Armacost Avenue

Walter Lee Armacost (1878-1947) was a florist from Hampstead, MD who came to Santa Monica around 1904. First hired by local bigwig E.J. Vawter to manage the Ocean Park Floral Co., Armacost had gone solo by 1907, the same year he married Anna May Shirley. In 1911, Armacost began buying up acreage in Sawtelle to grow his flowers; his fields and greenhouses eventually took up 37 acres here. Partnering with banker Fred E. Royston to found Armacost & Royston – Royston was really just a silent partner – Armacost became famous for his orchids and is even credited with popularizing the African violet. Walter and Anna Armacost had four children; Anna died in 1925 and Walter married second wife Marion Waltz in 1934. He was the last mayor of Sawtelle before the City of Los Angeles annexed the town in 1922. Armacost Avenue was christened in 1919 during L.A.’s first failed annexation.