Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Historic Home Profile: 420 N. McCadden Place

This charming home at 420 N. McCadden Place was designed by architect Gerald Rae Colcord at age 27 in 1927. (photos by Alex Elliot)

Prepared by Windsor Square Hancock Park Historical Society:

The property was purchased in 1925 by John W. Sullivan, who possibly held it as an investment until 1927. The 1925 county tax records indicated the value of the land (for tax purposes) at $1,880 when purchased; then, valued it at $4,080 when Sullivan sold it. It was not uncommon for investors to purchase property during one of the greatest land booms in Los Angeles, then hold on to it in hopes of turning a profit. A very wise two-year investment was realized when he sold the lot to Walter D. K. Gibson Jr.

This charming home was designed by architect Gerald Rae Colcord at age 27 (born 1900) and built by contractor Charlton Ames at an estimated cost of $10,600. It appears that Colcord and Ames worked together at that time as their business phone number in the local phone directories was the same. Mr. Colcord was well known for designing homes in Hancock Park, Beverly Hills, Bel-Air and throughout Southern California.

Colcord was a native of St. Louis, Missouri and received his early education at the Culver Military Academy in Indiana. When his parents, Walter R. and Meta (Garrels) Colcord moved to Beverly Hills, Gerard entered the University of Southern California where he majored in architecture for four years. He then studied for six months at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris followed by travels for another six months studying various kinds of building designs in European cities.

From 1925 until 1928, Colcord was associated with noted architects including Asa Hudson, John C. Austin and Roy Price. In January 1930 he was granted a provisional certificate to practice architecture and in April 1930 was issued a certificate to practice architecture in California. He opened his office in Beverly Hills. His work was largely residential and he designed magnificent homes for clients throughout Southern California, many of those in the motion picture industry.

He belonged to the Beverly Hills Athletic Club, the Ki Phi college fraternity and the California State Association of Architects. He was married to Jeanne Marie Dumas, a former actress from New York City.

This home was built in 1927 for Walter D. K. Gibson Jr. who resided there until 1938 with his wife Polly. Los Angeles city directories show Mr. Gibson as manager of American Health Products Company in 1926. In 1930 he managed MAT Products Company, Inc. (cleaner manufacturers). While their home on McCadden Place was being built, they lived close by at 614 So. Saint Andrews Place. Nothing of historic significance can be found on subsequent owners. Gibson sold his home to Kate R. Luppen who lived there from 1938 to 1966. In 1966, Joan F. and Thomas E. Riach became the owners, and in 1993 they sold it to James A. Martens. The current owners purchased the home in 1999.

Built in 1927
Architect Gerald Rae Colcord

Transcribed by Jane Gilman, June 2021 Edited by Bret Parsons, January 2022. Parsons is also the author of “Colcord: Home,” published in 2008.


In 2009, the home was given a Landmark Award #96 for historical significance by the Windsor Square – Hancock Park Historical Society.

Editor’s Note: Through a partnership with the Windsor Square Hancock Park Historical Society, we are pleased to share a profile every week of an historic home in our neighborhood. Our thanks to the Society for sharing its research on these wonderful homes.

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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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  1. The 1999 buyers sold the house in 2013, and those buyers sold it in 2020.
    The current owners whitewashed the brick facade which is against the Hancock Park HPOZ regulations. It was much more beautiful in its original red brick glory.


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