Quick Facts

21 Chester Place

The mystery behind “The Real Addams Family House”

Who built the house (or had it built):

The Newhall Brothers – William & Edwin (top), Henry (middle), Walter & George (in front)

The Newhall Brothers – William & Edwin (top), Henry (middle), Walter & George (in front)

Henry Gregory Newhall
Born: March 4, 1853
Died: May 20, 1903

Walter Scott Newhall
Born: August 24, 1860
Died: December 25, 1906

Credit goes to 2 out of 5 son’s of wealthy American businessman Henry Mayo Newhall, a man whose extensive land holdings became the Los Angeles communities of Newhall, Saugus and Valencia, and the city of Santa Clarita.

After their father died, the brothers developed the “Newhall Land and Farming Company” in 1883. Henry G. Newhall also later became the president of the California Bank and Walter S. Newhall served as one of the Directors for the “Los Angeles Improvement Company.”

Henry Gregory Newhall should be credited as the original owner/builder of the Newhall house. He had the house built and lived there until at least the latter part of 1896; when Walter Scott Newhall and Nellie Hammill Trowbridge got married and moved in. They had 1 child in 1896 (Stillborn: Walter Trowbridge Newhall).

In 1903, Henry G. Newhall died and on Christmas Day in 1906, Walter S. Newhall died as wellThey were both buried in the Newhall Family Plot (which had just been moved to Colma, California, at “Cypress Lawn Memorial” in 1901, due to the San Francisco ban on cemeteries and burials).

1908 Los Angeles City Directory

Walter’s wife Nellie continued to live in the house for some time after he passed away. The “Los Angeles City Directory” does show that she was still living there in 1908, but in 1911 she sold the property and moved east.

Although I have not been able to find much information on Nellie, I have discovered that her full name is Nellie Hammill Trowbridge (Trowbridge is her Maiden name), and that she was married before her marriage to Walter, to a man named Dr. Frank Ainsworth (which is why you sometimes see her listed as Nellie Trowbridge Ainsworth).

After Walter passed away, Nellie married U.S Navy Captain Charles H. Harlow in March 1911, sold the Newhall property in April and moved east with her new husband. She died on January 12, 1942 (at 78 years of age), and is buried with her third husband at the “Arlington National Cemetery” in Arlington, Virginia.


When was the house built:

Los Angeles Herald, Nov 3, 1887

Los Angeles Herald, Nov 3, 1887

This “Los Angeles Herald” ad dated Nov 3, 1887, says the house was being built and the “1888 Los Angeles City Directory” shows that Henry G. Newhall was residing there now, so the house was more than likely completed in early 1888.

1888 Los Angeles City Directory

1888 Los Angeles City Directory


Addresses of the house:
(According to the “Los Angeles City Directory”)


N s Adams bet South Figueroa and Scarff
Los Angeles, California






747 West Adams Street
Los Angeles, California



735 West 25th Street
Los Angeles, California



21 Chester Place
Los Angeles, California


Architectural Period:

Queen Anne style with a Colonial influence.


House Specifications:

9 Bed rooms, 4 Bath rooms (with plumbing for two more), Hardwood floors, Drawing room 45′ x 40′ burnt redwood, Dinning room 40′ x 20′ mahogany finish, White enamel finish throughout 2nd floor, 225 feet frontage, 80,000 sq. ft. of land with 25 varieties of trees, Conservatory, Garage and Tool house.


Where was the house located in Los Angeles:

Pretty much right in the center of Los Angeles. Situated southwest of downtown in what today is called the West Adams District, it originally stood off of “Adams Street” just west of “Figueroa.” The house sat in between “St. James Park” and “Chester Place.”


Owners of the house during its existence:

Henry G. Newhall – (Had the house built and lived there until at least the latter part of 1896)

Walter S. Newhall – (Some time after getting married in September 1896, Walter and his wife took over and lived in and owned the house until April 1911)

Mrs. Jenny H. S. Roe-Tufts and Gorham Tufts Jr. – (Bought the Newhall property in April 1911 and lived in and owned the house until 1914)

Edward and Estelle Doheny – (Bought the land and house in 1914 and turned the Newhall home into a rental house for the rest of its existence between 1915-1967)

Mount St. Mary’s College (Acquired land and house in 1962 after Estelle Doheny died. “21 Chester Place” continued to be a rental house until it’s demise)


When was the house demolished:

It was demolished sometime between 1967-1972. On June 9, 1967, the “Department of Building and Safety” issued a demolition permit for the house and the occupants were notified to vacate by a certain date. I have yet to find documentation verifying the actual demolition date, but according to the “Los Angeles City Directory” the house was still occupied in 1967. Unfortunately, aerial photos at this time only prove that the house was definitely gone by 1972, so at this time when the house was actually demolished is only speculation.



1853Los Angeles Land Survey was conducted and Henry Gregory Newhall was born

1855 Henry Hancock purchased “Lot” of land off of “Adams Blvd.” (The land that would later become “Chester Place” in 1899, which is adjacent to the land where the Newhall house would be built 11 years prior in 1888)

1860Walter Scott Newhall was born

1867Nathan Vail bought “Lot” from Henry Hancock, built a home and lived there for almost 20 years

1883 – The Newhall brothers develop the “Newhall Land and Farming Company” based in San Francisco

1885Nathan Vail sold his land and home to Charles Silent

1887 – Henry G. Newhall starts construction on his home in the Adams District adjacent to Charles Silent’s land, and is now also the president of the “California Bank.” Walter S. Newhall gets a seat as Director for the “Los Angeles Improvement Company”

1888Henry G. Newhall’s house was completed just east of “St. James Park” and west of Charles Silent’s land (that was later to become “Chester Place”)

1896-1897 – Henry G. Newhall moves out of the house and Walter S. Newhall and wife move in

1899Charles Silent subdivided and created “Chester Place” on his land, creating a new street stretching from “West 23rd St.” to “West Adams Street” with gateways at both entrances. A new street running parallel was also made (on the west side named “West 25th St.”),  for access to “St. James Park”

1900“Chester Place” starts to fill up with wealthy residences wanting a private gated community

1901The Doheny’s moved in to “8 Chester Place”

1902The Doheny’s started buying up the remaining lots in “Chester Place” from Charles Silent to control their surroundings (eventually owning all of the houses in “Chester Place” and renting them out to friends and acquaintances). The partial “W. 25th St.” that the house sat on was renamed “Chester Place” during this time

1903  Henry G. Newhall died

1906Walter S. Newhall died

1911Walter’s wife Nellie remarried and sold the Newhall property to Mr. Gorham and Jenny Roe-Tufts

1914Mrs. Jenny H. S. Roe sold “21 Chester Place” to Edward and Estelle Doheny

1915 – The house became included and enclosed (with a gateway installed on the street), with in “Chester Place.” It then became a rent house as Estelle had done with her other homes that she had acquired in the immediate area. First set of rental occupants move into house

1935Edward L. Doheny died on September 8, 1935

1958Estelle Doheny died October 30, 1958, leaving “Chester Place” to the “Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles”; whom then gave the land to “Mount St. Mary’s College” 

1962 – “Mount St. Mary’s College” took over “Chester Place” and opened up their satellite campus there. The Newhall house continued to be a rent home for the current renters who had lived there since the 1930’s

1964 – “21 Chester Place” was used in the 1964 Motion Picture “Seven Days in May” and “The Addams Family” 1964-66 TV sitcom

1965 – “21 Chester Place” was used in the 60’s TV sitcom “Hazel” (Season 5/Episode 5)

1967 – “21 Chester Place” was put on the chopping block when “Mount St. Mary’s College Doheny Campus” that owned the land, was propositioned by the L.A.U.S.D. to let that side of the street go to make room for a high school

1967-1972 – The Newhall House – “21 Chester Place” – was demolished sometime between this 5 year span (actual date is not known at this time, but the house was definitely gone by 1972)


Video Footage of the house:

Was used in the very 1st episode of the 60’s TV sitcom “The Addams Family” in the opening scene, Season 1/Episode 1 (1964) “The Addams Family Goes To School” – (Exterior footage of house). 

Was used in the 1964 Motion Picture “Seven Days In May” – (Exterior footage of house).

Was used in one episode of the 60’s TV sitcom “Hazel”, Season 5/Episode 5 (1965) “The Holdout” – (Exterior footage of house).