2000 West Adams Street


  • Completed in 1898 on a 6.35-acre parcel at the southwest corner of Adams Street and Western Avenue by Connecticut clockmaker Irving E. Ingraham and his Austrian-born wife Anna Anthofer Herckelrath Ingraham 
  • Irving Ingraham's grandfather, Elias Ingraham, and his father, Edward Ingraham, had built up their clock factory to the degree that it became the defining industry of Bristol, Connecticut. After his father died in 1892, Irving retired from active participation in the E. Ingraham Company at the age of 32, though he would hold on to his title of vice president until his death. He married Anna Anthofer Herckelrath in London on July 20, 1893, afterward adopting her 15-year-old son Arthur. After traveling the world, the Ingrahams decided to settle in Southern California   
  • Mark S. Severance of 758 West Adams was divesting himself of various properties in 1897; on December 24, the Los Angeles Times reported that  "Adams street west of Hoover is attracting some attention just now among investors, speculators and home seekers. The street is being graded for its full length to a width of ninety feet for a distance of four miles.... [The] section...west of Western Avenue is attractive...on account of its good soil, fine elevation and magnificent views...." The paper reported in the same article that Severance had recently sold a large parcel at the southwest corner of Adams Street and Western Avenue, 461 feet wide and reaching 591 feet south to West 27th Street, "to Mrs. Ingraham, who is having plans prepared for a $10,000 residence, in the Swiss style." That description is all that is currently known of the house's possible architecture, but is one perhaps compatible with Mrs. Ingraham's heritage. On January 21, 1898, the Times reported that Irving Ingraham had also been issued a building permit to add outbuildings including a sizable barn

The only known view of the pine forest planted by Irving and Anna Ingraham circa 1898 is seen across
Adams Street in a fragment of an image of the property at 2445 South Western taken on top of
its perimeter wall about 225 feet north north of Adams circa 1915. The Ingraham house
may be hiding in trees just to the left of the southeast corner of 2445, which was
completed 1910 by Effie Gardner Neustadt, another woman of importance.

  • Los Angeles: From the Mountains to the Sea, a 1921 collection of biographical sketches by John Steven McGroarty, described the Ingrahams' purchase as being a barley field with a water supply but no access to gas or electricity. In their first year living at 2000 West Adams—perhaps to enhance an Alpine effect—the Ingrahams planted thousands of small pines, which after 20 years would become a grove of tall trees above a carpet of pine needles. "It is probably the only cultivated pine forest in Southern California." The couple traveled widely, bringing back exotic non-Alpine fruit trees and shrubs including avocado and guava trees and something called an Australian strawberry tree, said to stand as tall as a man. The McGroarty book describes 2000 West Adams as "a spacious mansion on a hill," with views over the garden down a southerly slope. The house was positioned obliquely on the west side at the highest point of the property, through which a block of Manhattan Place runs today, with a prospect from its rear toward the Pacific. "The central and dominating feature of the residence quarters is the great living room" with a fireplace and many chairs, each with its own individual reading lamp
  • The Ingrahams entertained frequently at 2000 West Adams. Irving Ingraham was a benefactor of the Los Angeles Symphony Association, which presented its debut concert on February 1, 1898. (In 1919 the Symphony Association gave way to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, founded by the Ingrahams' neighbor William Andrews Clark Jr. of 2205 West Adams.) As vice president of the E. Ingraham Company more or less in name only, there was also time for cigars at the California Club, tennis and golf at the Los Angeles Country Club, as well as for hunting, motoring in his Packard, and frequent trips to Europe and elsewhere. Suffering from nephritis, Irving Ingraham died after spending four days at California Hospital on August 2, 1911. He was 50
  • Arthur Ingraham become a violinist and music teacher, living in modest accommodations in South Los Angeles; he married, divorced, and married again, appearing to always live within his own means. Anna Ingraham remained at 2000 West Adams after her husband's death, continuing to travel and to entertain, often in her garden. Although she was traveling Europe at the time, she gave over the grounds for a "forest fete" on the weekend of June 30, 1922, to raise money for the Friday Morning Club's new building on Figueroa Street. While Anna would not be leaving her house just yet, she had already made plans to subdivide her property

An adaptation of a map in the 1921 edition of the Baist Real Estate atlas reveals Tract 7680, the
proposed subdivision of the Ingraham property, which can be compared to that of the 1914
edition at top. The house remained standing until the late 1930s covering, more or
less, Lots 1-5. The residential nature of the Adams/Western intersection
lasted barely 20 years; Mrs. Ingraham made plans for redevelop-
ment even before she left 2000 West Adams in 1924.

  • The Baist Real Estate Atlas issued in 1921 indicates that the 6.35 acres at the southwest corner of Adams Street and Western Avenue had already been designated as Tract 7680, cleaved by a proposed new 50-foot-wide segment of Manhattan Place that would be cutting within feet of the northeast corner of the Ingraham house, and subdivided into 40 lots numbered 1 through 41. (There would be no Lot 13.) Mrs. Ingraham was still maintaining her base at the house at 2000 West Adams in early 1924 as redevelopment began down the slope toward 27th Street
  • While spending much of the rest of her life traveling, Anna Ingraham appears to have maintained a presence in Los Angeles after leaving 2000 West Adams circa 1925, living in local hotels such as the Alexandria when in town. Later indicating on travel documents that her base was Bristol, Connecticut—the clockworks perhaps paying her bills—she ordered a 1932 Duesenberg Model J chassis to which she had Pasadena chauffeur-turned-coachbuilder J. Gerard Kirchhoff add an elaborate custom town-car body. Before long Mrs. Ingraham lured Kirchhoff into driving the car all over Europe with her sitting in embroidered-silk and Birdseye-maple comfort in the rear compartment. It is unclear as to how happy Mrs. Kirchhoff back in Pasadena was with this arrangement, but within a few years Anna would hire John Willey of Los Angeles as a secretary and traveling companion, apparently making extravagant financial promises to him that included a lifetime pension. After Willey married a German actress while on the road in 1938, Mrs. Ingraham fired him; he then turned around and sued her for $254,000 in Los Angeles Superior Court. (An out-of-court settlement appears to have been reached; the case was dismissed in July 1939.) Curiously, Anna Ingraham remained in Nazi-occupied Austria; she died in Mauerbach on November 21, 1944. Even if her house at 2000 West Adams is long gone—except perhaps for a long arroyo-stone wall extending west from Manhattan Place—her Duesenberg remains as a rolling memorial. While it is possible that the grand Mrs. Ingraham may have bought the title herself, or earned it as an affectionate nickname, it might also be that investors in the car took to referring to her as Countess Anna Ingraham as a bit of sales-brochure mythology, the title appearing whenever the vehicle has come up for auction. In October 2017, it changed hands for $594,000 

Redevelopment of the Ingraham property was underway by 1925; the
Riccardo's opening was announced in the Times on November 10, 1927. The
Sherlandy would open next door the following spring. Below are direct aerial images
taken exactly 10 years apart—on December 31, 1927, at left, and December 31, 1937. The
Ingraham house is just visible at upper left in both views. Adams Street, by 1927 called Adams
Boulevard, is at top, with Western Avenue at right and West 27th Street along the bottom.
At top center are the just-opened Riccardo and next to it, construction having just
started at the southeast corner of Manhattan Place—cutting through at left in
both views—the Sherlandy. A large market rose on Western in 1935.

  • Anna Ingraham does not appear to be associated in the press or elsewhere with the house at 2000 West Adams Street after 1924. The building remained standing, however, for at least another 14 years, visible in aerial photography dated as late as December 31, 1937. Construction on several buildings on the east side of the new street, including duplexes and small apartment buildings, was under way by November 1924. There was a lull in activity until late 1926; among other projects to come were the tract's signature apartment buildings, the 37-unit Riccardo, which would open at 2016 West Adams on November 12, 1927. Curving around the southeast corner of Manhattan Place, the 38-unit Sherlandy opened at 2022 West Adams the following May

Looking south down Manhattan Place today: The Ingraham house was at the top of the rise at right;
the street slopes down to West 27th Street from there. Part of the sprawling Manhattan Terrace
apartment complex, seen here, replaced it in 1940. The Sherlandy Apartments is at left; the
arroyo-stone wall extending 100 feet west from Manhattan Place is presumed to be part
of fencing that may have extended around at least the Adams and Western sides
of the Ingrahams' 6.35 acres. The biggest West Adams district houses were
built on deep properties from this point west to take advantage of
magnificent views toward the Pacific before the foothills of
the Santa Monica Mountains lured the rich away.

  •  The Western Avenue side of the the old Ingraham property would see rapid commercial development with filling stations and store and market buildings. Until another filling station came to occupy the three Adams-corner lots in 1935, they were occupied by a miniature golf course, the popularity of that sport at its height as the country entered the Depression. It wasn't until the preparations were being made for the construction of an apartment complex covering Lots 1-5 of Tract 7680 that the Ingraham house was finally demolished. By the time the complex, called the Manhattan Terrace, was completed in late 1940, the Ingrahams' cultivated pine forest was a dim memory

June 26, 1941: A slightly northwesterly view up Western Avenue a half-block south of Adams offers a
glimpse of the Riccardo Apartments above Smith's Metropolitan Market #1. The market structure
was built in 1935 as was the gas station that replaced miniature golf on the corner. In the
shadows across Adams is 2445 South Western Avenue, briefly the home of Theda
Bara, which just that June was being vacated by the Monticello School for
Girls. The 40-year-old Irving Ingraham house on the far side of
the Riccardo had been demolished a few years before.

Illustrations: Private Collection; LOCLATLAPL