Archive for June 2016

Pets and the Residential Lease Agreement

If you have a pet, you know how hard it can be to find an apartment that will allow you and your furry friend to both sign the residential lease agreement.

Many, dare I say most landlords are strict about not accepting tenants with animals. If you are lucky, you may be able to find landlords with a kind heart (probably pet owners themselves) who will allow certain kinds of pets in their units.

The best place to find an apartment that accepts pets is to first look in all the usually places: Craigslist, pet-friendly websites for people looking to rent, the news classifieds or even through a broker.

But please follow the residential lease agreement golden rule with regards to animals!

Make sure you mention your pet before you begin your lease hunting efforts!

You must follow the two steps below to insure an efficient approach in finding the best property for you and your pet:

Ask up front about their pet policy.

If you are replying to an apartment listing via telephone or email, be sure to ask what the property policy is with regards to pets. You don’t want to get yourself excited about a place only to find out later that they don’t accept pets of any kind. And don’t make the mistake that so many people do which is go all the way through the application process thinking they can’t possibly turn you down once they meet YOUR pet. Guess what? No one thinks your pet is as cute and sweet as you do. I have never seen this work. Worst case, if you signed the lease and moved in and they later found your pet living with you, the landlord could evict you AND collect all the rent due through the remainder of your lease.

Lastly, you may find out by letting the landlord know upfront that they accept certain breeds of dog or certain sizes (for example: under 20 pounds).

Tell broker about your pet.

If you opt to use a broker to help you find a property, be sure you inform the broker at your first meeting that you have an animal and that you only want to see apartments with pet-friendly policies. Also make sure to inform them if you plan on getting a pet in the future.

If you follow these two simple steps you can be sure not to waste unnecessary time in your hunt for a pet-friendly apartment complex. If you and the landlords that run the properties you are interested in are on the same page you won’t waste valuable time wondering if your beloved pet is going to end up unintentionally denying you access to a residential lease agreement.

Stirling Gardner (The Hollywood Landlord) is a writer and property management expert.

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Dundrum – Dublin
Tenants Rights
Image by infomatique
Dundrum is effectively a suburb of Dublin even though it is a town in its own right.

In 1971, Dundrum was one of the earliest locations in Ireland to open a purpose-built shopping centre (the first being in Stillorgan). A much bigger shopping centre opened just south of Dundrum on 3 March 2005. Known as Dundrum Town Centre it contains within the complex one of the largest cinemas in Ireland, opened in early October 2005.

The plans for the old shopping centre includes space for hotels, apartments and more retail outlets. However this has been postponed and the older retail units have been leased to new tenants such as Lidl.

When the Normans arrived in 1169, a series of fortifications were built around Dublin. A castle was built in Dundrum as part of this series of outer fortifications around the 13th century. Later in 1590, a newer castle was built by Richard Fitzwilliam as part of a strategic line of castles within the Pale. The original village clustered around Dundrum Castle and was considered a rural defensive outpost against assaults and raids from Irish tribes and families such as the O’Tooles and the O’Byrnes.

In 1619, a relation by the name of William Fitzwilliam was granted the castle in recognition of his bravery and courage while defending against these assaults and his family held onto the Fitzwilliam seat until 1790. The castle was never reoccupied and exists today as ruins overlooking the Dundrum Bypass and the new shopping centre. Recent excavations in 1989 recovered green glazed pottery known as "Leinster Ware", shells from oysters and cockles, animal bones, and shards of pottery from Saintongue in France probably used for storing wine.

The arrival of Richard Fitzwilliam and the building of the castle established commercial activity in the region. The village was well known for "The Manor Mill" where corn was ground into flour. An overflow waterfall was also used by a paper mill and an iron works.

In 1813, the original Roman Catholic church on Main Street was built. It was replaced by a larger building in 1878 and marked when Dundrum was constituted a separate parish. A large extension was built in 1956. The church is built in a gothic style from Dublin granite with Portland and Bath stone used for the surrounds of windows and doors.

In 1818, Christ Church on Taney Road was opened as a replacement for a smaller church that stood on the same site. Selling pew sites raised funding for the new building, and the sale of 18 pews on the ground and 8 on the gallery raised nearly £400. The architect for the new church was William Farrell. Walter Bourne was born in 1795 in Dublin. He died on 19 Nov 1881 in Taney House. He married Louisa Arabella Minchin in 1821.

The village expanded greatly after the arrival of the Dublin and South Eastern Railway (DSER) in 1854. By 1876, the Manor Mill became a Laundry and was the largest employer of female labour in the region, The Laundry hooter was a regular and well-loved sound in its day, and would sound at 7.50am for thirty seconds, then at 8am to start work, and also at 13.50, 14.00, and finally at 16.50 and 17.00.

In 1893, a Dublin solicitor named Trevor Overend purchased an 18th-century farmhouse. Today, this building is named Airfield House and is open to the public.

The Dun Emer Press was founded at Dundrum by Elizabeth Yeats, assisted by her brother William Butler Yeats, in 1903.

In 1914, a Carnegie Library was opened by the then Lord Chancellor. Originally, the library was used as an entertainment facility for the community and the upper floor was equipped with a stage and even a kitchen. The building was also used as a school until the 1950s.

Image from page 14 of “Alden’s Oxford guide : with key-plan of the University and city, and numerous engravings” (1903)
Tenants Rights
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Identifier: aldensoxfordguid00alde
Title: Alden’s Oxford guide : with key-plan of the University and city, and numerous engravings
Year: 1903 (1900s)
Authors: Alden, Edward C
Subjects: University of Oxford
Publisher: Oxford : Alden
Contributing Library: University of California Libraries
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Text Appearing Before Image:
Alden^s Oxford Guide.-—Advertisements. Established 1840. MR. EDMUND J. BROOKS, F.A.I., auctioneer, IDaluer, Ibouee anb lEetate Hgent, Surveyor, 3n6urance Hoent, &c SALES of Real Property, Household Furniture, Timber, &c.,undertaken at moderate charges. Periodical Sales of Freeholdand Leasehold Properties and Shares. VALUATIONS of Real and Personal Property, Tenant-right,Timber, Hotel and Public-house Fixtures, and for Probate,Estate Duty, and Mortgage Purposes. STOCKS and SHARES bought and sold. INVENTORIES TAKEN and DILAPIDATIONS AS=SESSED. Accounts audited and kept. Mortgages arranged.Rents collected. Estates managed and Surveys made. INSURANCES effected against Life, Fire, Accident, andBurglary Risks. Telephone, No. 0,329 (Oxford). offices: 14 ond 15 jVtagdolen $treet, Oxford. Alde?is Oxford Guide.—Advertiseme?ifs. LAMBERT, and ^ilS)erSTT))t:bs To His Majesty the Aiir^, 10, 11. & 12, COVENTRY STREET, PICCADILLY. W.

Text Appearing After Image:
H unique collection ot IDianionD Mori?.^Enamels, an^ Moulds ot Brt. ]£v>ei? ^c5criptl0ll ot Bccorative. ITable,ant) ]Eccle5iastical Gilt anD Silvev plate, Antique and Aodern.AND SHEFFIELD PLATE. Aldens Oxford Guide. —Advertisements. Nat. Telephone 122. EOBEET BUCKELL & SOlf, (Fellow of the Auctioneers Institute), Auctioneers, ^at^i^rS,V(ouSe and Cstete Agents. Valuations of Real and Personal Property for Probate, Estate Duty, and other purposes.Inventories taken and dilapidations assessed. Sales of Businesses, Real Property, Household Furniture, &c.undertaken at moderate charges. Rents collected and Estates managed.Insurances effected for Fire, Life, Accident and Burglary. SPECIAL ATTENTION GIVEN TO HOUSE AGENCY. Printed Register of all Properties To be Let or Sold published monthly, sent post free on application. All Properties entered in our Register free of ctiarge. SPECIAL SELECTION OF PROPERTIES TO BE LET OR SOLD ON RECEIPT OF REQUIREMENTS. Offices: 1, BROAD STREET

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Signing Up to Great TV

One of the main things putting people off upgrading their television packages is that they think it’ll be expensive. The truth is that it really doesn’t have to be, especially if you choose your upgrades well. Nowadays, many of the best television service providers offer packages and television bundles that are great value because they are created in such a way that they cater to a particular taste. That means that buying a bundle won’t mean you end up being bombarded with countless TV channels you’ll never watch, but that the bundle will be comprised largely of only the channels you want.For example, if you’re a TV viewer with a thirst for knowledge, you can sign up to receive bundles from as little as £1 extra per month from some providers! In this bundle, you’ll receive channels such as the History Channel and the Discovery Channel – two of the best channels to have when it comes to expanding your knowledge. What you won’t receive are kids favourites like Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon – though, if you are interested in these two offerings, it’d be a good idea to pick up a children’s package.Alternatively, maybe you have a passion for cooking and want to take in as many cooking shows as possible. That’s where the food and home bundle comes in. You’ll be able to follow the adventures of all your favourite celebrity chefs – as well as more Come Dine With Me than anybody can truly handle – without worrying about paying for channels you really don’t want. And if you’re a sports fan? Well, sports bundles have been in existence for years! It’s easy to get the TV you want these days, and all can be achieved without breaking the bank. So it’s time to put your reservations about cost aside and explore the myriad options available to you. By using these individual, specially-created bundles, you can provide yourself with the perfect television set up that you’ve always dreamed of, with none of the rubbish you don’t want to watch or pay for. Now all you have to do is work out which provider to go with – so it’s time to compare Sky and all of the rest of them to see which one suits you best! Once you’ve made your selection and chosen your television bundle, you can be sure that you won’t want to leave your couch!

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18e – Gibbons Residence – 1915 S Oxford Ave
The Fifth Amendment Explained
Image by Kansas Sebastian
West Adams Heights

“Nowadays we scarcely notice the high stone gates which mark the entrances on Hobart, Harvard, and Oxford streets, south of Washington Boulevard. For one thing, the traffic is too heavy, too swift; and then, again, the gates have been obscured by intrusions of shops and stores. At the base of the stone pillars appears the inscription “West Adams Heights.” There was a time when these entranceways were formidable and haughty, for they marked the ways to one of the first elite residential areas in Los Angeles. . . In the unplanned early-day chaos of Los Angeles, West Adams Heights was obviously something very special, an island in an ocean of bungalows—approachable, but withdrawn and reclusive—one of the few surviving examples of planned urban elegance of the turn of the century.”

– Carey McWilliams, “The Evolution of Sugar Hill,” Script, March, 1949: 30.

Today West Adams Heights is still obviously something special. The past sixty years, however, have not been kind. In 1963 the Santa Monica Freeway cut through the heart of West Adams Heights, dividing the neighborhood, obscuring its continuity. In the 1970’s the city paved over the red brick streets and removed the ornate street lighting. After the neighborhood’s zoning was changed to a higher density, overzealous developers claimed several mansions for apartment buildings. Despite these challenges, however, “The Heights,” as the area was once known, has managed to regain some of its former elegance.

The West Adams Heights tract was laid out in 1902, in what was then a wheat field on the western edge of town. Although the freeway now creates an artificial barrier, the original neighborhood boundaries were Adams Boulevard, La Salle Ave, Washington Boulevard, and Western Avenue. Costly improvements were integrated into the development, such as 75-food wide boulevards (which were some of the first contoured streets not to follow the city grid), lots elevated from the sidewalk, ornate street lighting, and large granite monuments with red-brass electroliers at the entrance to every street. These upgrades increased the lot values, which helped ensure the tract would be an enclave for the elite.

One early real estate ad characterized the neighborhood stating: “West Adams Heights needs no introduction to the public: it is already recognized as being far superior to any other tract. Its high and slightly location, its beautiful view of the city and mountains make t a property unequaled by any other in the city.”

The early residents’ were required to sign a detailed restrictive covenant. This hand-written document required property owners to build a “first-class residence,” of at least two stories, costing no less than two-thousand dollars (at a time when a respectable home could be built for a quarter of that amount, including the land), and built no less than thirty-five feet from the property’s primary boundary. Common in early twentieth century, another clause excluded residents from selling or leasing their properties to non-Caucasians.

By the mid 1930’s, however, most of the restrictions had expired. Between 1938 and 1945 many prominent African-Americans began to make “The Heights” their home. According to Carey McWilliams, West Adams Heights became known “Far and wide as the famous Sugar Hill section of Los Angeles,” and enjoyed a clear preeminence over Washington’s smart Le Droit Park, St. Louis’s Enright Street, West Philadelphia, Chicago’s Westchester, and Harlem’s fabulous Sugar Hill.

West Adams Heights, now also known as Sugar Hill, played a major role in the Civil Rights movement in Los Angeles. In 1938 Norman Houston, president of the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company, and an African-American, purchased a home at 2211 South Hobart Boulevard. Legal Action from eight homeowners quickly ensued. During that period, other prominent African-Americans began to make Sugar Hill their home – including actress Hattie McDaniels, dentists John and Vada Summerville, actress Louise Beavers, band leader Johnny Otis, and performers Pearl Baily and Ethel Waters, and many more. On December 6, 1945, the “Sugar Hill Cases” were heard before Judge Thurmond Clark, in LA Superior Court. He made history by become the first judge in America to use the 14th Amendment to disallow the enforcement of covenant race restrictions. The Los Angeles Sentinel quoted Judge Clark: “This court is of the opinion that it is time that [African-Americans] are accorded, without reservations and evasions, the full rights guaranteed them under the 14th Amendment.” Gradually, over the last century people of nearly ever background have made historic West Adams their home.

The northern end of West Adams Heights is now protected as part of the Harvard Heights Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ). The Historic West Adams area of Los Angeles (which includes West Adams Heights) boasts the highest concentration of turn-of-the-century homes west of the Mississippi, as well as the highest concentration of National Historic Landmarks, National Register of Historic Places, National Historic Districts, State Historic Landmarks, Los Angeles Cultural-Historic Monuments, and Historic Preservation Overlay Zones in the city. The entirety of West Adams Heights should be nominated as a National Register Historic District, for the quality of homes, the prominence of the architects, notoriety of the people who lived in the neighborhood, and the role it played in civil rights.

Perhaps a quote adapted from a fireplace mantle in the Frederick Rindge mansion best symbolizes the optimism which exists in West Adams: “California Shall be Ours as Long as the Stars Remain.”

01 – Harvard Street Monument – Harvard Blvd & Washington Blvd, 1902.

Nearly destroyed by neglect and vandals over decades of inner city decay, the Harvard and Hobart Boulevard monuments were restored in 2002.

02 – Frank Southerland & Grace Pirtle Hutton, and John A Pirtle Residence – 2047 La Salle Ave – 1907

According to the property permit, the house was built for E B Spencer in 1906. Most likely he built this house on speculation (as he did two years earlier at 2039-2041 La Salle Ave), because according to the LA County Tax Assessor’s Office, John A Pirtle purchased this property in 1907. The same year there appears an article in the LA Herald announcing the engagement of Frank Southerland Hutton to Miss Grace Pirtle, who lived with her parents at 1819 S Union Ave, and their plans to build a house in Los Angeles after their honeymoon. Another 1907 article indicates the happy couple were married and moved into their new home on La Salle Ave. But, by 1909, they’ve moved to 1827 S Normandie and John A Pirtle is shown at the La Salle house. John Pirtle was a Southern California industrialist who appears to have made his fortune in the oil fields of Tennessee, Alabama, and Texas, through a company called the Beaumont Exchange and the Oriole Oil Company. He also speculated in water, with the West Los Angeles Water Company, West Side Water Company and the Glendale Consolidated Water Company. Frank Hutton was a well-known and respected Los Angeles lawyer, a partner of the firm Schweitzer and Hutton. This 1907 house is an unassuming looking American Craftsman bungalow, which hides its actual size. Beneath the long, low slung slope of the gable is a rather large house of 2-1/2 stories. The rounded, Colonial Revival styled balcony rail is an unusual feature.

03 – Robert K Wilson, J Frank & Virginia N Waters, and Mark & Mamie (May) E Phelps Residence – 2039-2041 La Salle Ave – 1905 – Frank Dale Hudson and Julius W Krause

Dutch Colonial in West Adams Heights is a rare architectural style, probably already deemed to be passé, but two examples exist nonetheless. The other Dutch is on South Hobart, built for C I D Moore, and is turned on its side, giving it a more Cotswold appearance. This Dutch Colonial is a straight-on interpretation of the vernacular. The architect of the house is reported to be Julius W Krause. Prior to 1895 Krause was partnered with Frank Dale Hudson, of the firm Hudson and Munsell. For a time Krause was also the Superintendent of Building for the City of Los Angeles. The original builder of this house was E B Spencer, however it’s obvious he built it in 1905 on speculation (just as he did two years later the house at 2047 La Salle Ave). This house was quickly sold the same year to Robert K Wilson who Just as quickly flipped it in 1907 to J Frank Waters. Six months later Waters sold the residence to Mark and Mamie (May) E Phelps. The Phelps’s lived at this resident until Mark’s death in 1924. Mark Phelps was described as a pioneer of Los Angeles, first finding success in mining, then as a live-stock dealer. He retired just 3 months before his death. By 1926 J E Phillips who was reported to be living at this address was arrested for smuggling Moonshine Whiskey in his car. In 1943, William J Morris, a building contractor, was the resident, according to his obituary.

04 – Wilbur Wells & Blanche Lillian Smith Keim Residence – 2033 La Salle Ave – 1904

Wilbur Wells Keim graduated from the Pharmacy School at UC Berkeley in 1902. He married Miss Blanche Lillian Smith in 1903. A large reception for the couple was held at the West Adams Heights mansion of Wesley W Beckett, 2218 S Harvard Blvd. The couple began building their house on La Salle in 1904. Keim opened a pharmacy with Edward R Neill (Keim-Neill Drug Co) just a few blocks away on the Southwest corner of Washington and Normandie, at 1890 W Washington Boulevard. Their daughter, Lorraine Keim was a 1925 graduate of USC and a member of the Kappa Alpha Sorority. The house itself is a mystery. The front porch is Craftsman. The eves under the second story and the overall shape appear to be Colonial Revival. The front door with the half sidelights and smaller window openings suggest an older structure which was moved to this location and remodeled. The effect, unfortunately, isn’t quite successful.

05 – William A & Rose H Jenkins Residence – 2029 La Salle Ave – 1909

Originally the address was 1949 La Salle Ave, but a reorganization of addresses by the city to make them more uniform changed it to 2029 La Salle Ave sometime around 1909-1910.

06 – Frank A & Marie C Von Violand Vickery Residence – 2025 La Salle Ave – 1909

When Frank A Vickery passed away he left a sizable estate. Numerous properties were advertised for auction in the February 28, 2014, issue of The California Outlook, including three in West Adams Heights (1947 La Salle Ave, 2017 La Salle Ave, and 2025 La Salle Ave). Vickery had purchased these unimproved lots in 1906 from the Gopher Land Company as investments and improved the lots. Frank Vickery was a mining industrialist with many interests, including the Pan-American Hardwoods Company in Mexico and the San Gabriel River Rock Company. The Vickery’s lived at 341 Andrews Blvd (S St Andrews Pl), in a 1907 mansion they built for ,000. According to the LA Times and LA Herald society pages, they entertained often. In May, 1910, the Vickery’s sold their St Andrews Pl home through the Althouse Brothers for ,000, to Mrs. Frederick Fischer, and relocated to their 2025 La Salle Ave home. After Frank Vickery’s death, auction, either the house didn’t sell at auction or his wide decided to continue living at the residence. The 1923-24 Southwestern Blue Book lists her at this location, with visiting on “Third Wednesdays. “ Mrs. Vickery was also a member of the Ebell and Friday Morning Clubs. Although this house must have been smaller and less opulent than their St Andrews Place residence, it is still a handsome American Craftsman home, with only minor alterations.

07 – Income property owned by Frank A Vickery – 2017 La Salle Ave – 1909

When Frank A Vickery passed away he left a sizable estate. Numerous properties were advertised for auction in the February 28, 2014, issue of The California Outlook, including three in West Adams Heights (1947 La Salle Ave, 2017 La Salle Ave, and 2025 La Salle Ave). Vickery had purchased these unimproved lots in 1906 from the Gopher Land Company as investments and improved the lots. Frank Vickery was a mining industrialist with many interests, including the Pan-American Hardwoods Company in Mexico and the San Gabriel River Rock Company. The house is American Craftsman, and the architect and builder was the Alfred E Georgian, Co.

08 – La Salle Ave Streetscape
Looking South on La Salle Ave (from left to right):
A. 2047 La Salle Ave – Hutton-Pirtle Residence
B. 2041 La Salle Ave – Phelps Residence
C. 2029 La Salle Ave – Hull Residence
D. 2033 La Salle Ave – Keim Residence
E. 2025 La Salle Ave – Frank A & Marie C Von Violand Vickery Residence
F. 2017 La Salle Ave – Income Property owned by Frank A Vickery

09 – Stanley Frederick & Sue A Shaffer McClung – 1959 La Salle Ave – 1905 – Robert Farquhar Train & Robert Edmund Williams

Imagine this house as it might have been in 1905: the long sloping roof of natural shingles, which would have matched the color of the shingled siding; ornate rails along the porch, widows weep, and above the bay window; a full chimney and no bars on the windows or doors. The effect would have been striking, and will again when the house is one day restored. It’s one of the most significant surviving houses on La Salle. It was designed by the architecture team of Robert Farquar Train and Robert Edmund Williams (Train & Williams), for Pacific Mutual Secretary Stanley F McClung. He was part of the “Old Company” forced out of power in the early 1930’s along with his brother-in-law George Ira Cochran.

10 – Income property owned by Frank A Vickery – 1947 La Salle Ave – 1909

When Frank A Vickery passed away he left a sizable estate. Numerous properties were advertised for auction in the February 28, 2014, issue of The California Outlook, including three in West Adams Heights (1947 La Salle Ave, 2017 La Salle Ave, and 2025 La Salle Ave). Vickery had purchased these unimproved lots in 1906 from the Gopher Land Company as investments and improved the lots. Frank Vickery was a mining industrialist with many interests, including the Pan-American Hardwoods Company in Mexico and the San Gabriel River Rock Company. The house is a handsome American Craftsman residence, making use of horizontal siding to make it appear wider.

11 – Evan G & Matilee Loeb Evans and William A & Rose H Haley Jenkins Residence – 1929 La Salle Ave – 1903 – Allied Arts Co

This home is American Craftsman designed in 1903 by The Allied Arts Co (as was its neighbor at 1919 La Salle Ave), a prominent architecture firm responsible for many LA landmarks, including the recently restored Hall of Justice. A J Carlson was the contractor. Evan G Evans, from Chicago, IL, arrived in Los Angeles in the late 1990’s, and married Matilee Loeb in 1898. The Mr & Mrs Evans were prominent in the society pages. The second owner, William (Will) Jenkins, was like many of his neighbors, a Capitalist. Jenkins appears to have had his hand in many enterprises, including the Madera Canal & Irrigation Company. Mrs. Jenkins passed away August 5, 1933, at her home at 148 S Irving Blvd, survived by her husband.

12 – John H & Evangeline “Eva” Rose Clark Tupper and Thomas M & Mary P Sloan Residence – 1919 La Salle Ave – 1903 – Allied Arts Co

John H and Wilbur S Tupper were born in Evansville, Wisconsin, the children of John H and Mary Sophia Foster Tupper. In the 1800’s the brothers relocated in San Francisco found themselves in the insurance industry. Wilbur Tupper became Vice-President of Conservative Life and again both brothers moved to Los Angeles. Wilbur was destined for success and after the death of then-president Frederick Hastings Rindge, he became president of both Conservative Life and Pacific Mutual (founded by Leland Stanford). Wilbur’s house was located at 2237 S Harvard Blvd and John’s at 1919 La Salle Ave, within the same tract. In 1906 Wilbur suddenly resigned from the company in scandal involving another woman (not his wife). He fled to Chicago, abandoning his wife and position. His brother John probably suffered for his brother’s indiscretion, which may help explain his sudden departure from the neighborhood and the sale of his house to Thomas M Sloan. About the same time Thomas Sloan had been promoted to Assistant General Freight Agent of the Sante Fe Railroad. This transitional Victorian/Craftsman house was designed in 1903 by the Allied Arts Co, (as was its neighbor at 1929 La Salle Ave), a prominent architecture firm responsible for many LA landmarks, including the recently restored Hall of Justice. A J Carlson was the contractor.

13 – Charles Kraft Residence – 1913 La Salle Ave – 1913 – Earl E Scherich

A more modest and later addition to the neighborhood, this 1913 Craftsman Bungalow was built for Charles Kraft, Vice-President of the J C Huggins Co, a brokerage and loan company. The home was designed by Architect Earl E Scherich, and May L Greenwood, builder.

14 – Roland Paul Residence Gates – 1986 W Washington Blvd – 1905 – Sumner P Hunt and Arthur Wesley Eager (Demolished)

Between a bicycle shop and a convalescence home are the gates to 1986 W Washington Blvd, which remain the only evidence that a home designed by Hunt & Eager once stood here. Originally commissioned by Mrs. R Fitzpatrick of Pico Blvd, in February of 1905, it was quickly turned over to pioneer Col Charles F Howland, who lived around the corner at 1902 S Harvard Blvd. He attempted to sell it in September, 1905, to Walter Rose, but the deal apparently fell through. In November, 1905, Col Howland successfully sold the home to Roland Paul.

15 – Elizabeth L Kenney Residence – 2012 W Washington Blvd – 1906 – Philip Gengembre Hubert (Attributed)

When this home was built, Philip Gengembre Hubert, celebrated New York City architect, was listed as the owner. It was most-likely designed by him on speculation. His residence was already established in 1903 at 2144 S Hobart Blvd. Hubert was responsible for designing many New York City landmarks, including the Chelsea Hotel, and after nearly 40 years in practice Hubert retired to Los Angeles, where he died in 1911. This home was sold to Elizabeth L Kenney, the second female to graduate the law department at Stanford University and continued her education at Northwestern University in Chicago. Kenney became the first practicing female attorney in Los Angeles in 1897, entering into practice with her uncle. The house, unfortunately, has been mistreated with a layer of stucco and aluminum windows. We can only hope evidence of the house’s original nature lies underneath.

16 – Commercial Block – 2034 W Washington Blvd (formerly the home of Nathaniel Dryden, 1902 S Harvard Blvd)

Evidence of how quickly Los Angeles was changing in the early 20th Century can be seen in this attractive commercial block. Nathaniel Dryden, an architect and engineer who built the Brand Library in Glendale and the Robinson Mansion in Beverly Hills, built his home on this corner in 1903. Just 20 years later it had been replaced by a commercial building already. Such was the value of land in the quick-growing city.

17 – Clara Pitt Durant Residence – 1909 S Harvard Blvd. 1908. Sumner P Hunt and Arthur Wesley Eager

Barely visible from the street, the current owners prefer to be hidden by the trees and shrubs. This large Craftsman home was designed by Hunt & Eager for Ms. Clara Pitt Durant. A divorcee from Michigan, Ms. Pitt took her settlement and began a new life in Los Angeles. The history of the house is recorded at: www.invisiblemanor.com

18 – Charles Clifford and Belle Case Gibbons Residence – 1915 S Oxford Ave – 1903 – Frank M Tyler.

This house, designed by Frank M Tyler, is unusual for the neighborhood because it is completely sheathed in shingles, including the front porch columns. It is a Transitional Victorian/Craftsman in the Shingle Style, with Colonial and Tudor touches. It was built for Charles Clifford Gibbons and Belle Case Gibbons, who came to Los Angeles in 1884. Mr. Gibbons worked his way to from stock boy to general manager of Hale’s Dry Goods Store. His employer, Jas M Hale was a relation of San Francisco’s Hale’s Bros. Department Store, the national chain. C C Gibbons died in 1910 after an illness and in 1912 the house was sold to Matt and Mary Conway. Matt Conway made his business in real estate and land speculation. Coincidentally, the third owner, Jon Fukuto, was also a proprietor of a chain of Los Angeles grocery stores call Jonson’s Supermarkets (the name being a play on words, combining “Jon” and “Sons”). In 1945, after being released from the Gila Internment Camp in Arizona, Mr. Fukuto moved his family to Los Angeles where he established the business.

19 – James G & Rose Ganahl Donovan Residence – 20th Street (formerly located at 2202 S Western Ave) – 1903 – Robert Brown Young

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GOLA ABBEY – cracks displaying the old stonework in the house
Tenants Rights
Image by Irish Dominican Photographers
TALK ABOUT A NIGHTMARE – I misguidedly decided that the best way of finding this abbey would be with a GPS. It left me about ten miles from the site but was adamant that I was in Gola. None of the locals had heard of the place. I drove along every side road of beautiful rural Fermanagh for over an hour hoping to see something akin to an old church but found almost nothing and certainly nothing that could be described as the ruin of an abbey.

The kindly owner of the Garage at the entrance to Tamlacht gave good directions and a local farmer was very hospitable and helpful with the rest of the search. He owns the field where the church was situated and couldn’t plough it because, he thinks, there are so many large stones buried in the field that it would destroy any ploughshare.

The Abbey itself has passed from Ms. Wilson, mentioned in Ambrose Coleman’s account below, and is now the property of a Mr. G. Johnson. The house was built in the 18th century with extensions in the 20th and little remains to indicate that it was an older building. Apparently there is a fine fireplace contained in the almost dilapidated building. Some of the plasterwork on the outer walls has come away and you can see the stones of the original building underneath. Mrs Johnson gave me a most cordial reception considering I had arrived unannounced; “hi, I’m a Dominican and we used to own your house…”

Here follows what history I can muster on the forgotten Dominican foundation of Gola!

FRIARY OF GOLA
Ambrose Coleman, in his appendix to O’Heyne’s Irish Dominicans, writes:

THE account of the foundation of this convent, as given by O’Heyne, may be accepted as perfectly correct. The site, which is seven miles south-east of Enniskillen, near Lough Erne, was obtained shortly before the War of the Confederation, but the erection of the house was not commenced till after 1660. About this time a great controversy arose between the Dominicans and the Franciscans, as to the right of the former to quest for alms in the dioceses of Armagh, Down, Dromore and Clogher. For some years the Dominicans had not been seen in Ulster, but on the Restoration of Charles II., the provincial sent Fr. John O’ Conor, of Sligo, with some other friars, to establish themselves in the places where they formerly had possessed convents.

The Ven. Oliver Plunket, the primate, was commissioned by the Holy See to decide the controversy, and his decision in every case was favourable to the claims of the Dominicans. There was not much difficulty in deciding the claims of the Dominicans to the abbeys of Carlingford and Newtownards, but as regards Gola, the primate says, in a letter dated July 29, 1676 : " But the existence of their convent in Gaula is only attested by an old parchment book, written many years ago, which contains the annals of that diocese ; and some old persons attest that before the war of Cromwell, there were Dominicans in that diocese who went about to quest, in consequence of this convent ; the Franciscans, however, always opposed them." In another letter, dated Sept. 8th, the following year, he says : "I went to the diocese of Clogher, and near Enniskillen, in the convent of the Franciscan Friars, called the contending parties ; the Dominicans adduced the authority of the ancient annals of that town, written in the Irish language, which give the name of the convent of Gaula, the year in which it was founded, the Pope in whose pontificate it was founded for the Dominicans. They also brought forward the testimony of an old priest, who swore that he heard from his father that the convent of Gaula belonged to the Dominicans; they also produced other witnesses who gave like evidence."

The decision of the primate regarding Gola would incline one to believe that it was an ancient foundation like Carlingford and Newtownards, and he seems himself to have been of this opinion. But the negative arguments are irresistible. There is not the slightest reference to the convent of Gola at the time of the Suppression or not even in the inquisition held at Enniskillen, in 1609. There is no Bull of foundation extant such as we find for convents erected in the fifteenth century. The name is not to be found in the list of convents, drawn up by Ross Mageoghegan in 1627, nor in another list made in the sixteenth or seventeenth century, preserved in Trinity College Library. The reference to the ancient manuscript would carry great weight, if it were more defined, but Dr. Fitzsimons, vicar-general of Kilmore, who was one of the commissioners helping the primate, speaks of it as annales patriae pervetustos, quos ipsemet vidi in antiqua membrana exscriptos et apud antiquarium dicti comitatus Fermaniae custoditos. This can be no other than the Annals of Ulster, and it is sufficient to say that there is not the slightest reference in them to a Dominican convent in Gola. The reader .may judge the evidence for himself.

In the very year in which the controversy was decided, the primate reports that in Gola convent there are "eight friars, two of whom are good preachers, Father Thomas Mac Mahon and Father Charles Mac Manus. Here again they have a noviciate."

In the middle of the eighteenth century, there were three fathers in community, of whom one was parish priest. The Dominicans left Gola before 1800, and the convent became a private residence. When the grandfather of the present (1907) occupier, Miss Wilson, came to reside there, the walls only were standing. There is still a very fine old mantelpiece in the kitchen, but the most cursory inspection of the building shows it cannot be placed in the category of the ancient abbeys of the Order in Ireland.

FROM BURKE’S HIBERNIA DOMINICANA (1772)
“Golan” in MS – “Gola,” the “river forks.” “Gaulae adhuc videre est aliqua antique Caenobii Rudera, Modernus Fundi Dominus est Jacobus King, Armiger.”

In 1837, Lewis’ Topological Dictionary of Ireland mentions the abbey : Adjoining Lough Erne, a monastery for Dominican Friars was founded and dedicated to (the Nativity) of the Blessed Virgin, by MacManus, lord of the place, of which there are still some remains, also traces of the village of Gola in which it was situated.

Any remains of the ancient monastery are most probably to be found in the farm-house belonging to the daughters of the late Mr. Robert Wilson, who died in 1890. Wilson was the purchaser from the landlord, Sir Charles S. King, of his farms, under Lord Ashbourne’s Act), this was an act that allowed tenants to purchase lands and was to prohibit forced sales and purchases from both parties. The purchasing tenant could avail of government loans to affect the purchase.

The date of this Abbey’s foundation is not recorded. Aldfred, King of the Northumbrian Saxons, is stated to have learned here to speak and write in the Gaelic tongue; and his poem in praise of Erin is still extant.

Gola Abbey is not returned in the great survey of Fermanagh, made at Devenish, 7 July, 1603; nor in the Inquisition at Enniskillen, 18 September, 1609, to enquire into ecclesiastical lands, the only mention of the place is that it was then part of the herinagh lands of Derrybrusk. I cannot ascertain exactly what a heinagh is but I understand it to be a seventeenth century townland in the Church of Ireland. Heinaghs were listed on maps and required the bishop’s consent to erect indicating that they might well be old ecclesiastical divisons. On the 1609 map of the “Barony of Magherysteffanah,” it appears as an ecclesiastical edifice on the townland “eclamre,” next “tategould” (Gola), and “farranouollan” (Farnamullan). In the Down Survey Map, 1665, the townland is recorded as “Givola.”

Dr. Burke describes the convents as suppressed in 1649, and restored at the Restoration. Subsequently to the latter event, Fathers Cathal MacManus and Thomas MacMahon erected a new house at Gola, near the ancient abbey, under the patronage of MacManus, probably a descendant of the original founder. This accounts for the existence of a monastery here so late as the eighteenth century, while the old abbey was the residence of the King family. According to Archdall in his Monasticum Hibernia; in 1756 John Maguire, O.P., aged 55, was prior and Thomas Nolan, O.P., and Anthony Maguire, O.P., were the priests of the community.

The King family were certainly in possession of Gola Abbey as far back as the late seventeenth century. John King of Gola, Esq., took part in the defence of Enniskillen in 1689, and his name also appears in the list of signatories to the address to King William and Queen Mary written in that town in 1690. He died somewhere between 1720 and 1726 and his son James took possession of the estate. This is the James King who appointed Sherriff of Fermanagh in 1728 and presented the communion plate to Derryvolane Church. He died in 1756 and Gola passed to his eldest son also called James. This James married Elizabeth Coote of Limerick a cousin of his but died childless in London in 1823. His sister Hannah Honora married Edward Sneyd, Esq., M.P., Carrick, 1777-1781, Their son Nathanial Sneyd, married twice but died without children in 1833, having been shot in Westmoreland Street, Dublin, by, Mr. John Mason, a lunatic.

In 1815 Gola was purchased by Abraham Bradley King, another cousin. It passed after his death to his son Charles Simeon King. Although Chales listed Gola as his address he moved into the rebuilt house at Corrad nearby. His new lands included a small island called Inishbeg. One of the promontories of this island was called Friar’s Point and part of the island was referred to as the Friar’s Field. Charles was somewhat a historian and edited the Rev. William Henry’s manuscript, “Upper Lough Erne in 1739” from his home at Corrad. The local rector, Rev. J. W. Kaye, LL.D., penned the following verses which make reference to the friars fishing in the lake at that point:

CARRY BRIDGE
One summer eve I wander’d on
By lough, and mead, and ferry,
Until I came and stoodalone
Upon the bridge of Carry.
Of waters rolling under:
My thoughts ran fast upon the past,
And fill’d my mind with wonder.

I thought of deeds in years gone by,
When brothers fought with brothers;
When kings waged war with chieftain lords-
O’Neills, Maguires, and others;
And if they fought near here, I thought,
‘Midst all their flight and flurry,
Where would they go? – for then you know
There was no bridge at Carry.

I thought of good St. Patrick too,
Who oft, in Innismore,
Would preach to crowds assembled round
From hill, and dale, and shore;
And there’s the stone, ‘worn to the bone,’
Where oft all night he’d tarry
In earnest prayer, in Arda there,
Whene’er he pass’d through Carry.

I look’d across to Gola then,
Where once the Abbey stood;
I thought of monks who counted beads
In prayerful, solemn mood;
I could not name how oft they came
With net and “cot” or wherry,
As Fridays pass’d and Lenten fast,
To catch their fish at Carry.

But twilight falls, and seems to hide
The visions of the past;
The ancient feudal times are gone-
‘Tis well they could not last;
And chief’s ne’er wield the sword and shield,
Nor desperate spear-thrusts parry;
‘Tis well ‘tis so. Flow, waters, flow
Beneath the bridge of Carry

Somewhere in the nineteenth century Charles sold Gola Abbey to Robert Wilson who died in possession in 1890 and his daughters remained on after that. Ambrose Coleman, O.P., wrote that the priory had only become a residence at the time that Robert Wilson purchased it. The evidence from the King family indicates that they lived in the priory as far back as 1689 and had remained in residence until Charles King moved to Corrad. The Kings were resident in Gola Abbey at the time of the siege of Enniskillen and were still there in the time that Thomas Burke was writing in 1772; the restoration happened in 1660.

It is possible that the house was abandoned for some years as the Kings had renovated Corrad as early as 1825. Archdall’s account indicates that there were three friars living here in 1756 but the records indicate clearly that the Kings were firmly in possession of the old priory at that stage.

Maybe the friars lived elsewhere after the restoration?

There is a very fine house at the fork on the road that could be the site of the friars’ new home – I’ll have to go back and have another look. Thank God I marked the place on the GPS!

View From Sweetmount Park In Dundrum
Tenants Rights
Image by infomatique
Dundrum is effectively a suburb of Dublin even though it is a town in its own right.

In 1971, Dundrum was one of the earliest locations in Ireland to open a purpose-built shopping centre (the first being in Stillorgan). A much bigger shopping centre opened just south of Dundrum on 3 March 2005. Known as Dundrum Town Centre it contains within the complex one of the largest cinemas in Ireland, opened in early October 2005.

The plans for the old shopping centre includes space for hotels, apartments and more retail outlets. However this has been postponed and the older retail units have been leased to new tenants such as Lidl.

When the Normans arrived in 1169, a series of fortifications were built around Dublin. A castle was built in Dundrum as part of this series of outer fortifications around the 13th century. Later in 1590, a newer castle was built by Richard Fitzwilliam as part of a strategic line of castles within the Pale. The original village clustered around Dundrum Castle and was considered a rural defensive outpost against assaults and raids from Irish tribes and families such as the O’Tooles and the O’Byrnes.

In 1619, a relation by the name of William Fitzwilliam was granted the castle in recognition of his bravery and courage while defending against these assaults and his family held onto the Fitzwilliam seat until 1790. The castle was never reoccupied and exists today as ruins overlooking the Dundrum Bypass and the new shopping centre. Recent excavations in 1989 recovered green glazed pottery known as "Leinster Ware", shells from oysters and cockles, animal bones, and shards of pottery from Saintongue in France probably used for storing wine.

The arrival of Richard Fitzwilliam and the building of the castle established commercial activity in the region. The village was well known for "The Manor Mill" where corn was ground into flour. An overflow waterfall was also used by a paper mill and an iron works.

In 1813, the original Roman Catholic church on Main Street was built. It was replaced by a larger building in 1878 and marked when Dundrum was constituted a separate parish. A large extension was built in 1956. The church is built in a gothic style from Dublin granite with Portland and Bath stone used for the surrounds of windows and doors.

In 1818, Christ Church on Taney Road was opened as a replacement for a smaller church that stood on the same site. Selling pew sites raised funding for the new building, and the sale of 18 pews on the ground and 8 on the gallery raised nearly £400. The architect for the new church was William Farrell. Walter Bourne was born in 1795 in Dublin. He died on 19 Nov 1881 in Taney House. He married Louisa Arabella Minchin in 1821.

The village expanded greatly after the arrival of the Dublin and South Eastern Railway (DSER) in 1854. By 1876, the Manor Mill became a Laundry and was the largest employer of female labour in the region, The Laundry hooter was a regular and well-loved sound in its day, and would sound at 7.50am for thirty seconds, then at 8am to start work, and also at 13.50, 14.00, and finally at 16.50 and 17.00.

In 1893, a Dublin solicitor named Trevor Overend purchased an 18th-century farmhouse. Today, this building is named Airfield House and is open to the public.

The Dun Emer Press was founded at Dundrum by Elizabeth Yeats, assisted by her brother William Butler Yeats, in 1903.

In 1914, a Carnegie Library was opened by the then Lord Chancellor. Originally, the library was used as an entertainment facility for the community and the upper floor was equipped with a stage and even a kitchen. The building was also used as a school until the 1950s.

Looking E through main reception area – 5th floor – Mellon Building – Washington DC – 2013-09-15
Tenants Rights
Image by Tim Evanson
Looking east through the main foyer on the fifth floor (old Andrew Mellon apartment) floor of the McCormick Apartments at 1785 Massachusetts Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., in the United States. The structure is also known as the Andrew Mellon Building, for one of its most famous tenants. The flooring and moldings are all original to the building. The view is into the old east foyer and the door beyond shows what was the old Butler’s Pantry. In the hall, to the door to the right leads to the dining room. To the left is a door and access to the main stairs and elevator.

The structure was built by Stanley McCormick, heir to the International Harvester fortune. McCormick was mentally ill, however, and the building was largely built to the specifications of his wife, Katherine Dexter McCormick. The apartments were designed by Jules Henri de Sibour in the Beaux-Arts style common to the Dupont Circle neighborhood. Construction began in 1915 and was complete in 1917.

The building was designed to accommodate the very wealthy, as were most of the mansions and apartment buildings in the Dupont Circle neighborhood and north along Massachusetts Avenue NW. The plot of land was trapezoidal, posing some challenges to the typical symmetrical, boxy mansion design. De Sibor designed the entrance (on the northwest corner of 18th Street and Massachusetts Avenue) to pentrate the building in a northeasterly direction. Here, a circular tower formed the corner of the building and created a circular receiving area where visitors could shake off water-logged coats, remove galoshes, and alert the concierge as to whom they were visiting. Three short steps led into a small, square foyer where the concierge had a desk. From here, one could take the elevator up or take the winding staircase to the upper floors.

Because of the reception and foyer areas on the ground floor, the first floor was divided into two smaller apartments. The apartment to the left of the lobby was nearly identical in arrangement to that of the units above, but the one to the right was radically different in order to add baths, kitchen, bedrooms, and servants’ quarters.

Each of the upper floors occupied an entire floor. The core of the building contained the staircase and elevator. Around this was wrapped the servants hall, kitchen, and servants’ quarters. On the exterior of the building was the family living space. The facade facing the alley that ran along the east side and southeast corner of the building was undecorated. A narrow, unfinished rectangular courtyard pierced the building here to provide light to the servants’ quarters and servants’ hall.

The huge living room and somewhat smaller dining room ran the length of the building along Massachusetts Avenue NW. Behind the dining room (along the southeast corner alley) was the kitchen, and further back was the servants’ hall (which served as a servants’ dining room). Three foyers — right, left, and ahead — bracketed the elevator and stairwell, providing plenty of buffer space to keep visitors out of the apartment until they were wanted.

Along quieter 18th Street was a salon, two small bedrooms (with a shared bath), and a large bedroom (which occupied the brightly lit corner). Three small bedrooms ran along P Street NW. There were three bathrooms here, each shared by the bedroom next to it. These essentially created a long corridor on the P Street wall through which family members or guests could visit one another in states of undress without using the hallway. A public corridor ran along the inner wall of these bedrooms.

The inner core of the building consisted of a mezzanine set below the floor. The servants’ hall, kitchen, dining room, living room, salon, bedrooms, foyers, and public corridors all had 14.5 foot high ceilings. The servants quarters were remarkably smaller, each just 10 feet wide and 15 feet long with only enough room for a twin bed and an upright wardrobe. All five servants’ rooms shared a single bath. Ceilings here were just eight feet. Interestingly, the top floor had TWO mezzanines — the normal one below, as well as one above. This gave the top floor apartment space for as many as 10 live-in servants.

The building offered many amenities: A central boiler system that provided both heat in winter and circulated cool water through the radiators in summer (to help cool things off); a central vaccum system (plug the hose into the wall, and use); refrigerated tap water; and laundry chutes. Each apartment had its own washing machines and drying racks in the basement.

The building had numerous famous residents. They included Stanley McCormick and his daughter, Katherine McCormick Judge, who lived here from 1917 to 1930 and from 1930 to 1933. Robert Wood Bliss, a State Department official, lived here from 1920 to 1923. He moved out to become ambassador to Sweden, and upon his return to the U.S. purchased the Dumbarton Oaks estate in Georgetown. (It is now a national historic site and museum housing his extensive collection of pre-Columbian and Byzantine art.) William Butterworth, president of John Deere, lived here from 1930 to 1931 when he was president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Alanson B. Houghton, the former president of the Corning Glass Works, lived here from 1930 to 1934, as did Thomas Fortune Ryan (the onwer of the Belgian Congo diamond fields and an American robber-baron) from 1920 to 1922. Pearl Mesta, "the hostess with the mostest", lived here from 1931 to 1932. Her dinner parties and cocktail receptions were considered the most lavish and delightful of Washington society for half a century. Industrialist and banker Andrew Mellon also lived here from 1921 to 1932 while he served as Secretary of the Treasury to Presidents Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover. Mellon occupied the top floor. Most tenants paid a whopping ,000 a month to live there. (That’s 5,000 in 2013 dollars!) Mellon paid ,000 a month. For a few months in 1936, Lord Joseph Duveen rented the apartment below Mellon’s and placed 42 valuable oil paintings there for Mellon to look at. Mellon, an avid art collector, was expanding his collection to form the nucleus of what he hoped would be a National Gallery of Art. Duveen hired a caretaker for the temporary gallery, and gave Mellon access (day or night). After some months, Mellon purchased nearly all of the paintings Duveen offered.

The Great Depression led to widespread vacancies in the building during the 1930s. It was largely empty by 1940. In 1941, the building was seized by the federal government and turned into offices. The British Purchasing Commission (which obtained ships, guns, and ammunition from the U.S. during the Lend-Lease period prior to WWII) used it from 1941 to 1942, followed by the British Air Commission in 1948 and the Commonwealth Scientific Office in 1949. It stood empty for two years. Stanley McCormick died in 1950, and under the terms of his will the building was donated to the American Council on Education. The council used it until 1969. It was sold to the Brookings Institution (which is next door) in January 1970. Brookings rented out to a wide range of scientific, educational, and lobbying organizations. It was sold to the National Trust for Historic Preservation on October 28, 1976 — at which point it was declared a National Historic Landmark.

In late June 2013, the National Trust sold the building to the American Enterprise Institute (a right-wing think tank) for .5 million. The Trust moved into leased space on the top two floors of the Watergate Office Building. The National Trust holds a permanent historic preservation easement that protects both the interior and exterior of the Mellon Building.

salon room – 2d floor – Mellon Building – Washington DC – 2013-09-15

Check out these Tenants Rights images:

salon room – 2d floor – Mellon Building – Washington DC – 2013-09-15
Tenants Rights
Image by Tim Evanson
Looking west across the former salon on the second floor of the McCormick Apartments at 1785 Massachusetts Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., in the United States. The structure is also known as the Andrew Mellon Building, for one of its most famous tenants. The flooring and moldings are all original to the building.

The structure was built by Stanley McCormick, heir to the International Harvester fortune. McCormick was mentally ill, however, and the building was largely built to the specifications of his wife, Katherine Dexter McCormick. The apartments were designed by Jules Henri de Sibour in the Beaux-Arts style common to the Dupont Circle neighborhood. Construction began in 1915 and was complete in 1917.

The building was designed to accommodate the very wealthy, as were most of the mansions and apartment buildings in the Dupont Circle neighborhood and north along Massachusetts Avenue NW. The plot of land was trapezoidal, posing some challenges to the typical symmetrical, boxy mansion design. De Sibor designed the entrance (on the northwest corner of 18th Street and Massachusetts Avenue) to pentrate the building in a northeasterly direction. Here, a circular tower formed the corner of the building and created a circular receiving area where visitors could shake off water-logged coats, remove galoshes, and alert the concierge as to whom they were visiting. Three short steps led into a small, square foyer where the concierge had a desk. From here, one could take the elevator up or take the winding staircase to the upper floors.

Because of the reception and foyer areas on the ground floor, the first floor was divided into two smaller apartments. The apartment to the left of the lobby was nearly identical in arrangement to that of the units above, but the one to the right was radically different in order to add baths, kitchen, bedrooms, and servants’ quarters.

Each of the upper floors occupied an entire floor. The core of the building contained the staircase and elevator. Around this was wrapped the servants hall, kitchen, and servants’ quarters. On the exterior of the building was the family living space. The facade facing the alley that ran along the east side and southeast corner of the building was undecorated. A narrow, unfinished rectangular courtyard pierced the building here to provide light to the servants’ quarters and servants’ hall.

The huge living room and somewhat smaller dining room ran the length of the building along Massachusetts Avenue NW. Behind the dining room (along the southeast corner alley) was the kitchen, and further back was the servants’ hall (which served as a servants’ dining room). Three foyers — right, left, and ahead — bracketed the elevator and stairwell, providing plenty of buffer space to keep visitors out of the apartment until they were wanted.

Along quieter 18th Street was a salon, two small bedrooms (with a shared bath), and a large bedroom (which occupied the brightly lit corner). Three small bedrooms ran along P Street NW. There were three bathrooms here, each shared by the bedroom next to it. These essentially created a long corridor on the P Street wall through which family members or guests could visit one another in states of undress without using the hallway. A public corridor ran along the inner wall of these bedrooms.

The inner core of the building consisted of a mezzanine set below the floor. The servants’ hall, kitchen, dining room, living room, salon, bedrooms, foyers, and public corridors all had 14.5 foot high ceilings. The servants quarters were remarkably smaller, each just 10 feet wide and 15 feet long with only enough room for a twin bed and an upright wardrobe. All five servants’ rooms shared a single bath. Ceilings here were just eight feet. Interestingly, the top floor had TWO mezzanines — the normal one below, as well as one above. This gave the top floor apartment space for as many as 10 live-in servants.

The building offered many amenities: A central boiler system that provided both heat in winter and circulated cool water through the radiators in summer (to help cool things off); a central vaccum system (plug the hose into the wall, and use); refrigerated tap water; and laundry chutes. Each apartment had its own washing machines and drying racks in the basement.

The building had numerous famous residents. They included Stanley McCormick and his daughter, Katherine McCormick Judge, who lived here from 1917 to 1930 and from 1930 to 1933. Robert Wood Bliss, a State Department official, lived here from 1920 to 1923. He moved out to become ambassador to Sweden, and upon his return to the U.S. purchased the Dumbarton Oaks estate in Georgetown. (It is now a national historic site and museum housing his extensive collection of pre-Columbian and Byzantine art.) William Butterworth, president of John Deere, lived here from 1930 to 1931 when he was president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Alanson B. Houghton, the former president of the Corning Glass Works, lived here from 1930 to 1934, as did Thomas Fortune Ryan (the onwer of the Belgian Congo diamond fields and an American robber-baron) from 1920 to 1922. Pearl Mesta, "the hostess with the mostest", lived here from 1931 to 1932. Her dinner parties and cocktail receptions were considered the most lavish and delightful of Washington society for half a century. Industrialist and banker Andrew Mellon also lived here from 1921 to 1932 while he served as Secretary of the Treasury to Presidents Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover. Mellon occupied the top floor. Most tenants paid a whopping ,000 a month to live there. (That’s 5,000 in 2013 dollars!) Mellon paid ,000 a month. For a few months in 1936, Lord Joseph Duveen rented the apartment below Mellon’s and placed 42 valuable oil paintings there for Mellon to look at. Mellon, an avid art collector, was expanding his collection to form the nucleus of what he hoped would be a National Gallery of Art. Duveen hired a caretaker for the temporary gallery, and gave Mellon access (day or night). After some months, Mellon purchased nearly all of the paintings Duveen offered.

The Great Depression led to widespread vacancies in the building during the 1930s. It was largely empty by 1940. In 1941, the building was seized by the federal government and turned into offices. The British Purchasing Commission (which obtained ships, guns, and ammunition from the U.S. during the Lend-Lease period prior to WWII) used it from 1941 to 1942, followed by the British Air Commission in 1948 and the Commonwealth Scientific Office in 1949. It stood empty for two years. Stanley McCormick died in 1950, and under the terms of his will the building was donated to the American Council on Education. The council used it until 1969. It was sold to the Brookings Institution (which is next door) in January 1970. Brookings rented out to a wide range of scientific, educational, and lobbying organizations. It was sold to the National Trust for Historic Preservation on October 28, 1976 — at which point it was declared a National Historic Landmark.

In late June 2013, the National Trust sold the building to the American Enterprise Institute (a right-wing think tank) for .5 million. The Trust moved into leased space on the top two floors of the Watergate Office Building. The National Trust holds a permanent historic preservation easement that protects both the interior and exterior of the Mellon Building.

sprentstrike_DSC_0463
Tenants Rights
Image by Michael Fleshman
Residents of three adjacent buildings in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn are on rent strike to protest horrendous and dangerous living conditions. .

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