2656 N. Aberdeen Avenue 90027 - Sybill J. Morrison House (Aberdeen House)
2656 N. Aberdeen Avenue 90027 Los Feliz USA
Historic-Cultural Monument, Tudor Revival
“Sybill J. Morrison House (Aberdeen House)”
Milton R. Sutton, architect
Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #1171 designated in 2018.
Click here for Los Angeles Department of City Planning Recommendation Report, which has additional details on the property’s architectural and historic significance.
Aberdeen House was commissioned by Mrs. Sybil J. Morrison and designed by Milton R. Sutton, who was technically an “architectural designer” rather than a certified architect. Mrs. Morrison acted as general contractor for the project, according to the original building permit.
Detailed information about the history of Aberdeen House was gathered and compiled by Building Biographer Tim Gregory, Owner Stuart Gulland, and Vanessa Withers. Research and historical reports are utilized as the historical background and context for the purposes of this report.
Architect – Milton R. Sutton (1892 – 1962):
Architect Milton R. Sutton started his architectural career as a carpenter with city directories in the early twenties listing him as such (records 1921-1924). Then in 1924 he is listed as an architect. He worked fairly consistently from 1925 into the early 1930s. It does not appear that he gained significant prominence in the architectural world, but did leave behind a body of work that reflects the Romanticism of architecture born in the 1920s and 30s. Aberdeen House appears to be one of his grandest and most architecturally significant works.
Interestingly, the developer who used Sutton plans to build a house in Omaha marketed the house as a “Beverly Hills Colonial”. The builder had acquired the plans while on a trip to California (Omaha Restoration Exchange FB page). Research shows that Sutton’s work was fairly prolific between 1925 and 1931 in the City of Beverly Hills. The City of Beverly Hills has compiled a list of the architects who built various properties during that era; Sutton is credited with designing 20 of those buildings. They are mostly Spanish Colonial Revival in Style, with some Italian Renaissance Revival influence. One is an interesting Normandy Revival from 1925 (220 Camden). Another is a Brick Colonial Apartment Building from 1931 (133 Peck Dr.
First Owner: Mrs. Sybil J. Morrison (1867-1961):
“Mrs. Morrison was born Sybil James Hartwell on November 8, 1867 in England. She immigrated to the United States in 1900, having married her husband Arthur J. Morrison around 1897. The Arkansas-born Mr. Morrison (ca. 1860-1923) evidently was independently wealthy.”
In 1925 Mrs. Morrison was a widow and purchased the vacant land that would later become Aberdeen House. “Mrs. Morrison, who was living in San Francisco at the time, commissioned architect Milton R. Sutton to design a two-story, fourteen-room home for her in the then-popular Tudor Revival style. Mrs. Morrison served as her own general contractor for this $27,500 project-a large amount of money even in pre-Depression 1925 when the average house could be built for less than $5,000.” Sybil J. Morrison shared her new home with Oscar L. Erickson, a clothing merchant, his wife and child, a lodger, and a chauffeur. Mrs. Morrison lived at Aberdeen House from 1927 through 1937. Mrs. Morrison died in Los Angeles County February 10, 1961 at the age of 93. (Source: Los Angeles department of City Planning Recommendation Report)
Home of Nellie M. Erickson, widow of O.L. Erickson. (Source: Los Angeles City Directory, 1937, p. 635). Listed at $2,999,500 in November, 2003. (Source: real estate brochure). Actress Annie Potts lived here in 2002.
Milton R. Sutton, architect
2656 North Aberdeen Avenue (Value: $100,000): 1) Sybil J. Morrison, owner and head of household; 60 year old white female widow; married at age 29; born in England; parents born in England; to US in 1900, a naturalized citizen; not working. 2) Oscar L. Erickson, tenant; 62 year old white married male; married at age 21; born in the US; parents born in the US; merchant in a gent’s clothing store. 3) Nellie M. Erickson, wife of tenant; 60 year old white married female; married at age 28; born in the US; parents born in the US; not working. 4) Esther A. Erickson, daughter; 31 year old divorced white female; born in the US; not working. 5) Maria Sheffer, lodger; 52 year old single white female; born in the US; parents born in the US; an interior decorator in an interior decorating firm. 6) Frank Matsumoto, lodger; 34 year old single white male; born in Japan; parents born in Japan; speaks Japanese; to US in 1915, a resident alien; chauffeur for a private family. (18th ED, page 16A, lines 19-24).
2656 Aberdeen Avenue: 1) William B. Thompson, head of household; white married male 58 years of age; born in Indiana; works 60 hours a week; an Osteopathic doctor. 2) Ruth Locke, wife; white married female 58 years of age; born in Pennsylvania; not working. 3) Locke Thompson, son; white male 20 years of age; born in California; not working. 4) William B. Thompson, III, son; white male 26 year of age; born in Michigan; not working. 5) Constance Thompson, daughter-in-law; white female 26 years of age; born in California; not working. 6) Alwin Chee, houseboy; Chinese male 18 years of age; born in Hawaii; works 40 hours a week as a servant in a private family. (ED 66-372; Page 6; Lines 17-22).
(Includes 2646 and 2648 N. Aberdeen Avenue)
Photo courtesy Michael Locke 2021
Type: Historic-Cultural Monument Sold
Area: 4,722 sqft
Lot Size: 19,855 sqft
Year Built: 1926