Friday, October 28, 2016

Neighborhood Fixture: The “Unusually Artistic” Lewelleyn Manor

Rising four stories and topped by a blue-and-white neon rooftop sign, the brick Lewelleyn Manor at the northeast corner of Temple Street and Rampart Boulevard  commands attention like few other nearby buildings can. The 46-unit apartment building with a night club on the ground level was built in 1926 by contractor and real estate investor Lewelleyn J. Smith, who  had big ambitions for this corner of  what is now called Historic Filipinotown but what was then referred to as  the North Rampart Section, according to an L.A. Times story of the era.

Canopy over Rampart Boulevard entrance

On the same block, Lewelleyn also built the former Rampart Theater, which opened in 1924 with the the screening of Constance Talmadge’s “Her Night of Romance.”  A headline of a Times story  described  the new theater at the corner of Temple and Benton Way as an attempt to build a “Growing Community Center Not Depending on ‘Downtown.'”

Soon after, Lewellyn began working on the Lewelleyn Manor, which was faced in “Old Rose Brick” and was said to be “unusually artistic,” according to a Times story.  Classified ads promoted the Lewellyn Manor’s  spacious apartments,  elevator, filtered ice water, electric refrigeration and private phones.

Lewelleyn died in in 1956 at the age of 80. His apartment house has seen better days. But, in addition to a rooftop sign, a metal canopy above the Rampart Boulevard lobby hint at the building’s glory days.

What’s in store for Lewelleyn Manor? We will soon find out. The building was put up for sale for $4.7 million in early March and is currently in escrow, according to Redfin.

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  1. Restore this baby!

  2. Temple! Temple! Temple! I’ve always thought Temple st. could be really charming due to its street scale. With some great little buildings like this and the charming pockets of Craftman/Spanish style homes in the neighborhood, the potential for this street to have some great storefronts is there. This is not far from the original Rampart station which is slated to get a modern makeover. There are some great structures popping up on Temple (Children’s institute, Camino Charter school, Boyscouts (nearby)) YES! NEW OWNERS PLEASE RESTORE!

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