96 Fremont Place


Still at the south end of Fremont Place—specifically, at the northeast corner of Olympic Boulevard (once Country Club Drive) and what was originally referred to as Easterly Drive—is a house completed for Russian-born Samuel Markowitz in 1925. A permit to begin construction had been issued by the Department of Buildings on September 10, 1924; the document lists as architect a name that appears to be "Webster-Crysler," although no information about any such firm has surfaced. 

Samuel Markowitz had been in the dry-goods business in Pittsburgh until 1921, when he arrived in Los Angeles with his wife and four children to team up with a friend—who may have also been an in-law—who had followed the same westward path and was now in the clothing business on Broadway. Charles T. Scott had been on the West Coast for several years operating his ladies' and childrens' emporium; in 1920 he was living on Virgil Avenue with his wife Rose, daughter Gittelle—Samuel and Cecelia Markowitz also had a daughter named Gittelle—and Sadie Nell Markowitz, that rare woman dentist who had had an office in Pittsburgh and was now practicing in Los Angeles. The connections between the Markowitzes and the Scotts are not entirely clear, but the business partnership of Samuel and Charles was apparently lucrative. Later in the decade Samuel developed a sideline with his son Manuel—who later along with his brother Ernest changed his surname to Martin—in the form of the Wilshire Mortgage Corporation. The Markowitzes were active in religious causes, Samuel serving as a president of the Los Angeles campaign of the Palestine Foundation Fund and Cecelia of the local chapter of Hadassah. After roaring with the decade, living well behind the gates of Fremont Place, it appears that the Depression may have pulled the Kirman out from under the Markowitzes. The house and its contents were being prepared for auction when the Times ran the large advertisement seen below on July 16, 1933.

The Markowitzes prepare to leave Fremont Place in 1933, above.
 Below is a view of the rear of #96 in 1940; the empty northwest corner
of Olympic and Lucerne, on this side of the house, would be occupied by two
relocated houses, one of them from 4656 Wilshire Boulevard, by the
end of 1947. The tower of Los Angeles High School is at left.

Illustrations: LATUSCDL