2715 Wilshire Boulevard


There were two frame houses midblock on the north side of Wilshire between Rampart and Benton boulevards (the latter now South Lafayette Park Place), 2711 the easternmost and 2715 the westernmost. Our subject, 2715, appears to have been built by actor-turned-director-turned-real-estate-man Gilbert E. Gardner, perhaps in a speculative venture with another property dealer, Orion L. Woodward. A third property dealer, Oscar Eugene Farish, was residing at 2715 in the middle years of the aughts before moving to a fourth's former house at 2193 West Adams Street in 1907. In 1909, Woodward was listed in the Los Angeles city directory as living at 2715; Gardner, who had built a residence for himself at 2721 on the Benton corner next door to the west in 1904, appears to have moved into 2715 after selling 2721 in late 1909. (The Bekins vans were getting a good workout on this one house alone.) By 1911 the Gardners were in a new house nearby on Andrews Boulevard (the stretch of the present-day Lafayette Park Place north of Sixth Street); that same year, Harmon D. Ryus, Oldsmobile promoter and agency manager for automobile dealer Leon T. Shettler (who lived up the street at 3100 Wilshire), was in residence at 2715. Ryus stayed for a decade, the last eight years in the morning shadow of the 10-story Bryson Apartments completed next door in December 1912. With Ryus's departure, 2715, along with 2721, disappeared from their lots. The latter was moved to 517 South Occidental Boulevard in 1921; our subject house, 2715, was moved north to 1823 Ocean View Avenue, between Burlington and Bonnie Brae, the same year, a permit for its relocation being issued on July 20.

A project to cut a new section of West Third Street through 2715's new neighborhood ordered by the Board of Public Works in February 1925 was coming together by the end of the decade; on November 10, 1930, a second relocation permit was issued for the house, though this time for a shorter move of 19 feet northward to its third new foundation at the back of the lot to which it had been moved in 1921. The house then received its third address, 1823 Ocean View Avenue becoming 1823 West Third Street by the time the new road, which completed Third between Figueroa Street and Vermont Avenue, was opened in 1932. Once Third Street became a major artery west out of downtown, trade was certain to eventually replace any vestiges of single-family housing along it, just as had occurred in the evolution of Wilshire Boulevard. A demolition permit for what had once been 2715 Wilshire was issued on October 9, 1968, to Safeway Stores, which would soon open a new market on the site.

No definitive images of 2715 Wilshire Boulevard—at any of its three locations—have surfaced
as of yet; in the image above, which was taken from a tower of the Hershey Arms Hotel
circa 1925, the house would have been nestled against the west wing of the Bryson
Apartments, seen at right. (The house would have been trundled north to its
new location up what was then called Benton Boulevard, on the near side
of the park. At left Wilshire Boulevard continues west at the south
side of the park all the way to the Pacific.) In the view above
the title, 2715 is seen in place next to the Bryson circa
1915, with the rear corner of 2721 Wilshire rising
above it. Both houses were moved in 1921.

Illustrations: LAPLUSCDL