House Hunt: Echo Park’s Black Box up for sale

On a block dominated by white and cream colored Mediterranean-style buildings, the Echo Park home of architect Simon Storey is hard not to miss –  it’s the skinny, black-stucco and glass house planted with olive trees on a roof-top deck.  The Fairbanks Place home, which  only about  15-feet wide, replaced a one-car garage topped with a small living space.  Storey named his house “Eels Nest,” the term he said the Japanese use to describe long-narrow building lots or homes.

“I don’t notice the narrowness, in fact people generally comment on how big the house is on the inside even though it’s less than 1,000 sq.ft,” said Storey in an email.   But after moving into the home this spring, Storey has put the house on the market, asking $559,000 for the two-bedroom, one-bath property.

Why a black stucco? Storey said he had originally planned to clad the house in wood but said that building codes required the wood to be fire-treated. That proved to be too expensive on what was a $110,000 construction budget.


  1. For $550.000, I can get a real and nice house in Echo Park, not some crappy, cramped three-story trailer that doesn’t even have a front yard! More gouging, looking for a fool.

  2. It’s a pretty house but yeah, $559K seems like a lot for 925 sq feet and no yard. That said, I do like the idea of using these tiny slivers of land (lot size 780 sq feet) and doing something nice with them.

  3. Yeah, it seems like a lot, but no yard = no maintenance. No water bill to keep up landscaping/grass, and you’ve got Elysian Park right up the hill. I’ll be interested to see what it goes for. Appraisals are a bitch these days

  4. “Damn Ugly” would have been a more suitable name.

  5. Moved in this spring and selling this summer?
    If the architect doesn’t want to live there more than 3 months, who would?

  6. I like this place. It looks much fresher and interesting than referenced white stucco boxes crammed next to one another on Fairbanks. It could be the monthly mortgage on the house ended up being too much and the architect needs to sell or like other architects I know, they see their projects as spec homes, eager to move on and work on a new design somewhere else.

  7. that’s gotta be echo park’s worst street. i’ll be shocked if they get their asking price.

  8. Going up this street is probably not for the faint hearted. This street is definitely owned by certain old school homeboys, and unless youre cool with them and are ok with the ‘ here’ then it’s probably not the best investment. That being said, I would buy it if I had that kind of $, they remind me a lot of people I grew up with anyways.

  9. I like this place, simple clean lines, the black stucco would be better wood or even metal. It does seem like it would be like living in a fish bowl though with those large windows everyone can see you. Because of the size seems more like $400,000 home to me.

  10. your link didn’t work, try again please.

  11. i live right next to this house, and it looks poorly built. the local neighbors are actually pretty nice and generally law abiding (accept for drugs and alcohol which the is a vice of the snobby hipsters as well), the gangsters use the adjacent stairs as lookout points during the late evening hours but the cops are aware of it and do patrol. but yeah the house is overpriced.

  12. Beautiful home. Coming from a city that had strict conservative design parameters I love LA’s architectural diversity.
    Would take that over the (unfortunately) stucco’ed-over bungalows any day.

    That said I’m pretty damn happy with my craftsman. 🙂

  13. In the height of the market, the house sold for $280k. Add $110k, and you’re at about $400k. Too bad he overspent on the lot for such a remodel of constricted size.

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *