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Old Posted Dec 12, 2015, 6:04 AM
tovangar2 tovangar2 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: West Los Angeles
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627 Carondelet AKA a Barn's Life

I thought I saw an error on the web and it got me searching for info on 627 South Carondelet, built in 1926 on the desirable 8 blocks between Lafayette (once Sunset) Park and Westlake (now MacArthur) Park of the Wilshire Tract.


Nowadays (since 2011) it's a very successful venue and filming location, Carondelet House. It's almost constantly booked:



With so many of our lovely useful buildings abandoned/abused/demolished, it's great that the current owner of No. 627 saw the value in it. We all benefit.


The steps beyond the front rooms are in response to the slope of the lot:







There are two courtyards:


The bit of info which I thought was an error (this was on two different websites) was that 627 had been built as a single family home. That didn't seem right, not in LA anyway.

So, thanks to Beaudry, I started checking permits.

First, it seems, a Dr Henderson Hayward (1844-1924) owned a redwood-siding-covered, Colonial Revival home facing on S Carondelet at Wilshire, complete with a barn (the barn is on the extreme right in the photo below). He'd arrived from Philadelphia in 1895, built his home in 1897 and welcomed a daughter, Julia, named for her mother, in 1898. In Los Angeles Hayward took up the oil business (Continental Oil) and real estate, building the deluxe Hayward Hotel, at the prime intersection of W 6th and S Spring, in 1905-1906, designed by Charles Whittlesey. It's still there.

The Hayward home and barn (right) when new
(I'm unsure as to who the architect was, but Lyman Fanwell did some subsequent additions):


The Hayward's barn, originally built on the same lot as the house (#8), was remodeled and moved, but a short distance, across the carriage drive, to the rear of the lot next door (#7), 627 S Carondelet, in 1907:

historic mapworks

Julia grew and married Charles S Thomas (1897-1983) in 1920. Dr Hayward, by then a widower, gifted them with a new home, next to his own in 1922, designed by Gene Verge of Fail & Verge. It was built at 627 S Carondelet, forward of the barn (now referred to as "a garage"). From the 17 August 1924 LA Times:

via GW

Dr Hayward died in 1924. Daughter Julia, already independently wealthy because of bequests from her mother, was now very well off (she'd married well too). She demolished her childhood home (it stood for just 29 years) and had the lovely Hayward-Thomas building put up in 1926 (Morgan, Walls and Clements). She also had her own home (and the barn) moved to 135 N Norton Avenue in Windsor Square. Julia then engaged Webber, Staunton and Spaulding to build the new brick building at 627 S Carondelet. The 1926 permit said for "stores and offices". In actual fact, as later permits attest, it was designed to be the architectural offices of Webber, Staunton and Spaulding's own firm (Spaulding soon dropped out). Julia and Charles Thomas would own the building for the next 33 years.

1 Aug 1914/LA herald/cdnc

The Hayward-Thomas Building, Morgan, Walls and Clements, 1926:


The Hayward-Thomas and No. 627, still a handsome pair after almost 90 years (the former carriage drive is now gated). I haven't found a historic image of Carondelet House. It suffered a "parapet correction" in 1959 (except for the west wall), so there's probably some losses there. (the bulky parking structure to the north of Carondelet House was put up by Otis as their "parking pavilion"):

google maps

One can see, when the carriage drive gate is open, that the arched windows continue around the side. Also notice how steep the lot is:

"new girl", s1 ep7,"bells", 20th century fox television (pictured: zooey deschanel and lamorne morris)

Julia Thomas was not the first to bring change to the block. Some larger homes had been turned into apartments, The Otis Institute (opened 1918) was growing across the street to the east (centered on Harrison Gray Otis' former home) and Jake Zeitlin soon opened his shop selling "books & fine prints", opposite the Thomas' properties, located in his own pretty home at No. 624, a former carriage house. Carondelet was once a leafy suburban street, but not for long.:

LAPL caption for the photo above, "Before opening his own shop, Zeitlin worked in the rare books department at Bullocks in 1926. In the following year, Zeitlin left Bullocks and sold books for a brief time from his home, where he lived from the late 1920s to the early 1930s"

627 S Carondelet's particular charm owes much to the firm's just completed Gardner building at Malaga Cove Plaza, Palos Verdes Estates, the first commercial building on PV (Carondelet House may have once had a somewhat similar roofline). Webber, Staunton and Spaulding also did Harold Lloyd's "Greenacres" and the Casino and Theater Building at Avalon, among many others:


After some intervening tenants (including a furniture store), architect Gordon B Kaufmann (born London 1888) leased the building in 1939 for his firm, GB Kaufmann & JE Stanton, Architects (Kaufman was responsible for Greystone Mansion, Santa Anita Park, the Los Angeles Times building, Hoover Dam, the Arrowhead Springs Hotel, The Earl Carroll Theater, The Hollywood Palladium, etc and many homes, plus he collaborated with Leonard Schultz on Park La Brea). Kaufmann remodeled the second floor of No. 627 into his primary residence and moved in. The firm was doing well. Nine years later, in 1948, Kaufmann added an additional 24' X 50' drafting room to the west side of the building. After a brief illness, Kaufmann died at home in 1949. The current configuration of the second floor:


In later years 627 S Carondelet became part of Otis College of Art and Design, serving as offices, an art gallery and, for a time, the library.

Julia and Charles Thomas' 1922 home still stands at 135 N Norton, as it has since 1926.
I suspect that the plain, frame, Colonial-style home was designed to be moved:

The home, along with its companion 1897 redwood barn, now a combined garage, guest quarters and pool house:

google maps

The barn's exterior and interior (now at its third address):

The MLS photos above are from Zillow (many more at the link)

UPDATE: As of Feb 2017, 135 N Norton is for sale or rent. The house and barn have been updated and new photos taken:


(More new photos at the links)

Last edited by tovangar2; Mar 18, 2017 at 1:38 PM. Reason: add photo
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