2525 Wilshire Boulevard


The house once at the northeast corner of Wilshire and Coronado Street was built by house-project-mad Effie Gardner Neustadt on the west half of a 150-by-150-foot lot she had bought in 1903; that same year she commissioned Myron Hunt to design a house for herself at 2515 on the east half. Hunt, who would later design 3101 Wilshire as a wedding present for Effie's son Robert, designed 2525 as well; his rendering of the house appeared in the Los Angeles Express on July 25, 1903, as seen above. Effie seems to have built 2525 as a present in time for the October 1904 wedding of her daughter Edith and Luther Herbert Green, brother of Beverly Hills developer Burton E. Green. Edith died in the house in October 1908, leaving two children. Luther was gone from 2525 before long, moving to Hollywood with his four-year-old daughter, little Effie, and son Robert, not even two, after selling 2525 to Boston attorney and politician Timothy Wilfred Coakley. In the report of the sale in the Times on May 16, 1909, the house is described as having 10 rooms and three baths. Coakley appears to have decided to spend winters on the West Coast due to various forms of ill health, not all of them physical. His Boston Globe obituary of February 5, 1914—he was not to spend much time on Wilshire Boulevard—refers to his having suffered "several nervous breakdowns." He was most assuredly not without his accomplishments; they prompted Rose Kennedy's father, "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, the mayor of Boston, to tap him to deliver the city's Fourth of July oration in 1906.

Photographs offering a close-up view of 2525 have proven elusive;
so far only aerials have been found. Above, with the roof of the Asbury
apartments—now the Wilshire Royale—at bottom center for reference, 2525
appears on the far side of Coronado Street just above it at the northeast corner of
Wilshire. Not yet built is the causeway across Westlake/MacArthur Park, which
completed a gap in Wilshire Boulevard; it is seen after 1934 in the view
below. Only half of 2525 is discernible at the left (western) edge.

Coakley may have only spent parts of some winters at 2525, renting the house during his absences. William C. Ennis, president of the West Coast Eucalyptus Company, a land-development concern, was in residence during 1911. After Coakley's death, the house came into the hands of Thomas Jefferson Fleming, the secretary and general manager of the California Portland Cement Company. He remained until at least 1921, after which 2525 appears to have been rented to recent widow Mabel C. Chappellet as she awaited the completion of her new house at 309 Plymouth Boulevard in Windsor Square, ready by the end of 1922. Twenty-five twenty-five then began to suffer, along with the rest of residential Wilshire Boulevard at least as far west as the emerging Miracle Mile, from the ignominy of trade. By 1933, the Gypsy Camp Hungarian Restaurant was slinging goulash around the rooms of one of Effie Gardner Neustadt's former demesnes, though not for long; the Department of Building and Safety issued permits for the demolition of 2525 on October 8, 1934, and, 30 days later, for a Standard Oil station to replace it.

The filling station that replaced 2525 in 1935, seen here soon after opening, presented a
curious modern sight with the neglected and wonderfully vine-covered 2515 as its
backdrop, languishing in its last days on Wilshire Boulevard but not
giving up: In 1949 it was moved to, and remains if disfigured,
way down at 3031 Alsace Avenue, just north of
Jefferson and west of La Brea.

Illustrations: LAPL; Los Angeles Express