Saturday, January 29, 2011

W. J. Washburn -- 4000 Pasadena Avenue

In 1910, 4000 Pasadena Avenue looked like a quiet country area. Just three miles north of downtown nestled in Arroyo Seco canyon, William J. Washburn (1852-1931) and his wife Helen had already lived here more than ten years.

4000 Pasadena Avenue in 1910

W J Washburn ca. 1910
William was a successful banker in Los Angeles, moving here in 1889 from St. Louis, where he'd met Helen while in business with his father. In fact, his parents moved also to L.A. in the 1890's, and after his father's death, his mother Jennie resided in this household. It was also in this past decade that William had served for eight years on the Board of Education, as well as serving with the Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles City Council.

But later that year the family moved to their new residence in a more fashionable new neighborhood, settling at 2200 S. Harvard Boulevard, in the West Adams district. They remained there until Helen's death in 1932, followed by William's in 1935. Both are buried with William's parents in the Washburn plot at Evergreen Cemetery, one of Los Angeles' oldest.

And what happened to the house on Pasadena Avenue?  By 1915 it became the Page Preparatory Academy, with Mrs. Minnie Bennett in charge. Later the street was renamed to Figueroa and the large property today has become a car wash.

4000 Figueroa today
(courtesy of Google Maps)

And below is a photo of the Los Angeles Board of Education taken ca. 1898. William Washburn, representing the 1st Ward, is at lower left.

left to right, top, William Chambers, H. L. Jones, Charles Udell, J. W. Hendrick, R. L. Horton, W. J. Washburn, Dr. William H. Stearns, William Wincup, Charles C. Davis.

(image courtesy of
Old Homes of Los Angeles

Short bio of Mr. Washburn (1915)

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