AKA: Hollenbeck Old Peoples'Home, East Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; Hollenbeck Community Center, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - housing - housing for the elderly; built works - public buildings - health and welfare buildings

Designers: Edelman, Abram M. Architect (firm); Morgan and Walls, Architects (firm); Morgan, Walls and Clements, Architects (firm); Stiles Oliver Clements (architect); Abram M. Edelman (architect); Octavius Weller Morgan Sr. (architect); Octavius Morgan (architect); John A. Walls (architect)

Dates: constructed 1896, demolished 1985

3 stories

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573 South Boyle Avenue
Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, CA 90033-3816

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Overview

This early charity devoted to housing destitute elderly Los Angelenos opened on09/06/1896, supported by the German-born philanthropist Elizabeth Hollenbeck (1827-1918). Elizabeth and her husband, John Edward(1829-1885),migrated to Southern CA from Nicaragua, where they operated successful shipping lines and a hotel in the city of Greytown, now known asSan Juan de Nicaragua. The couple arrived in Los Angeles in the spring of 1876 and John began actively buying real estate in town. He also became associated with bankers in town, becoming an official with theCommercial Bank of Los Angeles. He opened a hotel in Los Angeles, the Hollenbeck Hotel, in 1882, which became one of the most respected establishments of the period in the city. He passed away of a stroke in 1885, but Elizabeth lived on for another 33 years, emerging as a significant donor to various charities. She became active in a local Presbyterian congregation, and throught these connections got the idea of opening a home for the elderly who lacked money to care for themselves. According to Sam Watters, writing in the Los Angeles Times, the Hollenbeck Home for the Aged housed at its opening "...34 women and 12 men representing eight nationalities and eight faiths.... They were, as one recalled, the 'fortunate unfortunates.' They were older than 60, residents of California and without sufficient financial support. At the home they were secure, their expenses paid for life." (See Sam Watters, Los Angeles Times, "Hollenbeck Home for the Aged in Boyle Heights in the 1890s," accessed 08/31/2015.) Elizabeth Hollenbeck died in 1918, having established a charitable trust that continues to the present.

Building Notes

The occasionally accurate architectural biographers, Henry F. and Elsie R. Withey, credited Edelman with the "Hollenbeck Old Peoples'Home" in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, CA. (See Henry F. and Elsie Rathburn Withey, Biographical Dictionary of Architects Deceased, [Los Angeles: New Age Publishing, 1956] p. 190.)

Alteration

Additions were opened in 05/1908 and 03/1923, the latter work designed by Morgan, Walls, and Clements.

Demolition

Due to its masonry construction, the Hollenbeck House could not withstand seismic tremors, certainly not up to modern building codes. The Hollenbeck Trust razed the building in 1985 and replaced it with a more modern elder-care facility.

PCAD id: 1588