Tea and Scandals in Fremont Place with the WS-HP Historical Society

Windsor Square Hancock Park Historical Society members and guests enjoyed tea in Fremont Place on Sunday

Almost 100 local history buffs gathered in historic Fremont Place at one of the neighborhood’s most important and historic homes, 56 Fremont Place, the one-time residence of actress Mary Pickford,  for tea and a fascinating talk by film historian Marc Wanamaker.

“The history of Los Angeles is in all these old movies because they used the city as their sets,” said Wanamaker, a film historian with one of the most extensive photo archives on the history of LA’s film industry.  Wanamaker brought the hosts, Lani and Edwin Raquel, a board displaying historic photos of their house and actress Mary Pickford and family, who lived in the house for a year in 1918, just three years after the home, then known as the Helen Mathewson Home, was built.

“Only a handful of movie people lived in Fremont Place, but they used it as a set,” said Wanamaker, who also brought a photo of the neighborhood’s Wilshire Boulevard Gates from the 1921 Charlie Chaplin film “The Idle Class.”

“It’s so exciting to be here in Fremont Place exactly because it’s still here,” said Wanamaker, who frequently collaborates with the Los Angeles Conservancy and Hollywood Heritage to preserve neighborhood  history.

Photos from Wanamaker’s Bison Archives of Fremont Place and Mary Pickford

Wanamaker spoke, without notes, for almost two hours, telling stories drawn from his extensive research and dozens of books over the years. While the talk was billed as stories of scandals, Wanamaker ended up debunking several long-standing Hollywood scandal stories, including several “murders” that were most likely accidents. The stories were just as interesting, though less scandalous, when filled in with facts provided by Wanamaker. His encyclopedic knowledge of the movies and the people who made them – many of whom Wanamaker knew personally – left the group wanting to hear more.

Wanamaker started his career as a filmmaker, founding the Los Angeles International Film Exposition, known as FILMEX, in 1971, and was involved in forming The American Cinematheque. In a unique position to collect materials from studios and realizing the importance of the film industry’s collections to telling the story of Los Angeles, Wanamaker created Bison Archivesa unique photographic collection that specializes in the history of the motion picture and television industry in the United States. Wanamaker is passionate about LA history, the movies and sharing his knowledge. (He also generously donated photos to this writer for the pictorial history, “Larchmont” for Arcadia Press.)

“I am thrilled to support anyone or any group that is trying to preserve local history. It’s so important and so much fun,” said Wanamaker.

Film historian Marc Wanamaker gave a talk to the Windsor Square Hancock Park Historical Society
Hosts Lani and Edwin Raquel lean in to the capacity crowd in their Fremont Place home
Tea was served at the Windsor Square Hancock Park Historical Society’s event on Sunday in Fremont Place
Judy Zeller, President of the WS-HP Historical Society, and Myrna Gintel, event organizer
Event organizer Myrna Gintel with guests at the tea
56 Fremont Place was the residence of Mary Pickford and her family in 1918

FIDM Costume Museum Private Tour

Please join the Windsor Square Hancock Park Historical Society

For a private tour of costumes from such films as Beauty and the Beast, Phantom Thread and Wonder Woman

Friday, March 9, 2018

Meet in front of the FIDM Museum by 10:30 AM

Some car-pooling is available from Judy Zeller’s house at

250 S. Lucerne – we will be leaving no later than 9:30

The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising is located at 919 S. Grand Avenue

The parking lot is on 9th Street – just before Grand. That lot fills up quickly. You may have to look for surrounding lots.

After the tour we have chosen El Cholo Downtown to have a no host lunch.

1037 S. Flower Street – The Museum is one block north of Olympic. The restaurant is one block south of Olympic.

For questions send an e-mail to juanitakempe@gmail.com

Tickets $15 per member – non members $20. Checks must be received by March 5th

You may pay by Paypal or by printing and mailing in the form below with your check. 

Museum Tour Tickets

I/We will attend. Enclosed is my/our check(s) for $____________ for #___________ members #__________ non-members




Please make check payable to WS-HPHS. Mail to 137 N. Larchmont Blvd. #125, Los Angeles, CA 90004


HOLIDAY PARTY December 5-2017!


Windsor Square & Hancock Park Historical Society

Tuesday December 5, 2017 @ 6:30PM

733 N. Las Palmas Ave, Los Angeles CA, 90038

Wine, cheese and buffet hosted by

Rafael de Marchena-Huyke

Party begins with caroling lead by Suz Landay with Fluff McLean at Piano 

$25.00 per person  Proceeds will benefit the Society                             

RSVP by December 1  Reservations are limited


Make a Joyful Noise



Please Reserve #____________________

Enclosed is my check for $_____________

Make checks payable, and send by December 1, to:

WSHPHS: 137 North Larchmont Blvd., #135 

Los Angeles, CA 90004

Parking Instructions: Street parking is by PERMIT ONLY on both sides of the street on the 700 North Las Palmas block (from Melrose Ave to Waring). Parking permits will be provided for this block only, and may be picked up at the house. Parking north & south and on surrounding streets is available without a permit. Handicap placards may park anywhere on the street; no parking permits are required for handicap.

New Member Welcome Party November 19-2017!

Can you believe that we have over 40 new members so far in 2017? 

You are cordially invited to meet and mingle with some of these new members at our

New Member Cocktail Party on


Sunday, November 19, 2017

from 5:00 to 7:00 pm

The party will be held in the magnificent

home of Kiel Fitzgerald and Jeffrey Reuben at

520 S. Lucerne Boulevard


There is no charge for members who joined in 2017 

Current Member Admission: $25.00 INCLUDES Wine & Hors D’Oeuvres

Cocktail Tickets

QUESTIONS: Richard Battaglia #323-422-7886


Watts Tower Tour 2017

The Windsor Square-Hancock Park Historical Society

Invites you to tour the
Friday, April 28, 2017
Meet at 11 am
1727 East 107th Street, Los Angeles

The Watts Towers consist of nine major sculptures constructed of structural steel and covered with mortar and pieces of pottery – the work of one man, Simon Rodia, over a 34-year period.

The Towers are on the National Register of Historic Places, are a National Historic Landmark, a State of California Historic Park and a City of Los Angeles Cultural Monument.

Because this may be hard to find, we suggest that you carpool with  someone with GPS.  We will have some carpools meeting at Judy Zeller’s home at 10 am – 250 S. Lucerne Boulevard.  It is 20 miles from our neighborhood on the 110 Freeway, exit Century Boulevard.

At the site we will have donuts and lemonade waiting for you.  There are no good lunch places nearby.  Please RSVP to juanitakempe@gmail.com if you wish to attend or want to be in our carpool.

Bring with $7 if you are not a senior and $3 if you are senior -cash or check only.  There are two buildings with art shows and an ongoing short movie to see.