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Hidden behind massive 120-year-old gates a few blocks south of downtown Los Angeles is Chester Place, the oldest gated community in the city. Created as an enclave of the wealthy and powerful in 1899, the remarkably intact stately mansions of this historic neighborhood were once home to the movers and shakers of politics, industry, and entertainment. Beside century-old palm trees, the former mansion of oil-industry pioneer Edward Doheny stands as the centerpiece of the neighborhood at No. 8 Chester Place, which was purchased in 1901. His family dominated the neighborhood for the next 57 years. Located side by side with St. James Park in what is today called the West Adams District at the northern extents of University Park, containing the University of Southern California, Chester Place has been home to the campus of Mount St. Mary’s College for a generation.
About the Author
Author Don Sloper is a regent of Mount St. Mary’s College and a member of the board of directors of Las Angelitas del Pueblo, the birthplace of Los Angeles. Sloper teaches history for the Los Angeles Conservancy’s docent training program, where he is an active Walking Tour docent, and with his wife, Mary, conducts public tours of Chester Place.
Table of Contents
Fertile Land 9
Opulent Mansion 21
The Doheny Family 43
Chester Place Mansions 73
The Castle 97
Mount St. Mary's College 121