86 Fremont Place

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WILSHIRE BOULEVARD   BERKELEY SQUARE    ST. JAMES PARK   
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The house built at the northwest corner of Easterly Drive and Tenth Street in 1924 remains one of the more modest in size behind the gates of Fremont Place. On March 15, 1924, the Department of Buildings issued a permit for its construction to clothier Alexander E. Newman; he had earlier been a milliner and his wife, Clara, a millinery designer. As were many a prosperous Fremont Place couples, the Newmans were childless. Unlike some neighborhood couples without children, they built no more of a house than they needed, calling upon the architectural firm of Norton & Wallis to design it. Firm principal Samuel Tilden Norton had completed his own sensible house up the drive at #66 the year before, along with one in Monrovia later occupied by novelist Upton Sinclair. All three houses were in variations of the Mediterranean, then reaching its height of popularity.

After Clara died in October 1939, Alexander Newman stayed at #86 until his own death in November 1946. An auction of his furnishings was held the following summer, by which time the house had been sold to Oscar Trippet. Trippet was an establishment figure who would be described in his obituary in The New York Times 20 years later as "a lawyer whose civic and philanthropic works won him many awards." Soon after his election to the prestigious presidency of the the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce in 1951, Trippet and his wife, Bernice, decided to upgrade to Hancock Park and put #86 on the market in the summer of 1952.




Illustration: Private Collection