1815 Westmoreland Boulevard


  • Built on spec in 1909 on a parcel comprised of Lot 12 and the southerly 10 feet of Lot 13 of the Westmoreland Heights Tract
  • Architect: Charles F. Helmle
  • The Department of Buildings issued a construction permit for 1815 Westmoreland Boulevard on April 27, 1909; the document was issued in the name of Ira M. Hollingsworth, an operative of the real estate developer Mines & Farish. Hollingsworth acted as the contractor and was living at the time at a previous project at 1715 Westmoreland Boulevard; his project prior to that was 1711, which he had sold in March

An image of 1815 Westmoreland Boulevard appeared in the Los Angeles Times on September 5, 1909,
along with another of the houses Ira Hollingsworth had recently completed and was then living in
at 1715 Westmoreland. The houses's garage at left remains standing along with its parent.

  • A NOTE ON THE WESTMORELANDS OF LOS ANGELES: Simultaneously with the development of Westmoreland Boulevard and the Westmoreland Heights Tract in 1902, the real estate investment group comprised of Wesley Clark, Elden P. Bryan, and Henry Huntington was organizing its unrelated Westmoreland and Westmoreland Place tracts less than 20 blocks to the northeast, the inauguration of both a Westmoreland Boulevard and a Westmoreland Avenue causing confusion for Angelenos ever since. Clark, Bryan, and Huntington were inspired by St. Louis's Westmoreland Place to the point of duplicating its elaborate gatehouses for its own high-end Place, the history of which is here. Their gateless and more successful Westmoreland Tract was marketed to the middle-class buyer, as was the competing Westmoreland Heights, which, however, was marked at its entrances by stone pillars, one of which remains today at the southeast corner of Westmoreland and Venice boulevards. (This column matches pairs still in place on the south side of Washington Boulevard at Harvard and Hobart boulevards, sections of which were in the West Adams Heights Tract that was developed and marketed along with Westmoreland Heights)

Dating from just after the turn of the 20th century, one stone pillar remains of those originally marking
the entrances of the signature street of Westmoreland Heights. It sits at the southeast corner
of Westmoreland and Venice; the plaque on the left side reads "16th Street," which
was widened and otherwise upgraded to became Venice Boulevard as a result
of the efforts of the Sixteenth-Street Improvement Association, led
by Harry Culver, to "uncork Sixteenth street." Key lateral
roads leading from downtown Los Angeles to the
Pacific were being similarly upgraded
as a result of the Major Traffic
Street Plan of 1924.

  • The first owner of 1815 Westmoreland Boulevard was Weymouth Crowell, a builder who had recently completed work on the Walter P. Story Building at Sixth and Broadway. Crowell would later be the contractor on several important local projects including the Blackstone Building, also on Broadway, the Ambassador Hotel, the main Los Angeles Public Library, and the Hotel Cecil. Crowell was in possession of 1815 by the latter half of 1910
  • On January 3, 1911, the Department of Buildings issued Weymouth Crowell a permit to build an addition to the garage at 1815
  • In June 1913, Weymouth Crowell began building the 51-unit Weymouth Apartments at 914 South Alvarado Street; he is listed on its building permit as living in a house next door at 902 South Alvarado. His sale of 1815 Westmoreland appears to have occurred during 1913
  • The next owner of 1815 Westmoreland Boulevard was life-insurance agent Albert Finley McKee Sr. A widower, his unmarried younger children of five—Stillman, an office-equipment dealer, and Carrie—lived with him. In the summer of 1920, 75-year-old McKee married 56-year-old Delora Braley, who moved into 1815
  • On November 6, 1921, 34-year-old Carrie Bernice McKee married attorney James Mathias Gammon at 1815 Westmoreland Boulevard

James and Carrie Gammon are seen on the front porch of 1815 Westmoreland
Boulevard on their wedding day, November 6, 1921. The front door of the
house is just to their right. This image is part of the collection of a
great-granddaughter of the Gammons; that of the house
at top is an adaptation of another of her holdings.

  • Albert Finley McKee died in Los Angeles on November 13, 1922, just seven weeks before his grandson Howard McKee Gammon was born; 1815 Westmoreland Boulevard was sold the next year
  • Lee Paxton Jordan, the secretary-treasurer of a Fort Worth Ford dealer, had moved to Los Angeles by early 1923, assuming a similar position at Lamberth Ford on Whittier Boulevard. He and his family rented 4475 Victoria Park Drive, from which they would move to 1815 Westmoreland Boulevard. Jordan would remain at 1815 for the next 30 years; the only building permit he was issued regarding the house was one for the repair of termite damage
  • Jordan's wife Mary Louise died in Los Angeles on July 2, 1952; he was still listed at 1815 Westmoreland Boulevard on 1954 voter rolls. By the time the 1956 city directory was issued in May, the house was occupied by Carrie Dukes Rose, a widow, and her son Cornelius Harreld Rose. Harreld was still in residence in 1960, with two others, one of whom is listed in that year's directory at 1815½ Westmoreland Boulevard

Illustrations: Private Collection; LAT