Artists fill the empty spaces developers leave behind

Many artists resent being priced out of warehouses and industrial buildings to make way for pricey “loft-style” condos and apartments. Well, in Echo Park, artists have taken advantage of a retrenching real estate market that’s undermined demand for pricey loft-style living. LA Fonderie, a fine arts foundry, and a group called Keystone Art Studio have filled a cluster of warehouses and storage buildings on Glendale Boulevard near Aaron Street. Only a few years ago, a developer planned to transform these buildings  into 28 condos and garden space (pictured at right) designed by Lorcan O’Herlihy.  But Artisan House Lofts was never built and the buildings sat vacant.

Earlier this year,  however, LA Fonderie began seeking artists to rent out working studios featuring 12-foot high ceilings.  Tall trees and bushes that obscured the complex, located between an animal hospital and an automotive repair shop, were recently cut away and the facade repainted  muted shades of gray. Murals cover portions of the back of the building (pictured above). On Saturday night, the complex will host an Open Studio Party.


  1. “Many artists resent being priced out of warehouses and industrial buildings”

    It seems wrong somehow. I mean are we supposed to be angered at the demise of a cliche? Next thing you know we should resent artists being priced out of expensive berets and striped Picaso shirts.

  2. Mark- As an artist I did resent being priced out of my live/work loft space downtown in the Arts District. Many of my artist friends experienced the same thing, and also resent the loft style living trend. For us living there was a choice governed by function, but for the incumbent it’s one of fashion.

    Also, I don’t know any artists who wear berets or a striped “Picasso” shirts. You seem really out of touch with the art world.

    I think any group of people feel resentment when they are displaced to accommodate the living trends of the affluent. Those who resent gentrification surely understand how this feels. You’re probably as insensitive to their perspective as well.

    Change is inevitable, but a disregarding for the needs of people who you don’t personally relate to is a choice. Does your choice have ANY positive impact?

  3. Artists are the first wave of gentrification. Once they can’t afford the arts district I suggest they move further south and gentrify skid row for us.

  4. Actually Zach, I moved from Skid row to the Art District… After I left all the developers started evicting WWII vets from the hotels to make room for all those who thought they could transform DTLA into the trust-fund playground NYC has become. How’s that working out for ya?

  5. La Founderie truly is a gem. We are proud to see the complex thriving. Best of luck with the continued success.

  6. LA Founderie is a branch off of the overpriced live work tree. Just so you know.

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