R.A. Rowan & Co. was one of the Los Angeles area's earliest and most long-lived real estate development firms, spanning almost
a hundred years of the twentieth century. Robert A. Rowan was responsible for founding the company in 1904; the company remained
in family hands for many generations until it finally folded in the late 1990s. By then, the original real estate company
had expanded into several other ventures including property management, agriculture, insurance, thoroughbred breeding, and
even viticulture. The company's records now held by USC provide a glimpse into the day-to-day activities and record-keeping
involved in the management of a rather vast real estate empire.
R.A. Rowan & Co. was founded in 1904 by 28-year-old Robert Rowan, having been involved in Los Angeles real estate for seven
years. (A real estate article in the Los Angeles Times (1903) mentions Edward L. Doheny buying a lot at Main and 5th Street
from Mrs. M. Lee-- with R.A. Rowan as the agent.) By 1918 the company had built more buildings downtown than anyone else
in the business.
88 Linear Feet
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