826 South Coronado Street – map
Well, let’s all be thankful this 1887 home was moved from its original location on West 15th Street downtown. Had it not been relocated, it’d have been squished by the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The first known resident of the home – back when it was at 633 West 15th Street (although, up until 1890, the street was named Adele Street) – was salesman Edward A. Strong (what in the hell was he selling to afford such a place, I ask you). The property, part of the Harvey tract, had been owned by hotshot attorney Henry W. O’Melveny. It was subdivided in 1886.
Jumping ahead a century, in 1988, the Community Redevelopment Agency was threatening to raze the home to make way for the $390 million expansion of the Convention Center. A month away from demolition, the three-story building was finally saved, however, when the city moved it in May 1989 to its current plot, offered by the Department of Water and Power, on South Coronado, about a pair of blocks from MacArthur Park. Architects Tom Micahli and Barry Milofsky did such a superb job transforming the old building into half a dozen “very-low-income” units, the city awarded them with a Historic Preservation Award in 1992.
I've read in a few places the ol’ Strong House is very Queen Anne-ish with elements of Caribbean and Craftsman styles, but I sure don’t know which bits are Caribbean, and I’m unaware of any Craftsman details used way back in 1887. In reviewing the property for Historic-Cultural status, the city pointed out a variety of notable features, including the roof that’s “punctuated by a blind eyebrow window” (I get why it's called that). In some of these shots, you can make out pretty well the later addition to the building's backside.
From L.A.'s Department of City Planning website.
It looks to be in great shape. As is often the case, the landscaping could be changed to better show off the home, but that’s a quibble. I’m glad it’s sill around. Who knows, maybe fifty years from now the house will have different, architecturally sympathetic neighbors, or maybe it’ll even be relocated again.
Ramos, George “Mansion Moves Out Ahead of Wrecker’s Ball” The Los Angeles Times; May 12, 1989, p. 3
Up next: Griffith Observatory