Another corner of old Echo Park bites the dust

Bulldozers and demolition crews were busy this morning tearing apart one  of 80-year old apartments across from Echo Park Lake on property that been targeted for a block-long, three-story high apartment complex with about 75 units. The The Foursquare Foundation, an affiliate of the Angelus Temple, has been seeking city approval to build the senior retirement complex, at the corner of Glendale Boulevard and Park Avenue over opposition from the Echo Park Historical Society (The Eastsider is a board member) and other residents opposed to the size of the project.  The foundation’s architects did reduce the size of the project and broke it up into two large buildings.  But the complex – which was to be composed of apartments renting at market rates – would still be substantially larger than the small, two-story buildings that are now being demolished based on some of the last revisions shown to residents earlier this year. The block-long complex is planned to rise across Glendale Boulevard from where Angelus Temple demolished several other buildings to construction a 544-space parking garage.

These two big buildings – and the demolition of smaller and older structures – are located only a few feet from the spot near Echo Park Lake where Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Planning Department General Manager Gail Goldberg and councilmen Eric Garcetti and Ed Reyes held a press conference in October 2008 to accept an urban planning award naming Echo Park as one of the nation’s 10 great neighborhoods in part because of its historic character.

The Eastsider is seeking to get the most recent information about the retirement complex.

Photo by Susan Borden

Related links:
City planners say75-unit Echo Park apartment complex is no big deal. The Eastsider
Prayer is important but so is parking.
The Eastsider


  1. That is extremely disappointing to hear. I’ve been wondering why all of those buildings were being allowed to drift into dereliction.

    This is particularly frustrating because a huge senior complex that is not mixed use will have limited positive impact on the community at large – and for the residents themselves.

  2. Yikes I didn’t realize construction would start so soon… between that and the Lake construction coming up, I’m going to avoid that part of Echo Park!

  3. just think, if everyone in the neighborhood had been as anti-development 125 years ago as they are today, the area would still retain its historic natural state!

  4. I’m still bitter over that parking structure. Garages are always block-killers, but at least the newer ones in Downtown and Santa Monica are disguised a bit. This one is just an ugly POS dropped right in the heart of Echo Park.

    Why are churches always such terrible stewards of their own communities?

  5. Chris L. —

    Because they’re on a mission from God… to move old people in across the street, collect their rent, and then walk’em across the street to collect their donations… get’em coming and going.

    That parking garage is always totally empty as well… ridiculous.

    I’m curious as to the history of the Angelus Temple and how the current regime ended up there. Bad neighbors, indeed.

  6. Perhaps instead of razing and re-developing Echo Park in a wholly self-serving manner, perhaps they should take all that cash they’re flush with and just move inland, to a neighbor with no historical character. Plus, they wouldn’t have to bus all those people in.

  7. I look forward to the day when we hear that this monstrous “church” is being razed. I am against religion – but cults, even more!


  8. How upsetting. You’d think that an organization occupying such an historic building would take some care to preserve the beautiful architecture of the neighborhood.

    Also, I had no idea the parking lot was not rented out for public use. What a waste of land and an eyesore! I will be writing this terrible “church” a letter.

  9. ya that is a bummer to lose the original architectural charm and build a large apartment building.

    but what someone really needs to do is get new owners and cooks at the classic looking Bright Spot up that street, so we can actually eat there !

  10. Non-denominational born-agains are always going to be the ‘bigger, better, faster, MORE!’ type of organization that wants more money and bigger buildings. I just don’t understand why they have to destroy Echo Park. I say they move into a mega-barn building somewhere in Riverside county (though they already have many) and let us turn that ‘temple’ into a concert/theatre venue.

  11. I’m also extremely disappointed to learn about this inappropriate development in that part of the neighborhood. Is it too late to sign a petition? Have all permits been granted? Building and Safety moves so slow, how did they get their project moving so quickly? There must be another hearing scheduled, ….

    Also, re: the parking structure. Parking is always at a premium in that part of the neighborhood so it seems completely selfish and thoughtless of the church to fail to make it available to the public. They could charge a few dollars and people would pay it. On any given night, patrons of the Echoplex (next door to that garage) are looking for parking in all the residential streets in Echo Park and the silly, ugly garage is just lying there fallow. Surprising that the Church would be such a bad neighbor.

  12. Did they even offer the buildings for sale for someone who might have wanted to move them? They just bulldozed them? Oh that’s right, they’ve done this like 6 times in the neighborhood in the past five years. I agree, this organization is a BAD NEIGHBOR.

  13. Exactly what kind of denomination operates the church site?
    What happened to the Four-Square denomination?
    Are they supposed to be a Christian organization?
    When did they acquire all the property across the street?
    Anyone know the details??

  14. Ask the Neighborhood Council folks BOTH SIGALA’S AND TORRERRO HOW THEY BENIFITED FROM being friendly with the Dream center people who voted by mail to elect them into office. There’s always a trade off to collect a vote. This was JUST one of them. Greedy MoFo those folks.

  15. It’s horrible. They have never given a crap about their neighbors or this neighborhood.
    The “CITI bank building” they built and own (across the street from the church) is proof that they’ve never cared. Who else would force a 15 story building into a 1 and 2 story neighborhood?

    We need to unite or this Barlow monstrosity will be next.

  16. Noooooo! I love this apartment building!! I thought it was empty because they were renovating, and just the other day while walking by I noticed some really cool original detail on the ceiling and was thinking how I would love to live there.

    Whomever is in charge of the Angelus Temple is really doing a bang-up job of destroying the neighborhood and alienating the community. Sister Aimee would not be pleased that this is her legacy.

  17. FORGET ABOUT IT, ITS A DONE DEAL. Where was the opposition when these developers came to Neighborhood Council for sign off’s before going to CD 13-Garcetti. I point fingers at “ALLTHOSE PEOPLE WHO ALLOWED THE DEVELOPERS TO INFILRTATE OUR COMMUNITY” YOU SOLD OUT OUR COMMUNITY FOR YOUR OWN PROPERTY VALUES. I always voted NO. when on the Planning and Land use Committee. My conscience is clear. TIME TO START ASKING WHAT IS YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL DOING FOR YOU BESIDES WASTING YOUR TAX DOLLARS. DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE LAKE. SO FULL OF IT!

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