3321 West Adams Boulevard


  • Built in 1925 on Lot 2 of Tract 8665—a two-parcel subdivision of the Adams & Fourth Avenue Tract—by real estate operator J. Edward Sullivan. Sullivan was in business with his wife Anna's cousin Richard H. Malone; the R. H. Malone Company developed the extensive Home Villa Tract, described in advertisements as being between Adams and Exposition boulevards and Ninth and Vineyard avenues. A new commercial spine of the development was Angeles Mesa Drive, which the Malone firm would tout as the 'new" Western Avenue, an alternative major southbound artery out of central Los Angeles; it would later become a southerly extension of Crenshaw Boulevard
  • After the Sullivans' daughter Annamarie was married at St. Paul's Catholic Church on September 10, 1940, a wedding breakfast was held at 3321. On December 28 of that year, Annamarie's sister Evelyn was also married at St. Paul's, with another wedding breakfast following at 3321. Living with the Sullivans at the time was Anna's unmarried sister Mary Malone. The Sullivans remained in the house until 1946, when they moved to an apartment in a building at 3708 West Adams, one of a series of identical adjacent structures built on Home Villa Tract lots in 1940
  • On October 16, 1947, the Department of Building and Safety issued a permit to the new owner of 3321, Jacob Levy, to convert the house into a two-family residence; Levy placed the house on the market in 1948—"an 11-room stucco...being used as an apartment house," per advertisements in the Los Angeles Sentinel—asking $27,500, furnished. In 1950, the next owners, real estate investors Mark and Sonya Appelman, made an 8-by-31-foot addition to the rear of the house, for which the Department of Building and Safety issued a permit on March 20, 1950. The result was the conversion of the original single-family dwelling into a seven-unit apartment house, for which the certificate of occupancy was issued on December 1, 1950
  • A few tenants of what was now 3321-3323 West Adams Boulevard would be getting into scrapes; in November 1951, 36-year-old Henry Wickliff, who apparently already had a record, was arrested at his apartment after he stole money and a new car from his place of employment, a Santa Monica garage. Twenty years almost to the day later, tenant Robert William Watkins was booked along with three friends in the strangulation death of a man who, according to a report in the Sentinel on November 11, 1971, "had a past record of homosexual activity." The foursome also stole the victim's car, in which Watkins and one of the other perps, Clarence Watts, Jr., were apprehended. "When police stopped the vehicle they found suspect Watts in an orange mini skirt, full-length women's coat, wig, and ladies' shoes. Watts reportedly told police that he left his purse at his residence" 

Illustration: Private Collection