1926 N. Kenmore Avenue 90027
1926 N. Kenmore Avenue 90027 Los Feliz USA
Owners: Edward and Ester Bernstein
Builders: Engstrom Construction Co. Grandsons Frederick, Edgar, Thomas of original founder of company, Franz Otto and father/V.P. Frederick Edgar Engstrom, were the ones who built 1926 N. Kenmore. By 1930, both their father and grandfather had passed, according to genealogical records. Franz Otto and Frederick Edgar Sr. built the Bryson apartment building with Hugh Bryson (Franz son-in-law). The location of the Engstrom Construction Co in 1930, was at 4953 Hollywood Blvd and Kenmore Avenue, within the Holmby Tract.
All 3 addresses were owned by the Bernstein’s:
1920, 1920 ½, 1922, 1922 ½ N. Kenmore Ave.
1926 N. Kenmore Ave.
1930-36 N. Kenmore Ave.
1926 N. Kenmore Avenue Building New Construction Permit/Certificate of Occupancy: If you look at LADBS records for 1920 N Kenmore, you can see where they misfiled the 1926 N. Kenmore Ave “New Building Permit,” there. The new construction permit, with all builder info, matches up with the building occupancy permit within the 1926 N Kenmore LADBS records. But 1926 N. Kenmore, was the first to be built in 1930 by these folks, out of the three buildings right there. The remaining two on each side, were built in 1938. The permit is signed by Thomas G. Engstrom, son of Frederick Edgar Engstrom and brother of Edgar Francis Engstrom or ‘E.F. Engstrom, as listed
The Bernsteins: E. and Ester Bernstein (lived at 1960-66 N Argyle during this time). E. Bernstein may have also been a contractor himself, as he’s listed as contractor on 1920 N Kenmore, for later addition for garage. According to the 1910 census, they were both Russian Jewish immigrants, who entered the country in 1901.
1940 Census Edward and Ester Bernstein: Edward Bernstein, age 59 in 1940 census and Ester, age 50 in 1949 census, living at 1960 N Argyle, not 1966. 1920 census lists them at 1136 S Alvarado Street. Building was built in 1912 and is still standing. It says they immigrated the same year in 1901 and then got married in Detroit, MI on Jan 7, 1911. They were 40 and 31.
Engstrom/Engstrum Construction Company/Family:
Engstrom Construction Company, was originally founded by Franz Otto Engstrom, born in Denmark, but the time he immigrated, his birth town was taken over by Germany. So this is why his immigration paperwork says he’s born in Germany, but born in Denmark, according to his many biographical references.
Mr. Engstrum moved to Los Angeles in 1892, where he set up a business office downtown. The F. O. Engstrum Company, incorporated in 1904, had up to two hundred employees, all “skilled and independent workmen.” Although it first specialized in large carpentry projects, the Engstrum company soon became well-known as one of the most prominent general building-contracting firms west of Chicago, specializing in reinforced-concrete construction of large institutional and commercial buildings. (The firm was said to have built the first cast-in-place concrete structure.) These included the Court Houses in Riverside and Ventura, the Security National and Citizens National Banks on Spring Street in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Polytechnic High School, the County and California Hospitals, Fire Station No. 23, the seven-story Elks Hall, the Ocean Park Bathhouse, the Agnews State Hospital, and Tower Hall at what is now San Jose State University.
Engstrum also built large multi-unit residential buildings, such as the Engstrum, Rampart, and Bryson Apartments and the 750-room Rosslyn Hotel in Los Angeles. The Rex Arms at 945 Orange Street was declared “the finest apartment house built in Los Angeles up to that time.” The firm also was said to have built all the concrete bridges from Los Angeles to Pomona for the Salt Lake Railroad, installed the street-lighting system in Newport Beach, and constructed numerous other buildings in Monrovia, Colton, San Diego, El Paso, and Oxnard (where the Engstrum family owned land).
E. F. Engstrom (builder of 1926 N. Kenmore Ave) or Edgar Francis Engstrum, was the son of Frederick Edgar Engstrum, grandson of Franz Otto Engstrum, with his brothers as Thomas and Frederick. Frederick Edgar Engstrum, had a sister named Blanch May Engstrom Bryson, who married Hugh Bryson, owner of Bryson Apartments downtown. Hugh Bryson worked for the prominent Engstrom builder, early in his career and married the daughter. And this is why the Engstrom’s were most likely the builders for the circa 1913 Bryson Apartment Building by Franz Otto and son Frederick Edgar. And this construction company later on, built these three buildings in Los Feliz Square in 1930 and 1938.
Type: Mediterranean Revival Sold
Area: 9,308 sqft
Lot Size: 6,627 sqft
Year Built: 1930