1334 Kellam Avenue – map
Okay. So we’ve visited all but one of Carroll Avenue’s Historic-Cultural Monument homes in Angeleno Heights (as I’m writing this, there’s one more to go, at No. 399). Now it’s time to go one street north to Kellam Avenue. The homes here are much more hit and miss; some buildings are in poorer shape, either in disrepair or “renovated” feloniously. However, there are some real gems to be found on Kellam – like this one, built around 1899 for painter John Fonnell.
Fonnell bought Lot 16 of Block 5 in Angeleno Heights for $450 in gold coins in 1899. (Fonnell – if it’s the same guy – has the distinction of having owned two L.A. landmarks. For more on Fonnell’s penchant for paying in gold pieces, go to this nice piece on his buying Monument No. 724, the Venice of America Home.) Here are a few Fonnell notes from the Los Angeles Times:
- Licensed to Wed. John Fonnell, a native of Germany, aged 30, and Emma Johnson, a native of Sweden, aged 31, both of Los Angeles. (7/28/1896)
- IS NOW A CITIZEN. John Fonnell, a native of Germany, was admitted to citizenship by Judge Allen in Department Six yesterday. (1/30/1897)
- A $3000 residence has begun at No. 1328 Kellam avenue [sic] for John Fonnell. (8/24/1903)
Louis Jacobson, his wife, Minnie, and daughter, Jeanette, from Massachusetts moved into 1334 Kellam in 1915. Jeanette died in 1974 at age 87. The 1939 household census below, from USC’s Digital Archive shows two people living in the six-room cottage.
Nino and Amelia Guerrero bought the home in 1976. If you’ve heard of Nino, it’s probably as “the Latin Magician”. He won the 1969 Grand Prix of Magic.
One of the coolest things (to me, at least) about HCM No. 207 is it wasn’t the Guerreros who petitioned the city for the home’s landmark status, it was of neighbor of theirs – artist/author Leo Politi. He was one of the Heights’ (and L.A.’s) biggest boosters, living just a few doors away at 945 East Edgeware (HCM No. 218). Everything I hear about Politi just makes me like him that much more.
Thanks to local historian Tom Morales for his research providing a chunk of the information in this post.