Back in 1910, when he was just a lad of 16, Irving Tabor set out from his home in Louisiana to make a life in California. Tabor found his way to the then-brand-new resort town of Venice, where he landed a job as a janitor on the Venice pier. Here, the African-American teen caught the attention of the seaside town’s developer, Abbott Kinney, who hired him to be his driver and personal assistant. The two men became close friends—so close that the Kinney family bequeathed Tabor their residence on the Venice canals.
Tabor took possession of the Kinney house in 1927, following the death of Abbott Kinney’s wife, Winifred. Prior to that, though, Tabor’s home was in a small colony of bungalows he began building for himself and his extended family sometime around 1912, using materials salvaged from the Venice pier boathouse and amusement park. Occupying a 10,410-square-foot lot on Westminster Avenue in the Oakwood neighborhood, the Tabor family compound has just hit the market; however, it seems unlikely that its former occupants would recognize it, as the property’s eight cottages have all been subjected to a most thorough overhaul and will be delivered empty. Asking price is $5.8 million, and open house is scheduled from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17.