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Old Posted Jan 6, 2014, 12:50 AM
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HossC HossC is offline
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There have been several posts over the last couple of days about all the buildings that have been demolished to make way for something "newer" and "better". I thought that might be the cue for this story with a surprise happy ending (sorry for the spoiler!).

The first picture below is from a season 4 episode of CHiPs called 'Karate', which originally aired in 1981. Ponch and Jon are pursuing a suspect in Ponch's own car when they're pulled over by an LAPD motorcycle cop outside this faded gem of a building.

Rosner Television/MGM Television

Using background buildings and the route they took, I managed to work out that it once stood on West 15th, just west of Figueroa, but the area was subsequently cleared to make way for the Convention Center Annex. Checking the City Directories, I found a listing in the 1969 edition which named it as the Otsego Apartments at 633 W 15th. That led me to a 1967 William Reagh picture on the LAPL website. Then, when I saw that the California State Library also has some William Reagh photos, I was able to find a larger version of the same picture. The cars outside appear to be an Avanti and a Peugeot 404 convertible.

California State Library

There was also a side view that LAPL don't seem to have.

California State Library

The LAPL's caption describes it as "A Victorian residence on 12th St. near Figueroa, now an apartment building, the Otsego Apartments." If anyone's in the business of emailing corrections to the right places, maybe you could tell the LAPL it was on West 15th (their reference is LAPL00017612).

My post was originally going to end here, because I assumed the building was demolished to make way for the Convention Center. Then I spotted the picture below while I was looking for info on the John Parkinson house moving that GW mentioned recently. The caption names the building as the Edward Strong mansion.

LA Times/Larry Davis

The LA Times article below, dated May 12, 1989, says: "After nearly 11 months of frantic efforts, the once-stately Edward Strong mansion, a reminder of downtown Los Angeles' Victorian past, was towed away from its site of 102 years on West 15th Street, where it stood in the way of a $390-million expansion of the Convention Center." They add that it "was declared a landmark in 1976 because of its unique Queen Anne architecture in the Caribbean style."

Mansion Moves Out Ahead of Wrecker's Ball

Best of all, the article names its destination as the 800 block of South Coronado Street, near MacArthur Park. That means we have a happy ending, because the house is still standing there today.

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