2711 Wilshire Boulevard


On July 28, 1899, the Los Angeles Times reported that contracts had been signed for a "one-story frame and plaster residence containing seven room exclusive of bathrooms, pantries, closets, etc., for Mrs. Ella Giles Ruddy...to be built on the north side of Wilshire boulevard, between Rampart and Benton streets"; on November 14, the Times announced in its society pages that Mr. and Mrs. George Drake Ruddy had just given "the first of a series of 'Sunday evenings' at their handsome new home, No. 2711 Wilshire Boulevard." The house, referred to as a "Mission cottage," was the easternmost of two once situated midblock on the north side of Wilshire between Rampart and Benton (now South Lafayette Park Place), the other being 2715In September 1900, the house was advertised in the Herald as being for rent—furnished—for an unspecified term; the Ruddys would be spending time at "Monono Breakers," their new house at Ocean Beach. Ever sociable, before long the couple returned to their city house to throw many more parties and to host high-minded "salons" over the next number of years.

Presumably the couple standing in the doorway of 2711 is Mr. and Mrs. Ruddy,
awaiting guests bidden to one of their innumerable entertainments.

Acquired for its lot in November 1911 by developer Hugh Bryson to be replaced by his fabled Bryson Apartments, opened in January 1913, the Ruddy house was offered in a classified advertisement in the Times on March 15, 1912, for sale at $1,000, with the caveat that it was "to be removed at once." It was purchased within weeks by clothier Perry L. Isenstein; he moved it to 222 South Gramercy Place, where it remains in excellent repair today. The Ruddys had moved across Wilshire to the Hershey Arms; there they awaited the completion of yet another new house, this one being built by Irving Gill at 241 North Western Avenue. (More on the Ruddys is at John Crosse's superlative blog, "Southern California Architectural History," here.)

The 1899 Ruddy house was moved to 222 South Gramercy in 1912 by Perry and Jacob Isenstein,
brothers who ran a downtown haberdashery. Their purchase and relocation of 2711 Wilshire
Boulevard appears to have been a real estate investment; neither lived in the house.
The brothers were also involved in the founding of Torrance; the town's backers,
curiously, employed Irving Gill to design many of its original structures—it
seems that the Ruddys, Isensteins and Gill had all become acquainted.

Illustrations: Google Books; GSV