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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Recap of 3089 W. 7th Street

At the corner of Vermont & 7th Street was a duplex (rather than an apartment building) owned by Anna T. Durkee Gillon. Anna's daughter was Hazel Durkee Foster (aka Gillon) Dignowity who, according to Adela Rogers St. Johns, saw a person leave Taylor's home after the shot was fired. Hazel married Ralf Dignowity and they during the month of June 1917, lived at 404B S. Alvarado Street and moved to 3089 W. 7th Street upon Taylor's return to Hollywood in 1919. In the 1920 Census (21 January), the tenants of 3089 W. 7th St. included actresses Minnie & Edith Story; Mabel Normand & Mary J. Brent (nurse); John (lawyer/judge) & Sarah Street; actor Sydney Chaplin & his unnamed wife. In August 1922, Anne Cornwall said she & her husband Charles Maigne lived at 3089 W. 7th St. Also during 1922, Claudia Reddick, who lived at 410B S. Alvarado, had plans to marry businessman, John H Bonnell, who also lived at 3089 W. 7th.


  1. I'm not sure if 3089 W. 7th Street should be accurately described as "an apartment building". My impression, though I've never seen a clear photo of it, is that it is a courtyard of separate buildings, much like the group in which Taylor resided. But perhaps instead of duplex buildings, like the ones at 400-412 Alvarado, the ones at 3089 W. 7th St. might have been single dwelling units.

    In Higham's interview with Mary Miles Minter, she stated "...And went immediately to Mabel Normand. The papers had said that she was the last person to see him alive. Oddly enough, our house was on the corner of 7th near New Hampshire Street. And here's the corner of it, the house is still there...But here's Vermont, one block away, New Hampshire Street. And at the ...corner there was a courtyard. Apartment court. With two story bungalows, and Mabel Normand lived in one of them."

    In Minter's 1923 written statement, Mabel Normand's home also seems to be a separate building: "Then I drove to Mabel Normand's home. I was frantic. Without ringing the bell I went in. There were reporters in the parlor waiting for her. I rushed upstairs. She was dressing."

    The online photo collection of the LA Public Library has some old aerial photos of the area, and this photo, going north, has the Ambassador Hotel in the left-center-bottom. From the right of the hotel, the north-south streets are Catalina, Berendo, New Hampshire, and Vermont (wider street). 7th Street runs left-right, and stops at the Ambassador Hotel. So this photo seems to include the homes of Minter and Normand, but you can't see much.

  2. But on the other hand, if 3089 W. 7th Street was a bunch of separate buildings, then it would be logical for each building to have a different address (like the buildings in 400-412 S. Alvarado). So perhaps not.

  3. As a child, I lived at 3089 W. 7th Street off and on from 1966-1976. It was not an apartment building, but rather a duplex consisting of two separate dwellings. There was also a 2nd building in the same style, located behind the 3089 duplex, built I believe at the same time.
    When I lived there, this 2nd building (which, I think, was originally a single dwelling, but may have also been a duplex) served as a boarding house from which individual rooms were rented. Judging by the looks of some old pictures that I've seen, taken when Mabel lived there (links to these pictures are below), these 2 separate buildings may have originally been in a single "courtyard" setting which was later divided into two separate settings by fences and gates.

    The photographs at the following URL's are recognizable to me as the courtyard of the 3089 W. 7th St. address. The 2 story building seen behind Mabel and her Dog is the 2nd dwelling (the one behind the 3089 W. 7th St. dwelling, in which she lived).

  4. Thanks for the clarification. The book at
    also indicates it was a duplex building.