Edward A.D. Christopher Residence | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Marcello Vavala/L.A. Conservancy

Edward A.D. Christopher Residence

The Edward A. D. Christopher Residence was constructed about 1908 in what was then unincorporated Los Angeles County territory in the predominantly agricultural San Fernando Valley.

It is a rare, surviving example of a pre-annexation single-family residence in the San Fernando Valley and may be the oldest extant house in Studio City. The City of Los Angeles annexed the San Fernando Valley in 1915.

The property was developed circa 1908 by Edward A. D. Christopher and his wife Clara as a fruit ranch, and the Christopher Residence is a rare, surviving example of a house associated with one of the small gentlemen farms operating independently throughout the former Lankershim Ranch Land and Water Company property.

The one-story house features an arroyo stone porch with a pair of tapered support piers and original double-hung, wood sash windows framed by distinctive, flared vertical trim that narrows as it tapers from the wider window sill to the top trim.

The citywide historic resources survey, SurveyLA, found the property eligible for listing in both the California Register of Historical Resources and as a local Historic-Cultural Monument as a rare example of early residential development in Studio City.

The Christopher family relocated from New York to Fresno in 1900 before coming to Los Angeles in 1904, lured by the promise of good land, sunshine, and prosperity, and purchased land throughout the area. Mr. Christopher sold real estate and had worked as a contractor when the couple purchased the subject property in 1908 from the McCormick family.

Mr. Christopher listed himself as a fruit farmer on the 1910 United States Federal Census, which lists the address of the house as Vineland Avenue, with the southern elevation facing Rio Vista Street, now called Aqua Vista Street. The Christophers later owned multiple lots in the River View Tract surrounding the house, providing water from the well on the property to these other lots. They deeded the property to Harry Devenney, a real estate salesman, in 1914.

The eastern boundary and original frontage of the property is formed by a block-long stretch of Little Vineland Avenue, which occupies the former right of way of the Pacific Electric Railway line that once connected the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood.  The house predates the construction of the right of way.

In 1962, an apartment complex was constructed on land surrounding the north and east sides of the Christopher Residence, including a wing that occupies the former eastern portion of the original property adjacent to Vineland.

Photo by Adrian Scott Fine/L.A. Conservancy

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