2706 Wilshire Boulevard


Once midblock on the south side of Wilshire between Rampart and Benton boulevards (the latter street now South Lafayette Park Place), this house was built in 1902 by real estate investor John B. Eager, who bought and improved many lots in Gaylord Wilshire's original tract and in the districts that developed along the boulevard to the west. The Los Angeles Express reported on September 5, 1902, that he had let the contract for the construction of 2706 to builders John G. Frankland and William P. Franklin. Eager lived in the house until selling it in March 1905 to one of the biggest of Los Angeles muckety-mucks, William Lyman Stewart, president of the Union Well Supply Company and later Union Oil. Petroleum was in his blood—Stewart's father had been drilling as early as 1870 in Pennsylvania before founding Union Oil on the West Coast. When Stewart moved to Pasadena several years later, he was succeeded at 2706 by Robert V. Watchorn, who had moved to Los Angeles in 1909 after four years as Commissioner of the U.S. Immigration Service at Ellis Island, that year Watchorn being named treasurer of Union Oil. He and Alma Watchorn remained at 2706 until around the time of the death of their 27-year-old son, Emory, at Good Samaritan Hospital on July 25, 1921. 

As compared with a view at top of 2706 from the east, circa
1925, the house is seen just above and below from the west circa 1938.
An Associated filling station replaced the Bruns house  at 2702 in 1935; the
billboards stand on the lot at the southeast corner of Wilshire and Lafayette Park
Place that was cleared of 2720 Wilshire by 1924. The Hershey Arms is seen
across Rampart Boulevard in the 
image above; the Bryson (left) and
the Arcady apartment houses rise in the shot below.

The middle years of 2706 Wilshire so far remain obscure; a huge number of Times advertisements appearing during the '20s and '30s for a much-hyped snake oil called Sargon refer to a "W. C. Lynch," said to be a businessman living at the address. No other records indicate the existence of Mr. Lynch, but perhaps his creator was renting a room in the house where he concocted his wonder serum—and his amusing ads in which all of the miracle-cured wore the same owl glasses, even the women, and some appeared to be the same person:

Chiropractor Dean V. Moore, who had been living with his family next door at 2702 in 1930, appears to have come into possession of 2706 in the mid '30s. There, he and his wife, Zoe, a nurse—along with his sister, Lucille, who managed a business called California Food Concentrates in the house—opened what is termed on an alteration permit issued by the city in 1943 as a "restatorium." The notation "sanitorium" is next to the diagram of 2706 on Sanborn insurance maps corrected to 1953, when the house had just a bit more time to stand: The Department of Building and Safety issued a permit for its demolition on May 18, 1955.

Illustrations: LAPLLAT