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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Old Echo Park home bites the dust to make way for new apartment building

House demolished at 1313 Sunset Boulevard for new apartment building./ Jennifer D.

It seems you don’t have to go very far in Echo Park these days before you come across a new development in progress – or something being torn down in preparation for new construction.  That’s the case on the 1300 block of Sunset Boulevard near Innes Street, where a small tractor demolished a 1921 bungalow this week, reports Angeleno Heights resident Jennifer D.

The home, now a pile of smashed wood,  sits on a lot that will become part  of a 27-unit apartment complex that will rise a few doors away from the artist’s Echo Park studio, gallery and office.  Permits pulled for the project indicate the complex will rise four stories in height on top of an underground parking garage on approximately 13,000-square feet of property at 1313-1315 Sunset Boulevard.

Sunset Space Provision, which paid about $1.3 million for the land last year, includes Silver Lake architect Thomas Techentin but it’s not clear whether his firm is designing the building.

The Sunset Space Provision project sits less than two blocks away from where a Canadian developer is seeking to build more than 200 units of housing on Sunset Boulevard near Everett Street.



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13 comments

  1. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. I don’t think there’s much call for Angelenos to live in a 91 year old bungalow. Folks in the 1920s weren’t exactly lining up to live in bungalows built in 1832, and for good reason. These bungalows are small, outdated, and made of wood that will fall like dominoes in an earthquake.

    • Not much demand? Only two blocks up the hill in Angeleno Heights the “outdated” bungalow is selling from $650-$850k, depending on the lot size, with multiple offers over asking. Unfortunately there seem to be a growing influx of new arrivals who trumpet the arrival of yet another stack of boxes without yards or character. I’d guess that since my old house, and all the others in the area, have survived 130 years without “falling like a domino” none of us should be too worried. My insurance agent agrees.

      What should concern folks is that this lot will house YET ANOTHER 27 units, on top of the 214 planned for 3 blocks down, and the 92 currently under construction 7 blocks down. That is 333 units or 525 additional cars, plus their guests, in the span of 8 blocks. There needs to be a viable plan in place to deal with this increased density. And Dodger games? Oy veh!

      Does anyone know the method DOT uses for calculating the cumulative effects of multiple building projects on congested roads? Or do they just evaluate the traffic study for each new project in a silo, as if they do not have a combined effect?

      Thank you.

    • How about moving to Santa Clarita?
      LA’s history is rapidly disappearing.
      This is very sad!

    • Los Feliz, while some of your comment makes some good points about antiquated Bungalow layouts, many of us in Echo Park/Angelino Heights love these old homes and want to save them in the attempt to save and relish our neighborhoods historic values. Also, I would like to point out that your statement about Bungalows will “fall like dominoes” in an earthquake shows you seem to know very little about engineering and structural design. Wooden homes are among the safest places to be during a large earthquake. Wood flexes and absorbs shock waves, brick and mortar are the dangerous ones. (The only concern is in them slipping off an old two foot Brick and Mortar foundation) Why do you think so many of these old buildings still stand, even though we have endured some very strong quakes during the life of those buildings? Wood framed and exterior homes, duplexes, tri-plexes, quadplexes and many larger old wood constructed apartment buildings were never ordered to be Earthquake Retro fitted, but nearly every Brick & Mortar and concrete buildings in LA County over two stories where required to do so, and we lost lots of beautiful old buildings because their owners refused to the required retro fitting, then razing them. But our issue is beyond this safety debate, it’s about protecting what many of us have fought to renew, rehab, beautify and protect in these homes and the community around them and are sickened that Corporate Developers are being allowed to run rough shot over what we have grew up in, moved here for and fought to build in our communities. All for nothing but the sake of Profit Margins, with no concerns for the adverse effects their actions and cookie cutter short term living complexes do to the community they push their way into. They very well become the worm in the apple. We should be very careful turning away from these solely profit margin driven Developers. History points to this.

  2. If the outdated wood structures were going to fall like dominoes, wouldn’t they have done so already?
    wood moves. bricks crumble.

    I agree, go back to santa clarita. leave our historic neighborhood alone.

  3. LA traffic is already The Worst, and we’re adding more and more people and cars to the mix. That’s the 2nd point — first is the sad loss of LA’s history, vibe and architecture. Yes, wood flexes in ‘quakes Los, you should know this.

  4. @Darrell : The argument “new urbanists”, who push for increased population density, use… is that increased density provides people with increased opportunities to do things without a car.. resulting in less driving.

    HOWEVER! There is an issue with this argument. Even the most optimistic studies by new urbanists claim that doubling the population density results in people driving 30% less. At first blush, that sounds great! However, now we have 2x the people driving 70% as much which actually results in 40% MORE local miles traveled. ie… if you have 100 people who drive 100 miles per week (10,000 miles driven), then you double the density and you have 200 people driving 70 miles per week (14,000 miles driven).

    Additionally, with 40% more local miles driven, you also increase congestion which decreases the efficiency of the trip. More congestion means more time and more pollutants.

    So really, increasing density CAN, in many circumstances, be much worse for the environment.. esp here in LA.

  5. Yeah but don’t you worry True Freedom, more bike lanes and road diets are coming!

  6. Any ‘traffic study’ is useless unless it details conditions peculiar to the City of Los Angeles.

  7. @Darrell : I totally agree. The problem is high density living is being mandated by Sacramento (in bills like SB375 and AB32), with very little (if any) consideration of local specifics. It’s a one size fits all solution.. which doesn’t fit very well here.

    @Grahm : True, though I do see benefits in many (not all) of the road diets and bike lanes. In an ideal world, we would divide our roads into different types and design them as such. You’d have roads meant to get autos cross-town or to major shopping quickly (these would be wider, faster speeds, minimized stopping), roads meant to get cyclists cross town (these could be parallel to major auto routes, but designed to favor bikes), residential roads (very slow speeds, discourage cut thru traffic), shopping district/ small town-downtown (very slow speeds, wide walkable sidewalks, bike lanes, easy parking, etc).

  8. At least they are building these apartments on a major boulevard and not on residential street. I hate to see old bungalows torn down, but Sunset Blvd. is mostly businesses and apartment complexes in that part of Echo Park. I just hope it’s not some ugly faux-Mediterranean eyesore. Has anyone seen architectural renderings of this apartment building?

    • http://www.WeAreEchoPark.com to see renderings and details about how you can join the 600 fellow Echo Parkers (so far) who have signed a petition to keep the project within the limits of the Community Plan for Echo Park.

      We website has a link to the petition and to the Community Plan document. It is a must-read for anyone concerned with urban planning in our area.

      Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 7 PM at Sandra Cisneros (the school behind Lucy Laundromat) there will be a Neighborhood Council Executive Committee meeting. At this meeting 5 members will decide whether they will Support or Not Support this project as it moves to the Board of Governors.

      Please come and weigh in!

  9. Look, I live in Echo Park and ride my bike daily to work downtown..BUT I still have a car (comes in handy when I do major shopping or go to visit friends and family other cities) that needs to be parked in my neighborhood. Ideally, these ‘new urbanists’ would come without cars, but come on, thats highly unlikely. It’d be great if more residents used public transit, but we don’t even have a Metro station in EP!
    These projects are guaranteeing a parking disaster.

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