Echo Park’s Blackbirds development living up to its name


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ECHO PARK —  No mossy green or pastel peach for the Blackbird project. Painters have begun to spray on a coat of black paint on the townhouses that are expected to go on sale soon. But that black paint is not your common shade of black.

It’s a custom color designed by project architect Barbara Bestor, said developer Casey Lynch.  Only 11 of the homes will be dressed up in Barbara Bestor black; the remaining  seven homes will be clad in white sheets of  standing seam metal, Lynch said.

Prices for the hillside project, under the city’s small lot ordinance,  near Vestal and Baxter avenues have not been determined, Lynch said. But two of the homes, which range is size from about 1,300 square-feet to more than 1,900 square-feet, will be offered to individuals on the project’s list of interested buyers.


Homes and tractor in matching colors


The shape and color of things to come


  1. “The shape and color of things to come” should read “The shape and color of things right now” as they are already there, painted and not an apparition of the future.

    • Barry Rosengrant

      Echo Park Observations

      When location or other factors make a formerly affordable area more attractive, young couples and other more adventurous individuals decide to locate there. Upscale businesses and new housing follows. As the quality of a neighborhood is upgraded, the location becomes ever more attractive to those who can pay more to live there and so real estate prices escalate. Thus, gentrification is set in motion as lower income families who own homes cash in and move on and renters are crowded out while those with less income now cannot afford to move into a formerly affordable area. Echo Park and the downtown Arts areas are perfect examples.

      Corporate leaders and the wealthy almost always use their wealth and position to isolate themselves from the nitty-gritty of life. Therefore, a healthy mix of incomes and races is lost. Unfortunately, this housing mix is typically forced by Government low income subsidy programs for areas that are very much in the path of progress. There is little proof that government subsidies have worked.

      Many would love to live in a more safe area where real estate prices now dictate homes of several million dollars in value. However, there is no way that low income families can afford such neighborhoods and it is highly unlikely that Beverly Hills and Brentwood will ever be affordable for low income families. Those who prove services to home owners in such areas have to ride public transportation sometimes for hours from distant areas.

      Thus, as our Middle Class shrinks, housing gentrification and social polarization seem to be inevitable and are primarily caused not by race or other factors except income and affordability. It seems that if there is a way to cure the problem at its cause, it will come from a more effective mass education and not by other Government intervention. We need to study why Finland’s education system works.

      Barry Rosengrant, CEO, E-Tech Homes.

  2. Isn’t the heat load on those homes going to be insane in the summer? Black roof too I assume?

  3. So, they are black. A “custom black.”

    FYI, you can get custom paint colors at ANY paint store. That is what they do.

    Ridiculous to market this as “Barbara Bestor Black.”

  4. They are pretty dang close together and MUCH taller than the renderings showed… but have any of you looked at the other small lot projects??? Stop whining, this is by far the best looking Small Lot Subdivision to date in Echo Park.

  5. Adding insult to injury!

  6. Not a fan of the color… odd how trendy house colors can be. Dark grey seemed to be the recent trend… now black is “cool”.

    The placement of windows looks so random, and has no relationship with the roofline, or to each other.

    Hopefully the final product looks nicer then these photos demonstrate…

  7. That should make them nice and HOT during the summer months. Didn’t she note that orange is the new black?

  8. Oh come on people. Haven’t you heard of insulation and air conditioning? I highly doubt that these homes won’t come with both.

    • plus all the title 24 and leed and green requirements. these black houses will be about 5 x more efficient than your old white house.

      • plus I think they are cool and look great. don’t be surprised when they get priced really high.

        • I don’t think they look great, or terrible, just…. blah. I bet the insides will be really nice though. I agree about the prices. I think they’ll start at $800K minimum. maybe even more. The ‘Bestor’ name will carry a premium.

  9. Meh. I live down the street from these monstrosities. All of us longtime homeowners are concerned about the speeding newbies who are going to mindlessly race down the hill on Vestal. Many cats,dogs and kids on our block. Been here since ’85 and not too thrilled about the inevitable encroaching gentrification..but such is life.

  10. It’s like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.

    • You should have seen the house they wanted to do! It wasn’t a split level condo, believe me!

      • We’re very lucky in this town in that we have two visionaries, Barbara Bestor and Casey Lynch, they’re like poets, like Shelley and Byron. They’re two distinct types of visionaries, it’s like fire and ice, basically. I feel my role here is to be somewhere in the middle of that, kind of like lukewarm water.

  11. I like the idea of orange, rretro. Rarely do we see a really orange house. This in-fill is better for the environment than endless urban sprawl, but it’s so sad too.

  12. 35-year Echo Park resident

    Will the new owner be allowed to change the color after the purchase?

  13. Why do people mention Barbara Bestor as if she was a leading architect of some kind? I only hear about her on local blogs – but always mentioned with reverance that should be reserved for people with new ideas who are leading the field. She’s a local architect. Not a bad one, but not a great one.

  14. Lots of haters here…:(
    Good Job Barbara.

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