Tuesday, July 29, 2008

No. 167 - Strong Residence

826 South Coronado Residence

Strong Residence
826 South Coronado Street – map
Declared: 11/17/76

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.

826 South Coronado Residence

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.

826 South Coronado Residence
826 South Coronado Street Residence

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.

826 South Coronado Residence

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.

826 South Coronado Residence
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.

826 South Coronado Residence


Ramos, George “Mansion Moves Out Ahead of Wrecker’s Ball” The Los Angeles Times; May 12, 1989, p. 3

Up next: Griffith Observatory


Diallo said...

Hey Floyd.

Did it look like the house had been subdivided into specifically 3 low-income residences?

If the 3 places were cheap enough, couldn't one person ostensibly come in, get all three and take over the entire house?

Floyd B. Bariscale said...

Hi, Diallo. There are six units here. My guess is if you can afford renting that many apartments, you're over-qualified for low income housing.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

What a beauty. I do wish they would come up with a more vibrant paint job. I like the multi-hued paint jobs you often encounter on these older jewels.

Maybe he was an opium salesman.

Robert J. Reed said...

Hello Floyd -- I remember seeing this house and am happy it was saved. It was painted forest green in the 1980’s. I believe it was a boarding house then. I use to see it when I’d go to the Hofbrauhaus for lunch. The Hafbrau was a great German restaurant with Bavarian and pastoral scenes painted on the walls. I suppose it was demolished for the convention center. -- Robert Reed

Floyd B. Bariscale said...

Thanks, Robert. I wish I could've found pictures of the Hofbrau, inside and out.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

My partner was lured into a proposed deal by the owner of the Hofbrau. He claimed that he needed an estimate on the cost for replacing the murals. The dangled carrot being that my partner would get the commission when he relocated (after his check had been cut and cashed). The angle he was working was that he wanted an estimate from a recognized artist if he should need to go to court with the city over the murals perceived value. He got top dollar and my partner got a sausage sandwich.
What I recall: The original murals were painted by a Hollywood set painter.

Floyd B. Bariscale said...

Great story, P.A. Now I'm curious to find images of those old murals. More importantly, I'm now hungry for a sausage sandwich.

Unknown said...

Beautiful house my mom and dad meet in that house in 1982 they elope to Oakland CA she was 9years old when her family of 6 moved there into a studio she remembers alot all her neighbors she said that it had 18 maybe even more apartments/studios they were pretty small it had a laundry room in the back her family didn't really used them they were 50cents to much... So she washed in their bath tube...and her neighbors too for a low price after she elope here family stayed there until it was relocated to Coronado she and her friends called it Draculas castle because it gave them an eerie feeling they saw some scary things and thought it was hunted and figured that maybe that was the reason it was moved to be saved as a museum it looks the same color and all :)