With so many old Echo Park houses being demolished for new development, it’s no wonder some passersby assumed that three vintage bungalows on Morton Avenue were also about to get bulldozed. Workers had begun gutting and removing roofs from two small cottages while a third was even stripped of its siding, leaving only a wood skeleton. But the three old houses are going to stay, said an official with developer Van Daele Homes. In fact, the three bungalows are being renovated and will sit in front of 15, contemporary-style townhomes that are being constructed at the back of the development known as Morton Village.
“It would have been significantly cheaper to tear it down and build them the same,” said Senior Project Manager Craig Smith. But his firm has pledged to try and retain the home’s vintage look – at least on the exterior – while renovating the interior to meet modern-day building standards. The goal is to “bring them back to what they looked like when they were new.”
Van Daele is honoring agreements made by previous developers to preserve the three Morton cottages, which range in size from about 575 square-feet to 700 square-feet. The interior of the homes will be entirely new but Smith said workers will try and reuse some of the built in furniture and wood trim salvaged from the homes, which according to online records built between 1911 and 1921,
The renovation of the three old homes, which will be available for sale, is scheduled to be completed by the end of May, with the first of the new homes expected to be finished by September, Smith said. He did not having any information on pricing.