Councilman Garcetti no longer dwells in Echo Park*

City Councilman Eric Garcetti and wife Amy Wakeland had called the Elysian Heights section of Echo Park home for about a decade.  But last month, Garcetti and Wakeland left their mid-century home, which was featured in a 2008 Dwell magazine story,  and moved to a newly purchased home in Silver Lake, according to residents. It’s not clear what prompted the couple to move from their Elysian Heights home – set at the bottom of a nearly 19,000-square-foot hillside lot – that they renovated and expanded.  A 2008 holiday postcard (pictured) sent out by Garcetti and Wakeland showed them in the interior of the post-and-beam home.

Of course, living in Echo Park is not as perfect as life depicted in a magazine spread. The councilman and neighbors heard the gunshots that left one man dead during a shooting spree;  Garcetti’s wallet was stolen from inside his car parked in front of his home and  there was talk that the couple experienced some vandalism along with other neighbors. Last summer, tenant rights activists filled the narrow street in front of Garcetti’s home during a protest.

Artist and lifelong Echo Park resident Peter Shire said very few people make the neighborhood a permanent home. “It’s always been a starter neighborhood. Most people I know moved. People always moved west.”

Update: A spokeswoman for Garcetti said: “Eric and Amy have moved to a Silver Lake home that is better suited for their needs at time.  They have not yet made a decision about what they are doing with their Echo Park home.”

Photo: Misha Gravenor


  1. Very interesting observation by Peter Shire. I have not lived here as long, but I’ve lived here off and on for 18 years (long offs and long ons). And, in my experience, it is a starter “renter” neighborhood for young professionals and creative types. When people get to the age when they are able to buy, they buy in other neighborhoods to the North and East — Highland Park, Glassell, El Sereno, Eagle Rock. I don’t know one person who bought to the West.

    But this could just indicate that we lived in a weird real estate market during the last twenty years. Silverlake stopped being affordable at around the time when my friends had the means to buy a home. Maybe that has changed?

    It could also mean that i live in a slightly different demographic than Peter Shire. Interesting nonetheless.

  2. that’s a nice house. what street is it on? is it for rent?

  3. Your Freind and neighbor

    Maybe he left because people like Peter Shire forget to respect their neighbors and have an entitled attitude when it comes to coexisting. And is it really a “starter” situation when according to this article they lived in EP for “many years”? How long do you have to live here to make your residency legit in the eyes of people like Peter Shire?

    He moved. He’s been a great advocate for Echo Park I highly doubt that’s going to change because he moved a few miles down the road so Silverlake.

  4. Peter Shire does all kinds of stuff for EP (and lived here since the dawn of time); what has Garcetti done?

  5. @Your Freind and neighbor
    Not really sure you know what you are talking about w/ regard to the Shires…Peter Shire is about as respectful of a community member as they come in my book. Also, I loved the fact that Garcetti lived in EP as a point of reference, but not really sure of all of the advocacy…can you elaborate?

  6. I think what Shire meant by terming EP a “starter neighborhood” is that generally a young couple buy a 2+1 cottage in EP and then move when they have kids. EP has its charms, but parents want a neighborhood where their kids can walk on the streets.

  7. Is El Sereno nice? I’ve never hung out there.

  8. @ B.E. — El Sereno has some hills which are pretty nice. Great views of Downtown LA. As its name implies, it is “serene.” If by “nice” you mean Pasadena-nice, I would definitely say no. But if you mean Highland Park nice, I would say yes. I think its cool.

  9. El Sereno is hilly and picturesque, there are lots of good deals on homes there, the University Hills area is within a stone’s throw of Cal State L.A., and there’s a cool Brazilian restaurant on Huntington near Eastern — but it seems there is still quite a gang presence, judging by the graffiti.

  10. Eric and his wife were just part of the larger gentrification of the area. More white folks from the suburbs moving in and then moving out when it gets a bit too real. Mr. Garcetti’s move is no surprise. I’m glad he’s gone.

  11. Hmm, Wasn’t he looking for a school for his Kindergartner. Could he have left to possibly be in the Ivanhoe school district and not the Elysian heights school district?

  12. Check out the political boundaries of his new home and you’ll probably figure out why he moved. He’s likely running for Congress or Assembly. It’s that simple. We will be better off with a different councilmember, in any event.

  13. Who cares if he moved and why !
    Really ?
    What , there is a force-field around Echo Park and you can’t leave ?
    People can do and move and go where ever they want !
    Jeezuz ! It sounds like there is some crazy mob out there .
    I mean I don’t know the guy personally , but why is everyone so concerned about where this guy and his family moves ?
    If your non-council member neighbor and their family moved would you be posting on a blog about why they were moving ?
    It sounds crazy to me .
    Let people be !
    Echo Park sure is changing ! It used to be laid back , now there are all these busy bodies worried about what everyone else is doing or not !

    Echo Park since 1962.

  14. “More white folks from the suburbs moving in and then moving out when it gets a bit too real.”

    Real = ??? gang infested? Graffiti covered? Obnoxious neighbors?

    When did that adjective get hijacked?

  15. Well, I’m not aware of Garcetti being some great Echo Park advocate. In fact, he refuses to advocate at all on behalf of adjacent Elysian Park two blocks from his house, using a false excuse that it is across the border in another district so he can’t. In fact, border issues, and especially for such major regional things like parks, have always been far game in the Council for cross-border advocacy — but not by Garcetti, who doesn’t want to be bothered.

    I am aware that he moved into the area from a nice place in the Wilshire area simply in order to be in a council district about to have a vacancy so he could run for office — that’s normally referred to as a carpet bagger. That is, he didn’t move in in the first place because he loved Echo Park.

    The talk now is that he is preparing to run for mayor — so he doesn’t need Echo Park any more. Is his new home in Silver Lake even still inn the district, or will he still claim EP as his main home for legal reasons?!

  16. And let’s not forget, reapportionment of Council districts is about to happen, so perhaps Garcetti doesn’t want Echo Park in his district any more.

  17. I don’t imagine that he moved for better schools, since Elysian Heights Elem. is every bit as good as Ivanhoe, and has great parent involvement. A truly wonderful school.

  18. Garcetti is a public official and public figure, so speculation about his political ambitions, his “move” to a new home and the relationship of that new home to the boundaries of his old and/or new district are *prime* topics of political conversation. Its fair game.

    If he were running for Mayor, the move to Silverlake would be inconsequential. But, if he is running for something else, it could be relevant — Assembly, Senate? The local congresspeople are not going anywhere any time soon (Becerra is golden and Bass just got elected), so fat chance that he is running for that. Its Assembly or Senate.

  19. Why speculate ?
    What a waste of time and energy .
    Get a life people !

  20. Cristi’s comment of March 3, 2011 at 1:00 pm is right on the mark. In terms of a Mayoral run, the choice of either neighborhood is indifferent.

    The comment from Tom that Garcetti doesn’t want Echo Park in his district makes no sense, since Garcetti wont’ have a say in that decision, it is made by an independent board.

    So in the end, Garcetti and his family made the decision to move like any other family does – for practical, personal reasons – No need to read into more than that.

  21. James, for you to say that district lines are drawn by an indepedent board is wrong. How do you come to such a blantly false conclusion?
    The lines are drawn by a citizens commission picked my the mayor, council and council president. Put differently, the electeds draw their own lines and this is exactly what Eric’s wife did when she sat on the LAUSD redistricting comission.

  22. Also his enormous house has been for sale for-ever and is like a sore thumb sticking out of the gang war happening in the cul de sac. Anyone else notice this?

  23. EP has always been a place where people have grown up and raised families. it’s not a “starter neighborhood” there have been families who’ve lived in EP for generations and who have owned houses here for decades.

  24. Anon – you have your facts wrong. The house for sale there is not Garcetti’s. The frmr deputy mayor was renting it for a year, but he wasn’t the owner.
    And the cul-de-sac is tranquil these days. Bucolic, even.

  25. Eric moved to EP to run for council with a huge assist from his father’s rolodex.

    Honestly, for me, Eric has been a huge disappointment for the District. Where was he on the expansion of Foursquare Church? He’s been MIA on important development projects.

    Hopefully, with his new home will come a new run for a different elected office. We need vigorous representation instead of an elected that is constantly plotting his next step.

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