Eastside Design: Echo Park house flip recycles the past

The home’s nearly century-old charm welcomes visitors off the street.

The back of the home features a new addition in corrugated metal.

The 1907 Echo Park cottage on Lemoyne Street was a mess after decades of  neglect.   There was wood rot and the back stairs had collapsed. There was no heating or cooling system to speak of. The foundation was made from brick. And then there was the 250-pound bee hive found inside a bathroom wall.  While many people would have seen a tear down, developer and house flipper Rudy Dvorak  saw potential.  After buying the 896-square-foot home a year ago, he launched an extensive renovation that is nearing completion.  While many builders might strip a house in such bad shape down to the studs and start over,  Dvorak took extra care to preserve as much of the home’s original charm and features even as he nearly doubled its size with a striking new modern addition clad in corrugated metal.

“We fused different periods together,” said Dvorak, who firm, Reinhabit, has renovated homes in  Highland Park, Hollywood Hills and other neighborhoods. “I love saving old stuff.”

But Dvorak had no intention of hiding the new in this classic home.  The striking addition, which includes a roof top deck and new living spaces, is sheathed in shiny corrugated metal.  “We didn’t want to hide the addition,”From the street, however, the 96-year-old home retains its traditional appearance with a welcoming porch, original wood windows and front door, now painted a bright orange.

Inside, the home has been rebuilt but Dvorak managed to salvage the transom windows above the doorways and as reused some of the original wood lath as decorative paneling. On the interior stairway, the treads on the stairs are made from wood salvaged from the outside of the house. Even the custom light fixtures contain old wood from the home. Dvorak also also resused wood flooring, cabients, pedestal sinks and other pieces from other old homes. While the reused items have been cleaned up and repaired, it’s clear that they are old and not some Restoration Hardware recreation. In fact, when it came to the salvaged wood floor, Dvorak’s crew lightly sands down the wood and refinishes its with a stain that lets old paint and stain show through.

It would have been much cheaper to have started from scratch to build a house of the same size, he said. But Dvorak said the results would not have been the same. “The people who buy from us prefer it.”

Salvaged floors have been refinished but still show off their age.

New custom fixtures include pieces of old wood from the home.

Old cabinets get spruced up.


Original wood from the home’s exterior was reused on the interior stairway.

Rudy Dvorak standing in front of the new addition covered in corrugated metal.


  1. Looks beautiful!

    Thanks Rudy for preserving our neighborhoods heritage and unique charm — not only do your buyers appreciate it, but the community as well.


  2. I’m sorry, did you say “250 pound beehive”????!??!!

  3. I wish more flippers would flip over doing renovations right, not just a quick Home depot flip. This is the kida flipper we flip over! great job respecting the past while incorporating the new!

  4. Congrats on your new yuppie-certified dwelling!

    • I’d rather have yuppies as neighbors than the EP status quo…

      • Um and what exactly do u mean by your ignorant comment about ” Echo Park
        status quo “???
        Im SICK of that shit!
        My family has lived in Echo Park since the early 50’s own businesses , properties , went to college raised great kids , never gang banged etc…
        Goes to show you the ignorant perception of those who move here thinking that Echo Park was a burned out shell of a cess pool before the yuppies moved in .

        • “Goes to show you the ignorant perception of those who move here thinking that Echo Park was a burned out shell of a cess pool before the yuppies moved in ”
          I saw no reference to burning shells or pools of cess. You extrapolated to fit your own prejudices.

        • Well your ASSumptions sure point out a few things about you…

  5. Ugh, keep the corrugated metal in Santa Monica where it belongs. What an eyesore.

  6. I’ve driven by the house – it looks beautiful. So well done, different from typical flips, very original, tasteful and understated. Bill Yup, you gotta be kidding. “Yuppie certified dwelling” sounds like a comment from a time capsule circa 1985. Mami, you too. Get off it. Echo Park is changing, has been for years and it will continue. The neighborhood overall will be better for it. Honestly you sound bitter, the whole NIMBY thing. It’s misguided. Bravo Rudy Dvorak and Reinhabit!

  7. I like the corrugated metal in this case for the addition portion. They did a great job with it – looks particularly good with those great vintage doors instead of paneled french doors or the usual large single frame with glass. Honestly, if I were looking for a house at the moment I would call my realtor to set up a viewing for this place first. Nice job!

  8. Join ReInhabit on Saturday, February 16, 2013, from 5p-8p when we open the door to our latest renovating project, the Lemoyne House in Echo Park. Enjoy some light refreshments and get an exclusive sneak peek of this retro-modern transformation before it goes on the market.

    Details can be found on our website: http://re-inhabit.com/?page_id=10

  9. Hardcore O.G. Echo Parkian resident + yuppie= yeppie
    This socially modified mutation is seen occurring all over echo park.
    Youngish urban professionals dressed in their grandparents clothing with scraggly beards, disheveled looking, driving a vintage car or prius… and carrying a laptop bag. They can talk or not talk for hours. You can steer clear or say hello. Im not sure it matters. My point? Go pick daisies. Don’t worry about the yeppies. In a hundred years it might be a wasteland again… Ripe for renewal.

  10. Seems there always has been some talentless ASSHOLE like johnduckless in episode my neighborhood for 60 plus years who is jealous of others, hands-on talents johnduckless is likely living with his mom in echo park and passed that his latestscreenplay was rejected. Suck it up boy, tonight is corndog night at mom’s.

  11. Yeah, I know, typos. Damn android thing. Oh and wtf, it is only a house , not something really important like the new corvette. I have to laugh at the concerns of newbies in my home turf of 66 plus years. YUPPIE REALLY!!!!!!

  12. Chango
    You pegged me. I AM a talentless asshole living at my
    Moms! How did you know?!? I thought the internet was full of senseless people who hide behind their keyboard and label and dismiss others (I actually wrote a screenplay about it but it hasn’t really gone anywhere) but you have me all figured out!
    Thank you! And yeah! It is just a stupid house! Who cares! Idiots. Thanks for setting me straight.
    John, The talentless asshole

  13. every blog thread confirms that there is no hope for humanity…

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