112 Fremont Place

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Had the ladies of The Golden Girls not lived in Miami in a house that was actually in Brentwood, the producers of the series might have chosen 112 Fremont Place for the establishing image of their residence instead. While this vast rancher might seem to be the clunker in the architectural panoply of Fremont Place, it is actually an original house built on a lot that remained unoccupied for 43 years after the opening of the tract in 1911. Certainly when compared to #101 up the street, a 1917 house that has been conjured clumsily into a Barbados resort hotel, #112 has integrity. Another sort of honor goes to the family that built it—its 58-year tenancy appears to be the longest of any house in Fremont Place.

On June 1, 1954, with a budget of $40,000 indicated, the Department of Building and Safety issued a permit for the construction of 112 to Hampton Addison Harth Jr., a businessman with Tennessee roots. Born in Knoxville on August 4, 1888, Harth became an automobile dealer there; it appears that his father, Addison Sr., came to Los Angeles in the '20s with a wife 31 years younger than himself and a daughter 32 years younger than her stepbrother, Addison's namesake. Addison Sr. had been in the real estate investment and loan business in Tennessee and pursued the same line in Los Angeles as president of the Wilshire Mortgage Company in association with Samuel Markowitz, who, as it happened, lived at 96 Fremont Place. Roy A. Dalton, a builder who lived at #71, shared space with Wilshire Mortgage in the Harth Building at Western and Third. With such connections, it seems likely that Addison Sr. was persuaded to invest in the northerly 173 feet of Lot 112 in the Place to hold if not to build on; in the event, he died on December 8, 1940. Addison Jr., in business with his father and apparently dabbling in oil, inherited the parcel. He finally decided to improve it after he married Lenora Fuson and the couple had a daughter on February 3, 1953. A certificate of occupancy for 112 Fremont Place was issued on June 23, 1955.

Hampton Addison Harth Jr. died on July 26, 1971; his widow appears to have remained in Fremont Place for another 41 years until her death on June 15, 2012. The house was sold in November 2013 for $2,375,000. 




Illustration: Private Collection