1686 West Adams Boulevard


  • Built in 1909 on a 80-by-165-foot plot composed of Lot 1 and the westerly 15 feet of Lot 2 of the Edmonds Adams Street Tract, recently purchased by George Washington Haight; Haight was issued a permit by the Department of Buildings for a 13-room house on December 11, 1908
  • Architect: None specified on 1908 building permit, though the design was later attributed to Haight himself; the contractor was Henry Parlee, an across-the-street neighbor of Haight's in Boyle Heights, from which the latter was moving with his wife Icadora (whose name was frequently misspelled "Isadora")
  • According to the Los Angeles Herald of September 4, 1908, George W. Haight was the owner of the Moler Barber College. Per the 1910 Federal census enumerated on April 16, 1910, he was manager of a "barber supply house"; according to the Herald of May 10, 1910, with a capitalization of $50,000 (now $1.2 million), he and his wife had filed articles of incorporation the day before to establish what appears to be a re-launch of the college called "The Moler Barber School." Haight had been born in Oakland in 1869; he subsequently lived in Flagstaff, Salt Lake City, San Jose, and San Francisco before moving to Southern California by 1904. George Washington Haight appears to be confused in some records, including in his 1937 Los Angeles Times obituary, with a well-known, apparently distantly related, San Francisco attorney who had died in 1913
  • Haight added a garage to his property at 1686 West Adams in 1910, a permit having been issued to him on October 3 of that year
  • In 1927, with their neighborhood commercializing and no doubt long weary of the grinding of the cars of the Los Angeles Railway's A-line as they turned west onto Adams at the corner, the Haights decided to redevelop their prime property. Rather than demolish the distinctive house, they decided to move it. A relocation permit was issued on February 2, 1927; 1686 was trucked two miles west to the 60-by-145-foot Lot 13 of Block 1 of Tract 2072—2012 South Victoria Avenue in Wellington Square—where it remains today. The house was placed on its new lot with its former westerly (Normandie Avenue) side facing west onto Victoria
  • While leaving its Arts & Crafts interior largely untouched—in which state it remains today—Haight updated the exterior appearance of the house before settling in at its new address. This work included a radical new roof configuration and the stuccoing of the original siding; façade alterations including the removal of the deep front porch, which helped in placing the house on the smaller, narrower lot on Victoria. For the work Haight hired contractor John H. Albright, who lived down Victoria Avenue at 2507 (on a segment of the street not yet cut off by the Santa Monica Freeway). Albright also built a new garage for Haight at this time
  • On July 15, 1927, Icadora Haight was issued a building permit for an L-shaped block of stores, offices, and apartments covering most of the original Adams lot; designed by G. Whitecross Ritchie, the building remains there 90 years later
  • The same busy year, the Haights and their son, Raymond, began developing 125 acres near Chatsworth, in the northwest San Fernando Valley, into a resort community called Twin Lakes Park. They hired Robert Stacy-Judd, who had built the now-famous Aztec Hotel in Monrovia in 1924, to give various buildings, including an entrance arch, a Mayan theme. The Haights were sued in 1933 by a group of buyers who contended that the family had inflated the value of the land and had not improved the tract as promised; the Haights won the suit, but the project languished
  • George W. Haight died in his relocated house on May 11, 1937. Dora Haight remarried in 1946; her groom was Englishman Percy Harringay Hawkins, who moved into 2012 South Victoria. After several trips abroad, and after extensive structural repairs undertaken in the spring of 1950, the Hawkinses sold the house to actress Ruby Dandridge, the mother of noted actress Dorothy Dandridge, in 1951. By November 1956, Mrs. Dandridge had sold the house to Joe J. Burkes
  • Icadora Hawkins died in Los Angeles on July 10, 1957; she was buried as Icadora Maude Haight alongside her first husband in Little Shasta Cemetery near ancestral Haight property in Siskiyou County near the Oregon border. Buried with them are their children, Raymond (1897-1947) and Eva Ellen Haight Lawrence (1901-1967). Raymond was an attorney and onetime California state corporation commissioner who ran for governor in 1934 and 1938 (some sources cite Henry Huntly Haight, governor of California from 1867 to 1871, as his first cousin twice removed, other sources as his great grand-uncle)
  • What is now known as the Haight-Dandridge House was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #1044 in 2013; the extensive, detailed petition can be read here. The property was sold in April 2013 for $700,000 and two years later for $1,190,000

Its smaller Wellington Square lot necessitated turning the relocated house 90 degrees to the
street; the former west façade, however, still faces west, seen here from Victoria Avenue.

A drastic reconfiguration of the roofline raised the second-floor ceilings where two dormers had
been and stripped away the house's charming original full-width Craftsman porch; the
original siding was stuccoed over, apparently in keeping with the textures
of the Haights' Mayan-themed Twin Lakes development.

Inside, the house appears basically unchanged from its 1909 configuration and decoration; the
entrance hall, seen here looking back toward the front door, retains rich unpainted trim as
do other downstairs rooms. Real estate descriptions of the era often pointed out the
polished woods used on the first floor of new houses and almost invariably
described upstairs chambers as being finished in ivory enamel.

The living room, at the northwest corner of he house both on Adams and now on Victoria, retains
its original light fixtures, stenciling, stained and leaded glass, and a remarkable clinker-brick
 hearth inlaid with semi-precious stones. The turret provides a nook for extra seating.

Comparative views a century apart: The living
room of 2012 South Victoria, circa 2015, and the same
room at 1686 West Adams Boulevard, circa 1913.

Typical of the Craftsman era is the recent innovation of dining-room built-ins, which often
 included glass-front cabinetry. Such features, with colorful decoration and art-glass
lighting, are among the touches made popular, with impressive speed, across
the country as the designs of the Greene brothers of Pasadena were
disseminated in newspaper rotogravures and shelter magazines.

The view in from the front door, with dining room to the left and living room to the right

Found on ascending the stairs is an original second-floor ceiling mural

The relative starkness of ivory walls and simple banisters upstairs was typical of 1909 interiors

Noted seemingly as an afterthought and not in the
cover artwork of a promotional brochure is the Haights' curious
choice of a Mayan theme for various features of their recreational and
residential park; booklet copywriters described it as a "Garden of the Gods"
 set among "grotesque and picturesque" rock formations. Two dammed
streams created the lakes. "You may choose from a one hundred
dollar camp site to a twenty-five thousand dollar estate."