38 St. James Park


WHILE HUNDREDS OF EXPANDING CITIES in postbellum urban America had their own civic visionaries, Los Angeles around the turn of the 20th century seems to have had more than its share of indefatigable nabobs, both those self-made after arriving in the city as well as those who already had it made. In her essay "7000 Romaine, Los Angeles," Joan Didion describes the instinct of these men to find that golden land where money could buy what Americans really want from it—not things or power, but rather "absolute personal freedom, mobility, privacy." Once they found the holy grail in Los Angeles, many of them went farther: The novel challenges and luminous promise of California seem to have brought out a particular strain of progressive thought that civilization was perfectible, or at least honeable. Among those with such vision was John Hyde Braly, something of whose contribution to St. James Park we have already seen in the history of #9. You'd almost think that there should be not a Wilshire Boulevard traversing Los Angeles but a Braly Boulevard. As it is, there is only the Imperial County town of Brawley, originally named for John Hyde Braly; his refusal of the honor resulted in the clever alteration of the spelling of the town's name to the actual pronunciation of the surname. 

From log cabin and muslin to white tie and tails: John Hyde Braly's arc from backwoods Missouri
  to St. James Park makes for fascinating reading in his roseate 1912 autobiography.

Practically all of the romance of California can be found in the life of John Hyde Braly, from the hardscrabble journey across the plains by Conestoga wagon, to the Gold Rush, to agriculture, to urban business prowess and great wealth. Born on January 24, 1835, in Franklin County, Missouri, Braly came by his acute sense of Manifest Destiny through the example of tough forebears who'd already left North Carolina and crossed the Mississippi by the 1820s. The Bralys' push to the Pacific came in April 1847, when John, his parents, and six siblings set off for California. After a colorful, circuitous route over the plains, with stops in Laramie, Boise, and Oregon, the family reached California in the fabled year of '49. Their first stop was Fremont, from which the men began a business to provision the new towns of the mining operations in burgeoning Gold Rush country—"eating, drinking, smoking and swearing places," as Braly put it in his autobiography. Money quickly made allowed the Bralys to move on to a 160-acre farm in the Santa Clara Valley by the next year. Braly then went east for an education at Tennessee's Cumberland University; on his return to California he began a career as an educator. Taking charge of several schools over the next decade—with a break to return to the Nevada gold fields to become something of an unsuccessful loan shark that nearly ruined him—Braly also married. His bride was Martha Jane ("Mattie") Hughes, whose family had followed a track to California nearly identical to the Bralys', via North Carolina and Missouri. It would be many years before the family would settle in Los Angeles, however. There were stops in San Jose and in Fresno, where Braly farmed raisins and, apparently having learned his lesson from his recent Nevada debacle, embarked on a banking career. In this new endeavor, Braly managed to prosper enormously. He set up banks in Fresno, Selma, and Tulare. He and Mattie had seven children by 1879, though only three would survive beyond 1888. Josephine died in 1887. It was at this time, for the health of delicate daughter Millie, that the family moved yet again, now to San Diego. Another bank was set up there; after Millie's death despite the move to a better climate, and after more financial hardships due to the bust of the Southern California boom, there was a stop again in San Jose. Finally, by early 1891, Braly rallied from near total defeat and shouted "Eureka!" He'd found the amalgam of all California promise in Los Angeles, where the Bralys would, almost overnight, rise from setback to the ranks of seemingly long-established burghers.

Mr. and Mrs. John Hyde Braly on the occasion of their Golden Wedding anniversary.
 Fifty years to the day, on November 24, 1911, a celebration was held at the
 Hotel Alexandria in downtown Los Angeles with 400 guests and nary a
 drop to drink: In addition to his admirable work in securing the
 right to vote for women, Mr. Braly also supported the ladies
 of the W.C.T.U.  in their efforts to take away the
 right to a toddy. The evening was a long one.

One wonders if John Hyde Braly might have been at times a bit melodramatic in telling his life's story, if there might perhaps have been more cash stashed away than his tales of woe would suggest. Somehow, within two years of arriving in Los Angeles with a tin cup seemingly in hand, Braly was assembling his initial St. James Park lots and planning the 10-room house that became #9. In that house the Bralys came to live as though they had been in residence in the finest neighborhood in the city for decades. Local Society, used to, made up of, and indeed impressed by rags-to-riches stories, embraced the Bralys and attended their entertainments at St. James Park that served to establish their mutual respectability and clout. Now instead of a rather vagabond life closer to the Bralys' covered-wagon years, there was foursquare bourgeois grandeur. New money only looks old to us now; at any rate, what took generations on the East Coast took only a year or two on the West, where the senses stimulated by beauty coupled with limitless opportunity sped things up.

After swapping #9 with William David Woolwine for a vacation retreat on then-fashionable Terminal Island in 1899, John and Mattie Braly, their children grown, moved into the Hotel Van Nuys before taking a house on Hartford Avenue. It seems they very quickly missed the rarefied air of St. James Park. Or at least they missed the thrill of speculation: After acquiring the 75-by-160-foot lot 12, the Bralys had the architectural firm of Dennis and Farwell draw up plans for a house more modest appearing than #9 but, at 10 rooms, really no smaller. The Bralys were in residence at 38 St. James Park by early 1903—not that any sentient being was holding his breath for domestic permanence. John Hyde Braly's idea of a permanent edifice lay—and still lies—downtown on the southeast corner of Spring and Fourth streets. Braly and his business associates, son Arthur chief among them, had acquired the plot not long before #38 was built. On it was erected, to the Italian Renaissance design of the new century's local darling of an architect, John Parkinson, headquarters for the Southern California Savings Bank, of which Braly was president. At 12 stories, it was the tallest, most modern building in Los Angeles. While pleasing some civic boosters, it alarmed others, who pressed the City Council to pass an ordinance limiting any new building to a height of 150 feet, an edict that stood until 1957. While at the same time rebuffing dusty backwater Brawley's gesture of naming itself after him—a snub answered by the town's subtly giving him the finger by adding a couple of letters—Braly accepted the naming of the new building in his honor. The Braly Building later went by other names, among them the Union Trust Building, the Continental Building, and the Hibernian Building. At 109 years old, it is now the Old Bank District Lofts. 

The Braly Building, still standing at Spring and Fourth in
downtown Los Angeles, as seen in a 1902 rendering
by architect John Parkinson. Los Angeles's first
skyscraper was under construction at the
same time as the Bralys' second
 house on St. James Park.

Between #9 and #38, the Bralys' time on St. James Park actually totaled less than eight years. The three surviving children of John and Mattie, once farm children from the California hinterlands, grew up to be to-the-manner-born Angelenos themselves. Having become established in town at St. James Park and finding their places in the rather smug local firmament of the jeunesse dorée, Arthur, Emma, and Harold married—with one exception—spouses who would bolster the Braly position in Society and business. In 1895, Arthur married Mina Jevne, whose father would seven years later partner with the Bralys in the construction of the Spring Street skyscraper. The family's next personal alliance with a business associate came in 1903 when Harold married Henrietta Janss of the prolific real estate family. The Bralys would forge strong ties with the Jansses both at home and at the office; after a disastrous marriage to polo-playing rake—and embezzler—Howard Graham Bundrem, Emma saw the wisdom of toeing the line and did so in spades when she married Henrietta Braly's brother Dr. Herman Janss in 1908. The third California generation of Bralys was now firmly established far from pioneer struggle, but would be, as were many high-toned Angeleno families, ever mindful of the cachet of having come west in dirty clothes even before the '49ers. Harold and Etta Braly would go on to build in the neighborhoods that became successors to St. James Park as older districts of Los Angeles became déclassé, including 165 Muirfield Road in Hancock Park and in the Jansses' Westwood, specifically, in their case, preeminent Holmby Hills.

Harold Hyde Braly, Emma Braly Bundrem Janss, and Arthur Hughes Braly at their parents' 50th anniversary
the Bralys helped create a local aristocracy as Los Angeles was establishing itself as a major city.

Never seeming to need or want a long-term home, which they could have easily established, no one was surprised when John and Mattie left 38 St. James Park just 18 months after moving in. Selling to Major Horace Marvin Russell in May 1904, they moved to the Hotel Angelus before taking a house on Arapahoe Street near Arthur and Mina. By 1910 the elder Bralys were living in Pasadena in an extended family arrangement with Arthur and Mina, their children, and five servants. John and Martha traveled around the world in 1908; on their return, Progressive-minded John became heavily involved in the fight for women's suffrage. It was a tribute to his understanding of the strength of pioneer women that, unlike many men of his patriarchal ilk, he championed the cause. In no small part due to the efforts of John Hyde Braly, California women gained the right to vote on October 10, 1911. The victory won, the Bralys set off on a European tour to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Having caught a cold while crossing from Naples back to New York on the Adriatic, 70-year-old Mattie died at the Waldorf-Astoria on February 17, 1913. Pushing 80, John Hyde Braly was certainly grief-stricken but, far from defeated, remained ever adventurous. In July 1914 he eloped with 71-year-old Mrs. Mary Howard Gridley, a bustling woman of nevertheless impressive résumé. Coming from New York in 1909, an ardent member of the D.A.R., she soon became president of the Glendale Shakespeare Club and vice-president of Los Angeles's Fine Arts League, of which Braly was president. The evil-minded might imagine that poor Mattie died at the Waldorf of a broken heart—or of a spiked glass of bedtime milk aboard the Adriatic—but with life waiting for no man, and despite the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand the month before, the newlyweds planned a long European honeymoon and on spending a winter in Algiers. After returning from their honeymoon to live in Glendale the couple had nine years together; both died in 1923, John Hyde Braly, the remarkable American pioneer and embodiment of Manifest Destiny and California Progressivism, on October 6 at age 89. 

In a tone both obsequious and scandalized, several issues of Los Angeles Times in July 1914
 devoted considerable space to the elopement of 79-year-old John Hyde Braly and
the 71-year-old widow Mrs. Mary Howard Gridley of Glendale. It was reported
 that the Braly children were upset by the union and had "taken to the
mountains" to avoid the press. Their objections are unclear; their
father had already divided his estate among them and their
new stepmother had her own funds. Perhaps 17 months
was too soon after their mother's death, or perhaps
the widow could not be found in the Blue Book.
How quickly they'd forgotten Fresno....

§ § § § § § § § § §

Major Horace Marvin Russell

Thirty-eight St. James Park, now barely a year old, had at least another 60 years to stand. Enter for a cameo Major Horace Marvin Russell, another superstar Westerner. While not a native, Major Russell was practically an Old Angeleno by the time he moved into #38. Having already compiled an exhausting résumé by the time he arrived in Los Angeles in 1882, he would spend the next 45 years behaving just as energetically. Born on May 13, 1846, in Jamestown, New York, Russell moved west with his parents to grow up in Baraboo, Wisconsin. After training as a blacksmith and after Fort Sumter, he joined the Third Wisconsin Cavalry at age 15, serving the Union cause for 3½ years before returning to Baraboo. Having had time away from the farm, Russell was soon restless—it was not long before he set off alone across the plains with a yoke of oxen and a wagon, reaching Denver five months later. From there, the adventurer crisscrossed the West and northern Mexico prospecting for gold, launching stagecoach lines, and operating lumber mills that helped create the towns of Leadville and Cheyenne and supplied ties for the Union Pacific. Settling briefly back in Denver, he added real estate to his business pursuits, an endeavor he resumed once he arrived in Los Angeles. His first office there was at Spring and Temple streets in what was then the center of downtown; Russell is credited with being first to build a brick office block south of First Street. Another first attributed to Russell is producing illuminating oil from California crude—he had entered the oil business—and somehow, in addition to petroleum, insurance, real estate, banking, railroads, mining on an even larger scale, and actively participating in the National Guard, this human dynamo's participation in the civic and social life of Los Angeles was no less prodigious. He was a charter member of the Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Municipal League. Described in his biographies as a happy man with great charisma, Major Russell enjoyed the company of others, and they him. He was both a Mason of high degree and a Shriner. A profile in the Los Angeles Herald of July 29, 1906, went so far as to say that "it is seldom given to any one man to be so signally blessed, to be so remarkably successful in business life and so universally admired socially as is Major Russell." Not just having friends but organizing them also came naturally: He was a charter member of both the California Club and the Jonathan Club. And somehow he found still more time for wives and stepchildren. 

In the manner of many real estate operators in Los Angeles at the time—including John Hyde Braly—Russell kept his family moving more in pursuit of the deal than domestic permanence, which is not generally in the DNA of the adventurous soul. Marvin and his first wife Hannah moved several times from the time of their marriage in 1883 to her death in 1895, as did Marvin and Laura Keating for 30 years after their marriage in 1898. Among the houses Marvin and Hannah lived in was 1316 Carroll Avenue, still standing in Angelino Heights. After marrying Laura, Russell found housing deals in the considerably nicer West Adams district, the first of which was a block from St. James Park at 854 Adams Street. In 1900 the Russells moved to a house they built 2362 Park Grove Avenue; it faced west onto the green rectangle of St. James Park and was readdressed as 24 St. James Park in 1902. There the Russells remained until May 1904 when they bought the 10-room house on the other side of the park that the Bralys had built less than two years before. The door of #38 was not finished revolving, however: Less than a year later, in April 1905, the Russells sold the house and were back around the corner on Adams Street, having bought the Samuel B. Lewis house at #718 for $30,000.   

§ § § § § § § § § §

Oddly, the family that would own 38 St. James Park for the next 25 years is the most obscure in almost any respect other than its social life. The Los Angeles Herald of April 30, 1905, reported that the Russells had just sold the house and the half of adjacent Lot 13 they had acquired to the William Wylie Johnstons; to this lot-and-a-half the Johnstons would soon add Lot 11. Wylie Johnston, now a true Angeleno, seems to have been transitioning at this time from his long  career in dry goods to real estate investment and speculation. Born in Madison, Indiana, on May 24, 1855, and educated at Miami of Ohio (where he was a Deke) and Princeton, he had come west only recently to repeat the successes in dry goods wholesaling he'd had in Indianapolis and Wichita. Partnering with the Kentucky wholesale grocer Alexander Buchanan Barret, Johnston incorporated the Johnston-Barret Dry Goods Company Los Angeles in the fall of 1902. The business, which was headquartered at 123 North Los Angeles Street—now the site of the Parker Center—didn't last long. In 1906 Barret sold his interest in the company to his partner, who closed the business and decided to use the proceeds to build the Mayfair Apartments on Lot 11 next door to his own house on St. James Park.

The architect Thornton Fitzhugh's drawing of W. W. Johnston's new apartment building
 appeared in the Los Angeles Times on November 11, 1906. It was next door to
Johnston's own house at 38 St. James Park, the northwest corner of which
appears at left. At far right is a bit of the St. Lawrence Apartments,
 being built at the same time; the arrival of blocks of flats on
 the Park was not well received at first. Unlike most of
 the neighborhood's houses, however, both the
 Mayfair and the St. Lawrence—now
 a combined address—survive.

The Johnstons' interest in St. James Park might appear to have first been speculative. While the social columns of the Times and the Herald reported that they were in residence by mid-May 1905—with Mrs. Johnston receiving at home on Wednesdays—it was not long before they had vacated #38 and began to rent their new house. Perhaps Major Russell had gotten wind of the plans for the St. Lawrence during his brief tenancy at #38 and neglected to disclose this to Johnston; perhaps it was when Johnston realized the plans afoot for Lot 10 that he bought Lot 11 and decided to capitalize on it by building a multiunit structure himself. At any rate, he and Josephine may have decided to avoid the construction noise of two large buildings going up next door by traveling; there were indeed trips to Europe over the next few years. During the winter of 1910-11 the couple rented #38 and took an apartment in the Mayfair. Would they be selling #38?

The hinges of #38 were by now heated to white-hot with all the comings and goings since it was built in 1902. Following occupancy by the Bralys, the Russells, and the Johnstons, at least two more families were in residence between 1907 and 1911. First there was Dr. and Mrs. George Martyn, late of San Bernardino, who lived at #38 during 1908 and 1909, after which they moved for a brief stay at 24 St. James Park before settling in Pasadena. Number 38 was once again described as being the home of the Johnstons, but not for long. It was to well-known hotelier Milo Milton Potter that they rented the house over the winter of 1910-11. Potter was a Michigan native who had managed the Hotel Westminster downtown for many years before planning and building the swanky Hotel Van Nuys. After moving to Santa Barbara, he built his crown jewel, the Hotel Potter, though for business and social reasons he and his wife Nellie maintained an apartment in Los Angeles at the Van Nuys. It was after the sale of the Van Nuys to the unrelated Edward L. Potter that the Milo Potters rented #38. 

Re-enter the Johnstons, who, perhaps tired of traveling and shifting their home back and forth between #38 to the Mayfair—and perhaps having discovered that the Mayfair and the St. Lawrence were attracting the proper sort of tenant—decided not to leave St. James Park after all. By the end of 1911 they were back to stay in the house they'd bought six years before. Their social life kicked into high gear, or at least Josephine's did. Wylie seems to have stayed upstairs, at least figuratively speaking, while his wife entertained her friends at teas and luncheons and musicales. The Johnstons were not of the fast set in local society; Josephine was happier entertaining her guests with small genteel orchestras—no ragtime or jazz—that would sometimes even accompany a soprano singing one of the hostess's own compositions. Lending glamour to such sedate functions were her cousin Mrs. Claus Spreckles, when up from San Diego; also present on occasion was Princess Lazarovich Hrebelianovich, formerly Eleanor Hulda Calhoun of San Jose and lately of West 110th Street in Manhattan. 

There was, of course, the occasional sour note. Among the most discordant was the 1914 scandal of Wylie's brother Charles L. Johnston, who had come west with the family to open Johnston-Barret:

As reported in the April 14, 1914, issue of the Los Angeles Times

After William Wylie Johnston retreated to Inglewood Park Cemetery in 1920 at just 65, Josephine stayed on at #38 until joining her husband after she died at home on January 3, 1930. It was not long before #38 was occupied by its fourth owner. 

§ § § § § § § § § §

The diplomat Paul Otto Tobeler in 1935

The arrival of Berlin-born Paul Otto Tobeler on St. James Park signaled the demographic changes in West Adams that had begun in the mid-'20s. Not that the very cosmopolitan, even rakish, Mr. Tobeler moved into #38 like a Joad or put his Maytag on the front porch—he was, if anything, considerably more sophisticated than even self-appointed Establishment society folk such as the Dockweilers across the street at #27 or the various Clarks on the other side of the park at #9 and #3. As the district and the Park emptied of all but the most stalwart of the Old Guard in pursuit of homes on larger suburban lots in more fashionable parts of town to the north and west, the aging turn-of-the-century houses of West Adams were ripe for conversion to accommodate the huge population growth of Los Angeles over the course of the last decade. During the boom of the '20s longtime owners saw their chances to cash out and move on; the onset of the Depression then made bargains of the old barns. With the Crash having occurred just a few months before Josephine Johnston died, her executors were no doubt anxious to unload #38 to the first buyer. Enter Paul Tobeler, who though he would immediately subdivide the house, was no transient speculator: He and his family would make it their home base for nearly 40 years.

With family connections in South America and Michigan, Paul Tobeler had traveled from Peru through New York to Detroit in 1924 as a student. His time in America apparently convinced him to return after finishing his education in Germany. Applying for citizenship in Detroit in 1926, he pressed on to Los Angeles, arriving on June 23, 1927. Described in official documents variously as a merchant and patent broker, his polish, multilingualism, and good looks found him representing the Republic of Guatemala as its consul by 1934, a position he'd hold for the next seven years. Barely 28 years old, it seems he might have brought a few family reichsmarks with him to be able to buy #38, even if it was in a neighborhood whose incipient decline included fewer and fewer large single-family houses on St. James Park. That he was a bachelor—though distinctly not a confirmed one—made his choice of such a large house seem curious at first. But Tobeler followed the prevailing economic trend by carving #38 into at least three separate apartments:  Accompanying him on his move west was his sister Wally and her husband Otto Friedrich—not the author of City of Nets but rather a construction engineer—who at first lived with Paul in his quarters. Renting at #38 for $70 a month was the attorney in private practice who was representing Tobeler in his naturalization process, Thomas D. Long, and his wife Josephine. An apartment with the newly created address of 36 St. James Park was rented, also for $70 a month, by architectural designer Arthur F. Alexander and his family. Eventually three addresses would be assigned to the Braly/Russell/Johnston/Tobeler house: #38, #36, and #36½—the proliferation of "½" and even "¼" addresses beginning in the '20s indicating the increasing density of old West Adams.

Paul Tobeler had actually arrived on St. James Park the year before he bought #38. He took an apartment at the Mayfair in early 1929, rooms he appears to have retained along with the house next door for decades. His Mayfair apartment or apartments served variously over the years as his personal quarters, his offices, and also at times commercial space for his brother-in-law's engineering firm. Some sources indicate that Tobeler might have acquired the Mayfair from the Johnston estate when he bought #38 in 1930. The apartments he carved out of #38 itself were let to a number of tenants aside from family members: After the Longs and the Alexanders, those making the house their home over the next 35 years included William Frez, Ethel Cunrath, Lillian Jones, Betty Lou Coolbaugh, Brown and Martha Musselwhite, W. L. Welbourn, and nurse Agnes Gordon. There were also U.S.C. fraternity boys in occasional residence, whole chapters of them at times. Phi Kappa Sigma rented an apartment at #38 as its headquarters in the late '40s while their new house on 28th Street was being built, and Beta Sigma Tau occupied rooms in 1953.

All the while, particularly as a young man about town before the war, Paul Tobeler cut a wide swath.  With charm and diplomatic skills and credentials to add to his appeal, he was no doubt versed in the particular grammar of the remnants of Establishment society who lived on St. James Park alongside him. But with the stiff bourgeois life of the Clarks and the Dockweilers deadly boring to anyone but their own, Tobeler wasn't about to limit his social life to country club propriety or provincial debutantes, not with the parties and starlets of vastly more sophisticated Hollywood just a few miles away. From the '30s to the '60s the Times covered the worlds of big-league burghers and denizens of movieland with separate reportage, and only rarely were the names of one camp mentioned alongside those of the other. All to the good of local industry, columnists never divulged the deepest secrets of either set, even if Hollywood had to work much harder at constructing acceptable scenarios for the lives of some of its stars. A case in point would be the convenient marriage of actress Janet Gaynor and dress designer Adrian, a couple that no doubt, for all the flummery, attracted a less uptight circle of friends than might be found at the seriously stuffy Assembly balls. Paul Tobeler was mentioned in columns of all stripes but not infrequently alongside Janet and Adrian and other privately louche entertainment figures. And all the while he remained single, if not exactly alone.

With a Kissingeresque voice and a considerable glint in his eye, the rake got from the lady
 at left half a "fabulous borax mountain," half a power-tool manufacturing business,
 and, whether he liked it or not, half a child: Still with killer eyebrows if less of
 a smile under the circumstances, Paul Tobeler faces a former lover's—
and benefactress's—accusations of paternity in 1956.

Perhaps having something to do with Tobeler's German background, Guatemala replaced its Los Angeles consul as war approached. The now staunchly—and bona fide—American ex-consul had had his big 'ole iron in other fires for some time, however, described variously in the early '40s as an importer, a mineral purveyor, and an industrialist. It was in the latter capacity in particular that he achieved serious business success, though he would manage to let the chief habit of a diplomatic career—mixing business with pleasure—get a bit out of hand as scandal some years in the future would reveal. Tobeler was acting as the executive manager of the nonmedical business interests of Dr. John K. Suckow, including a mine in the Mojave termed a "fabulous borax mountain" by the Times, when the 72-year-old physician died in February 1942. From Tobeler's dutiful—not to say horndog—perspective, the doctor's widow, 30 years her late husband's junior, would of course fall under the category of nonmedical interests. And so as was finally confirmed in 1957 there had come in 1943 a child of what we'll just say was one of those encounters born of mutual grief, and of working closely together: It would be rude to suggest that he used his Teutonic magnetism to affect the transactions, but Mrs. Suckow had sold to him half her interest in her husband's borax mine and air-tool factory. The randy Tobeler was still disinterested in marriage, to say nothing of parenthood, and he managed to put off public acknowledgement of having fathered the child until Ruth Suckow brought him to court 12 years later. In the meantime, Paul finally did marry in 1951.

Does the rake evolve inevitably into a cad?
 The Los Angeles Times of April 9, 1955,
suggests that perhaps this is so.

It was a bad few years for Paul Tobeler in the mid-'50s: His wife, Phyllis—tempestuous and/or fed up, was complaining of his attentions to his secretary. She divorced him in 1956 and was suing him for alimony at the same time the paternity suit was being tried. Apparently, and understandably, while Paul Tobeler kept a low profile from that point on until he died on March 6, 1981, one doubts that he lacked for female company between the paternity suit and his burial at Forest Lawn. His ownership of 38 St. James Park may have been transferred to his brother-in-law Otto Friedrich somewhere along the line. Tobeler himself moved by 1945 to the old Bilicke house at 825 West Adams Boulevard, which still stands just behind what's left of his Mayfair Apartments, while Friedrich was listed in city directories as living at #38 as late as 1967. There would still be miscellaneous directory listings for the house John Hyde Braly built in 1902 as late as July 1973, but its days were numbered. While Julia Dockweiler remained at #27 across the street in the house her family had built in 1900, and would do so until 1990, #38 finally came down with most of the rest of the houses on St. James Park. Sic transit gloria St. James Park.

38 St. James Park with a fragment rear view of 825 West Adams at
 left, both owned at one time by Paul Otto Tobeler.

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