James Laird - "Lark Ellen Home for Boys 1930s History and Descriptions for Boys" - Page 1

The Lark Ellen Home for Boys had its start just after the turn of the century. It was named in honor of an opera singer of that period, Madam Ellen Beech Yaw. It was started by the Los Angeles newspaper the "Herald and Express" as a home for it's Newspaper delivery boys who needed a better place to live than most of them must have had. It was located by itself on a city block in west Los Angeles. The main building faced what was then 9th St. It was situated on a narrow paved two lane street with no gutters or curbs. Corinth Ave. was on one side and Purdue the other. Mississippi street ran along the back. Ninth street was widened to 6 lanes, and the name changed to Olympic Blvd. in about 1940.

The main building was two stories and shaped like a big (T). It looked like the White House except for the two big golden lions on the front entry. A brick walk led across a very big lawn to the street where a hedge separated the property from the street. When they widened the street it cut off a lot of the lawn which I did not mind as it was a lot less to mow, but it also took off that much of our football field along Purdue Ave. on the Corinth Ave. side. The lawn stopped at the end of the building and a flower garden and trees then took over. The living quarters were upstairs with two large dormitories taking up the two ends of the front part of the (T). The small leg of the (T) had a smaller dormitory with a small room at its end used for study and other needs.

A long hall separated the larger dorms from the restrooms, sick rooms etc. A matron's quarters separated the two dorms. The main dining room was under one dorm with a kitchen next to it. The other front dorm had a library and large living room under it. The superintendent's living quarters was next to the dining room with offices next to the entrance. There was a large bathroom with showers opposite the living room that was used when we returned from the beach or other outside activities. Under the small dorm was a work shop and a play room for rainy days and doing hobbies. It also held a barber's chair.