Saturday, April 23, 2005

What's In A Name - Hancock Park -- Or Westchester Gardens? LA Times Forgets Its Roots!

The Hancock Park/Windsor Square area was (and possibly is) the long time home for many of the Chandlers, the previous owners of the LA Times, and home to much of the WASP social elite of Los Angeles. So imagine my surprise when I picked-up the Sunday LAT's real estate section today (which I got for free at the LA Times Festival of Books, which proves that no good deed ever goes unpunished) to discover that a 1904 home built by architect Alfred F. Rosenheim for himself... in Hancock Park... is now on the market for $6.7 million.

Now the reason for my surprise was that Hancock Park was not even subdivided by G. Allan Hancock until well after 1904. Now that still does not preclude the story from being accurate as numerous homes dating from as early as the 1890's were moved to Hancock Park during the last century. However, the picture in the Times of the three story brick building makes it highly unlikely that this particular dwelling was one of the homes that has been moved there.

The other factor that makes this story somewhat... suspicious... is that a remarkably similar looking house was built by the same architect for himself in the Westchester Gardens area of the old Country Club district (a considerable physical and a far larger social distance from Hancock Park) in 1915 on a lot that had been subdivided in 1912.

Or at least that is what my printed source tell me. Now granted the construction date might be wrong since I only have a single source on hand for that date, but unless someone picked up this 10,000 plus home and flew it over to Hancock Park since my long distant deb ball days - I also do not recall any house in Hancock Park looking quite like this one, particularly one built by same the architect in question.,0,7233450.story?coll=la-class-realestate-news

Lastly, the phrase 'Hancock Park' is used five times in the article between the first and second pages of the real estate section.

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