project was announced in the Los Angeles Times on June 7, 1903. In the hopscotch manner of many young residential developers, Glenn Edmonds moved into 1662 with his family for less than a year's stay before moving to another new house around the corner on Lot 10 of Block 2 of the Edmonds Adams Street Tract. A permit for that house was issued in the name of Mrs. Edmonds during the last week of April 1904. (Designed by architects Hunt & Burns, it still stands in excellent repair at 2647 Raymond Avenue)
  • Architect: Arthur L. Haley
  • Contractor: Glenn D. Edmonds
  • Edmonds sold 1662 West Adams to 30-year-old Harvard-educated mining engineer William Davis Merry Howard in March 1905. Howard had moved to Los Angeles from San Francisco with his wife in late 1903, the couple having been reconciled recently after a separation. Their marital problems, however, continued, frequently playing out in public; not even a violent, alcohol-fueled battle at the Del Monte, a downtown restaurant, in January 1904, resulting in the jailing of Mr. Howard, ended the marriage. After the couple moved into 1662, according to the Los Angeles Times of July 27, 1906, neighbors complained frequently of disturbances and that "...scarcely a week went by without a telephone call from the Howard home asking that an officer be sent to the house." It was further revealed that after a particularly bad row—one that involved Howard chasing a Los Angeles Railway streetcar on which his wife was fleeing his abuse, stopping it, and bodily dragging her off and into his automobile—the couple had finally divorced several months before the July 27 report, which focussed on further domestic disturbances at 1662 involving another companion. Howard had taken up with a Boston woman, Mrs. James Whitney, the two cohabiting in the house (or she acting as his housekeeper there, as some reports had it) along with her small dog, variously reported as a poodle or a pug. Another romantic climax had come when Howard literally kicked the dog out of the back door, leading to kicking, slapping, and Mrs. Whitney striking him over the head with a brass candlestick. Both wound up in jail. On October 18, 1906, a warrant for Howard's arrest was issued on a charge of disturbing the peace, though it appeared he had left for San Francisco
  • Minneapolis theatrical impresario Dick Ferris rented the house from Howard during the winter of 1907; deciding to settle permanently in Los Angeles, Ferris purchased 1662 the following August. By 1915, he had sold the house to real estate dealer Brenton L. Vickrey, recently separated from his wife; Mr. Vickrey moved into the house with his widowed mother, while Adele Vickrey moved to 4040 Wilshire Boulevard. By early 1920, Vickrey had moved around the corner to 2618 Kenwood Avenue; from 1923 to 1927, the house served as the clubhouse of the Centro Hispano American Club
  • On November 18, 1927, a relocation permit for 1662 West Adams was issued to Orville R. Mason, who lived in a house of comparable style one block south and one block east at 1610 West 27th Street. It was to the easterly 56.5 feet of Mason's lot—Lot 1 of the Blaisdell & Weiss Tract—to which 1662 was moved, placed on its new lot with its former front façade facing west and its easterly porch facing north toward the curb. It was now 1604 West 27th Street. The house's former lot would be given over to commercial uses, as was that of its neighbor, 1686 West Adams, which had been moved to Wellington Square earlier in 1927. Permits for the steel buildings of an automotive tire and battery shop and filling station to occupy the site of 1662 were issued 10 days prior to permits for the house's removal   
  • A demolition permit for 1604 West 27th Street was issued on March 29, 1967

Illustration: LAT