El Sereno collective wants to transform abandoned Caltrans bungalows into arts & community center

Photo from Indigogo/El Sereno Bungalow Collective

The eight vacant, Tudor-style bungalows on Maycrest Avenue in El Sereno are among the vast numbers of Caltrans-owned buildings the highway agency purchased as part of the decades-long effort to extend the 710 Freeway north. But under a deal with the Eastside Cafe, a Huntington Drive community space and collective located next to the bungalows, Caltrans has agreed to allow the group to transform the bungalow court into an arts center—if the group can raise the necsesary money. Last year, The National Trust for Historic Preservation pledged $10,000 for the El Sereno Bungalow Collective but required the group raise an additional $10,000 in matching funds. The collective has raised more than $7,100 through an online fundraiser but only has two days left to reach it goal.

What’s the plan? Here is a description provided on the Indiegogo website:

The [proposed] uses for the [renovated] and adapted bungalows include a performance space for dance, yoga, theater, and music and a production space for sewing and pottery classes for trade networks. We also plan to have a computer classroom and meeting rooms, together with an organic garden with a teaching kitchen under the huge avocado tree that is already there. We are working with Honles and Zepeda Architects in doing the existing conditions evaluation and preparing the adaptive re-use plans.

But even if $20,000 is raised, the El Sereno Bungalow Collective still faces many challenges ahead. That $20,000, which will be devoted to planning, looks to be a small portion of the money needed to restore the bungalows and start their classes. But the El Sereno Bungalow Collective does not seemed fazed by the challenge, according to a statement on Indigogo.

“We have more steps ahead of us, as our community draws on its resources and expertise to reclaim abandoned buildings and turn them into a valuable resource.

Related Link:

  • El Sereno group sees to renovate Caltrans bungalows. EGP News

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