4025 West Adams Boulevard


  • Built in 1911 by Mrs. Alice Stowell McKevett, widow of Ventura County fruit grower Charles H. McKevett; the Los Angeles Herald reported the commission on April 23, 1911, with plans for a garage reported on July 22, 1911. On May 28, the Los Angeles Times described the house as being of "Spanish Renaissance" design in "blue brick on the first story and plaster above, the roof being of mission tile. There will be five rooms, two baths and two sleeping porches on the second floor, while the first floor will contain seven rooms and a large reception hall. The latter will open into a rear court and sunken garden. The living-room, dining-room, library and four of the bedrooms will contain large open fireplaces. All the downstairs rooms are to be connected by sliding doors. The interior finish will be of hard woods" 
  • Architect: Arthur B. Benton
  • Alice McKevett was tied so closely to her friend and relative Clara Collins Teague Gries, the widow of Ventura County landowner Jacob K. Gries, that they both had Arthur Benton design Spanish-style houses the same year to be built on adjacent parcels. Mrs. Gries's house was at 4015 West Adams; her son Charles Collins Teague had married Mrs. McKevett's daughter Harriet in 1897. The McKevett, Gries, and Teague names were the most prominent in Ventura county, preeminent in the citrus industry as well as in oil and land, the families among those fabled California clans whose wealth was beyond mere city derivation
  • On October 19, 1925, the Department of Building and Safety issued a permit for the addition of an elevator to the house; listed as owner was the McKevett Corporation of Santa Paula
  • Mrs. McKevett died in the house on October 28, 1926; the next year, classified advertisements were being run in Los Angeles newspapers stating that 4025 West Adams "MUST BE SOLD/HALF PRICE TO CLOSE ESTATE"
  • The house was acquired by Dr. Ernest E. Kessler, who remained until 1937, when it was sold to Eda M. Gray. 
  • The McKevett house was converted to an eight-unit apartment building in 1937; permits for the work involved, and for a new garage, were issued to Eda M. Gray on August 6. On September 22, 1938, the building was auctioned off, with the new owner, Frederick H. Meyer, calling the house the Aralia Apartments. By 1948, Bernice L. Rice was in possession of the building. The Japanese interests that had acquired 4025 between 1956 and early 1960 sold the building to developer Joseph Stabler in 1961
  • In addition to 4025, Joseph Stabler had acquired 4015 West Adams next door, for which the Department of Building and Safety had issued him a demolition permit on November 20, 1961. A demolition permit for 4025 was issued on February 27, 1962; houses built within weeks of each other in 1911 would thus come down within weeks of one other 50 years later. They would immediately be replaced by Stabler with the fraternal-twin 26-unit apartment buildings that stand on their sites today 

As seen in the Los Angeles Times on May 28, 1911; reflecting the
changing fortunes of even the westerly end of West Adams Boulevard after
the housing pressures of the city's population explosion during the 1920s and the
ravages of the Depression, the McKevett house was divided into flats by a developer in
1937. The high bidder at the auction advertised in the Times on September 18, 1938,
would name the building the Aralia Apartments. Although traffic planners had
officially classified West Adams Street as a Boulevard in the 1920s, use
of its original designation persisted in print into the 1940s.

Illustrations: Private Collection; LAT