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A One Hundred Year Old Portrait of Highland Park

August 31, 2013

One of the joys of curating this site is receiving an unexpected surprise or treasure right out of the “cloud”.   The latest one of these is an artistic artifact almost exactly one hundred years old.   It was received as a result of a series of emails from Rich Abrams, a former resident of Rockingham Street who now lives in California.  Rich wrote us a couple of months back via a website comment.  Recently I followed up on Rich’s initial comment , and received several images and these replies.
(Update, this image available from Highland Park Neighborhood Association)

Rich Abrams and His Dog in 1952

Rich Abrams and His Dog in 1952

“My grandmother hand painted this photograph in May 1913.  Needless to say, I relate this on the basis of what I was told as I was not around at the time.  I understand that 100 years ago, it was quite an art form for people to paint in black and white photos with colors.

I also added a 1952 photo in front of our house, which one cannot see.  I am about 5 with our first dog and the enclosed front porch of  the neighbor’s house Rockingham, which I understand is not enclosed any more.

I grew up on Rockingham. 

Rich's Mother Sylvia (at right) in 1917

Rich’s Mother Sylvia (at right) in 1917

My mother, Sylvia, took the photo of Lexie and me in front of our house — I am facing towards Meigs Street and the house over my shoulder is where the Lampfrons lived (second house west of Meigs; we were the corner house).  In the 1950’s, our house was brown with green screens and white trim and surrounded by mature maple trees.
I now live in the Los Feliz section of Hollywood, California.  It is also called the Hollywood Grove HPOZ and The Oaks.  Lots of sections overlap on our little street.  I’ve been here since 1970, but we were also into house flipping in the 1980’s and had a number of other places, only to end up in the first small California craftsman.  My office was in Beverly Hills.
From what I see from the website, the homes <in the Highland Park Neighborhood> today look like they are in better condition than back in the 1950’s.”
The image below is the one that Rich’s Grandmother painted in 1913.   Click on to see a larger version and to read Rich’s comments on his grandparents.

Picture of Highland Park Hand Painted by Rich’s Grandmother. Click for a Bigger Version and To read Details


One Comment leave one →
  1. Dave Beedon permalink
    September 3, 2013 5:39 pm

    Fascinating information! The hand-painted photo brings back fond memories of the Pavilion, which was torn down in 1962 or 63.

    If Rich lived in a corner house at the intersection of Rockingham and Meigs streets, it had to be the one at the northwest corner. His house was at sidewalk level (boy and dog photo) but houses on the south side of Rockingham were built on a terrace above the sidewalk.

    I lived on Mt. Vernon Avenue, near Bellevue Drive, and walked past Rich’s house on my way to Ellwanger and Barry School #24. I started kindergarten in September 1952 and attended #24 through the sixth grade. During that period I must have passed Rich’s house hundreds of times. The corner house had a hedge next to the Meigs Street sidewalk and a driveway feeding into Meigs and running parallel to Rockingham. That whole area was full of street trees.

    I wonder if Rich knew Carol Carhart, one of my classmates, who lived on the south side of Rockingham, about four houses west of his. Her family owned a photo-finishing business. davebeedon [at] comcast [dot] net

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