2190 West Adams Boulevard


In 1910, when banker and Redondo Beach developer Harry Ainsworth built his house at 2190 West Adams Boulevard (Adams "Street," as it was then), affluent Angelenos were taking a gamble on where they chose to build a lasting domestic legacy. While the established Adams District, still leafy and grand, continued to spread west from Figueroa Street—gated Berkeley Square at Western Avenue had opened a few years before—so too was Wilshire Boulevard developing residentially as far out as the city's "West End," where Fremont Place and Windsor Square were about to open. Even farther west, Beverly Hills was aborning, with Pasadena having long been a refuge. By 1917, Ainsworth was gone from his house; later occupied by a private school and then an organization called Science for Self Unfoldment, it was demolished in 1965.

The Ainsworth house as seen, newly built, in the
 Los Angeles Times on April 23, 1911, above, and circa
1940. The house was designed by Lovell B. Pemberton,
a Redondo Beach associate of Harry Ainsworth.

An early view of the considerably more modern-appearing rear façade
of 2190 West Adams reveals the southerly slope down from the boulevard that
would attract homebuilders to its westerly reaches, where an estate area developed.
Sweeping views from the ridge as far as the ocean, deep lots for terraced gardens, and
cooling breezes sufficed until the evenutal abandonment of West Adams by the richest
Angelenos, who decamped for Beverly Hills, Bel-Air, and points west. The image
appeared on the front of a postcard annotated by an individual who seems
to be either Harry B. Ainsworth's son John or his daughter Anna.

Illustrations: Private Collection; LAPLLAT; Ebay