Saturday, March 7, 2009

Nos 220 & 221 - The Hall Twins

The Hall Twins

The Hall Twins
1343 and 1347 Kellam Avenue – map & map
Declared: 6/6/79

Well, after two years of blogging individual Historic-Cultural Monuments, I feel compelled to break with tradition and document two landmarks in the very same post. The reasoning behind such craziness lies with the fact when local contractor John M. Skinner (he was living on Carroll Avenue) built these two homes for $6,000 per, they sported identical floor plans and designs. That, coupled with the fact they were owned early on by Hall families, inspired historian Thomas Morales to designate them the “Hall Twins”.

Henry Hall Residence
Jesse Hall Residence

Just a few posts ago, we visited the 1887 home of one of the two subdividers of Angelino (Angeleño) Heights, Everett E. Hall. It was that same year that Skinner (Skinn-ERR!) built a literal stone’s throw from Everett’s home our two Victorian subjects using a single blueprint.

Take a good look at this 1888 Sanborn map and you can see four city landmarks: the Everett Hall Residence in the center; Everett’s carriage house (now the property of 1417 Kellam Avenue home); and the twin homes across Waters Street (now called Douglas Street). Note our twins at this point enjoy no carriage houses.

Angeleno Heights, 1888

Now set your orbs on this vintage (retouched) photo of Carroll Avenue’s Monument No. 74, the Sanders House. In the background, the Hall Twins stand looking more twinly (twinnish?) than today.

Sanders House

Boy, there sure were a lot of Halls in early Angelino Heights. A whole hell of a lot of Halls. (For instance, a Giles S. Hall, the secretary of the Los Angeles and Santa Monica Land and Water Co., was living on East Edgeware in 1890). And while both of this post’s landmarks are named for Halls, I’ve seen conflicting reports as to how they were related to Everett, if at all. But they probably were.

Jesse Hall Residence
Henry Hall Residence
There’s the enclosed porch of 1347 (top) and original open porch of 1343 (bottom).

No. 220 –the Henry G. Hall Residence

Henry Hall Residence
From the L.A. Department of City Planning website.

As you look at both landmarks head-on, the home on the right is 1343 Kellam Avenue. It was where real estate agent Henry G. Hall lived with his wife, Anna L., through most of the 1890s. Maxwell’s Directory of Los Angeles City & County for 1887-1888 said “capitalist” Hall was living on Bellevue Avenue between Edgeware and “the Crescent” (Kensington). In 1890, he was listed as living on East Edgeware between Bellevue and Carroll. Since 1343 Kellam Avenue was built in 1887, this means Henry Hall wasn’t its first resident. However, he was there by 1893, and he was still there in 1901. By 1903, however, the city directory had him residing at 714 Edgeware Road. Morales tells us 1343 was sold in 1904 to non-Halls. A jump to 1915 has that year’s city directory showing the home’s residents including Cora A. Rannells and the auditor for the Hollenbeck Hotel, John M. Wood. Sammy and Pat Lee were 1343’s owners during its declaration of landmark status in 1979.

Henry Hall Residence
Jesse Hall Residence
Jesse Hall Residence
Compare these images of 1343 and 1347 and 1347.

No. 221 –the Jesse Hall Residence

Jesse Hall Residence

The corner house was the home of Jesse Q. Hall, his wife, Mary, and children, Tracey (a guy) and Jessie (a gal). While Jessie became a telephone operator and moved out around 1900 (presumably after her father’s death), Tracey stayed at the home with his widowed mom. Both were there in 1915, but Tracey split around 1920. (He moved to 7070 Franklin Avenue, then to 2209 Canyon Drive in the Hollywood Hills with his wife, Sophie.) Tracey had worked his way up in the banking industry from clerk to Vice-President of the Security-First National Bank of Los Angeles. It was he who converted the 1347 Kellam Avenue into a two-family home in 1915, at least according to this 1939 census, from USC's Digital Archive.

1347 Kellam Avenue Census

In 1928 Adolph Marx bought 1347 Kellam to lure his son, Charles, a sailor, to settle in the west with his Philadelphia fiancé, Tillie. Tillie from Philly was still living there when the home was landmarked in 1979.

As part of its designation, 1347 Kellam contains its carriage house with its entry off Douglas. Here is a pair of pictures of it:

Jesse Hall Residence Carriage House
Jesse Hall Residence and Carriage House

Are you as surprised as I was to learn the two homes were once identical, veritable peas in a pod? Clearly the upkeep of the one landmark compared to the other’s is the main difference, but there’s also that enclosed porch on 1347. In truth, the paint job in general was enough to throw me. In any event, I sure would like to attack the less fortunate twin (there’s always a less fortunate twin), armed only with but a scraper and a couple of cans of paint. Who’s with me?

The Hall Twins


Morales, T.M. “’Twins’ Result of Close Family Ties” Parkside Journal; Jul 18, 1979, p. 1

Up next: Daggett Residence


Floyd B. Bariscale said...

Thanks, Miss Havisham. We'll need a mason to fix that stone wall, too.

Anonymous said...

I'll bring milk and cookies and help you tint the base paint.

I love that image of the twins with so much space around them. Are these twins considered Victorian or Eastlake? It occurred to me in your last post that I don't know the difference.

Floyd B. Bariscale said...

Eastlake is a style of Victorian architecture. I've seen these homes described both Eastlake and Queen Anne. There are lots of folks who'd know better than I, but I'd describe them as Queen Anne with Eastlake ornamentation (the original porch posts on 1343, for instance).

Glennis said...

Fantastic post, Floyd. I'll put in a shift with the scraper and sanding block, too.

I am doing some research about this neighborhood during the '30s when my grandfather-in-law lived nearby. I'm trying to write about his life in LA, based on the places we have records of him living or working, and this neighborhood is next up on the list.

William Hayes Perry said...

Hello Floyd (Eric),

I've often driven by (in my horse and buggy, of course) these two lovely twin sisters for as long as I can remember and have always wanted to just walk up to the front door and ask if the house was for sale. I do mean of course the less fortunate sister. It's a shame the amount of neglect the house has seen over the years. I could only imagine the destruction of the attic space with those windows open and no protection from the elements. (I've seen them like that for almost 5 years!) If the owner of the house is reading, please look me up, I'm willing to take her over and fix her up the way she is meant to be.

Yours resepctfully,

William H. Perry

Floyd B. Bariscale said...

Let me know when you get there, g, and I can at least direct you to the resources I've used (if you don't know of them already).

Unknown said...

Wow, I was just in Angelino Heights for the first time a week ago and had no idea these were twins! Great info Floyd. Hope someone is successful in giving #220 some TLC-- that was my first instinct too.

Ralph Page said...

I stumbled on your blog while researching my family genealogy, Tracy Hall was (is?) my cousin (twice removed).
It was fun to see the old Hall homestead, now I'll have to drive by the next time I make it downtown or to a Dodger game.
I guess I am about a year late but thanks for providing all the historical info on those neat old homes, I have been browsing though earlier entries.

Anonymous said...

What about the house behind 1343. It looks like a guest house. It's done in some of the same style as the front house, but it is condemned and dilapidated. Any information on it?

Bruce said...

I have lived in Angeleno Heights since 1980. In the early 1980's Giles Hall, then in his upper 90's, attended a photo display of the Victorians in Angeleno heights at the Los Angeles City Hall. I briefly met him there and was told that he lived at 1343 Kellam Ave. as a child and that Everett Hall was his uncle.
The house at 1347 Kellam Ave. was still furnished with items originally belonging to Tracy Q. Hall while Tillie Marx lived there from 1930 to the mid-1980's. They had his name stenciled in black paint on the back as was customary at that time. The carriage house at 1347 was 100% original in the early 1980's. Unfortunately, it has since been gutted and remodeled despite Cultural Heritage Commission "protection". Likewise for the carriage house that was built for Everett Hall.