667 So. June Street, Hancock Park

The property on which this magnificent home sits was originally owned by Mr. G. Allan Hancock.  The parcel was sold by Hancock in 1924 to Mr. Thomas H Birchall.

Birchall applied for building permits in 1927.  His address on the permits was 4429 Victoria Park Drive, Los Angeles. Upon completion in 1929, he sold it to Mr. John W. Harris.  The estimated cost of building was $18K plus the garage at $500.  When the home was completed, the combined total value of the land and improvements, for tax purposes only, was $21,950.  It appears that this project was no more than an investment by Birchall.

Harris owned the home from 1929 to 1937.  According to “Who’s Who In California, 1928-29,” he was a manufacturer, being vice president and general manager of Electrical Products Corporation of California with headquarters in Los Angeles, a position he held since 1920.  He was also vice president and general manager of Claude Neon Electrical Products, Inc., and director and chairman of the board for Continental Product Corporation, all in Los Angeles.  In 1929, he was a member of Kappa Sigma, and a Republican.  Socially, he was a member of Jonathan Club and Los Angeles Breakfast Club.  His office address was reported as 1118-36 Venice Boulevard, Los Angeles.

Harris was born in 1887 at Champaign, Illinois to Mr. John B. Harris and Sara Woodman (Hahn) Harris.  He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1910, and married Gertrude Engart of Shreveport, Louisiana in 1921.  They had two children:  John W., and Sallie Jane.

In 1940, Mrs. John W. Harris, an alumna of University of Southern California, was a member of the Board of Trustees and was a major donor of the May Ormerod Harris Hall of the College of Architecture.

Harris sold the home in 1937 to Mr. John J. Pike who owned it until 1944.  Nothing was found in research about Mr. Pike while he resided there; however, a Los Angeles Times article, dated July 15, 1989, announced that Mr. Pike had been reinstated as president of Southern California Building Funds, a nonprofit corporation that aids charitable organizations.  by 1989, he had held the office of president for 30 years out of the 38 years the organization existed.  Members of the organization were corporations that helped the social needs of Southern California by distributing more than $20M for building the programs of 284 charitable causes in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino counties.

From 1944-1950, the home was owned by Lucile Mae and Herman Burke.  Nothing was found during research of the Burkes.

In 1950, the home was purchased by Ida May and Patrick Humphreys who owned it jointly until 1990, when upon the death of Patrick, title passed to the Ida May Humphreys Trust.

The architect, J. Ross Castendyck was 27 years old when he designed this home.  He was born in La Salle, Illinois on September 24, 1900, the son of Otto and Clarissa (Hamel) Castendyck.  After graduation from the University of Illinois, he came to Los Angeles by way of Chicago in 1922.  In 1924 he married Miss May Moultrie.  They had two daughters:  Eleanor, and Betsy Ross.  At the time he designed this home his recreation was swimming and was a member of the Hollywood Athletic Club and the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity.  In 1927 he and his family resided at 2559 No. Catalina Street, Los Angeles.

In 1927, the same year he designed the June Street home, he prepared plans for a residence for designer Milton Black.  In 1928, he and Mr. Black provided plans for the Outpost Estates residence of actress Dolores del Rio.  Upon completion of the home in 1928, it was illustrated and featured in “Architectural Digest.”  (A copy of the article showcasing Ms. Del Rio’s home is included in this research as another example of architecture by Castendyck.)

Castendyck was not only an architect and builder, but also an automotive engineer.  At the time he designed the June Street home, his business address was listed as 6644 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles.
No additional information was found on Mr. Castendyck.

Built 1927-1929
Architect, J. Ross Castendyck

Original research by Elaine Brown and Fluff McLean, 2003-04. Transcribed by Bret Parsons, January 2022.