The end is near for Echo Park’s Smurf Village

The skeletons of 36 unfinished Echo Park townhouses – framed in blue-tinted wood – will soon be reduced to a pile of blue firewood.  Workers this morning who were cleaning up the site of the failed Durbin project at Echo Park and Delta avenues said the wood framing that has been left exposed for about two years will soon be demolished as the new property owner prepares to start construction. “The blue wood is going to come down, said Jonathan R. Smith, a regional vice president with D.R. Horton,  the Texas home builder that bought the project earlier this year.  Construction of the new framing is scheduled to begin in mid-November but Smith could not say when the homes will be completed.

D.R. Horton plans to purse the same plans and architectural style of the previous owner, he said.  Sales will begin early next year but information about prices was not available.


  1. WOW, What a waste!

  2. Why is the wood blue?

  3. The wood is probably blue because it wanted to be part of a nice building, and instead it was abandoned, ravaged by the elements and, worst of all, laughed at and ridiculed by other 2x4s as they passed by in pickup trucks on the way to other worksites. I know that if someone bought me at a lumberyard and used me for framing, and then never got around to sheathing me with plywood, running electrical wires and plumbing supply lines through me, or covering one side of me with insulation and drywall, I’d be pretty blue, too. 🙁

  4. I know Termite treated wood is blue. I watch enough Holmes on Holmes to be familiar with that.

  5. The treated wood I’ve used on my own home is green, but I guess there’s blue treated wood as well. I like my first explanation better.

  6. The blue wood is treated for mold, rot, and termites. The more common treated lumber that is green contains a chemical called ACQ (alkaline copper quat) which is more toxic than the blue wood.

  7. Does anyone know what the finished building will look like? Will it be a blight in our neighborhood, or something we can enjoy? It’s soooo public. Thank you.

  8. “Will it be a blight in our neighborhood”?? Well, it’ll be a finished building, and presumably there won’t be weeds growing out of the floor of it.

    Maybe you’re ‘enjoying’ the open sore this lot has been for 2+ years?

  9. There goes the neighborhood.

  10. Holmes on Holmes. Is that gay porn?

  11. Gangster porn. “Wassup, Holmes?”

  12. Where did Primal Man Go ?

  13. well, if it’s any indication, here’s what the “Durbin” was supposed to look like:


  14. I saw the plans for this project online when it first started. The architectural style has nothing to do with Echo Park, it’s not Craftsman, Spanish or Mid Century Modern, just ugly suburban development town houses.

    I was happy when the project went bust, but it seems like this new developer isn’t going to waste any time or money on improving the design to fit in with the neighborhood. It will look totally out of place and may lead to more hideous mega-developments in the area. It would have been great if he’d at least put storefronts on the ground floor, but no, it’s just that cookie cutter suburban crap.

    Why isn’t there a neighborhood hearing for this project? We should have some sort of say about this! I prefer a vacant lot to what is going to be built.

  15. I live right next to this lot on Delta St. above the Chango Coffee shop. I’m happy work will resume on the lot and that the area will be cleaned up a bit (especially the sidewalk and the couch someone decided set on fire that’s still just sitting there burnt to a crisp).

    At the same time I’m saddened because I now know I’ll be loosing way more hours of precious sleep once construction begins. Between that and the unusually high number of trash/waste trucks that show up at 5 & 6am every morning to empty dumpsters on the street… I’m afraid I may never get a decent nights sleep again.

    Also, parking in this area is already a nightmare. If the developers don’t incorporate some form of on site parking for the residents, parking will be nearly impossible.

    I’m beginning to think it may be time I find a new place to live even though I have come to love the neighborhood.

  16. Jeff,
    There was a neighborhood hearing. While having lunch I overheard the suits prepping for it. Mocking the artists, the spirit of the neighborhood. It was gross. And sure enough our developer slut councilman grease-eti didn’t help his constituents one bit.

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