Report recommends landmark status for Echo Park bungalow court [updated]

One of the seven bungalows in the Wurfl Court | Courtesy Los Angeles Planning Department

ECHO PARK — A report by the Planning Department recommends that a 1920s bungalow court threatened with demolition should be declared a city historic landmark. A final decision has yet to be made, but declaring the Wurfl Court, built by a Hollywood prop master, would make it much more difficult to replace the Mediterranean Revival-style bungalows with up to 12 new townhouses as the new property owner has proposed.

The Planning Department report said that the Wurfl Court, located in the 1400 block of Echo Park Avenue,  is worthy of becoming a landmark because it “embodies the distinguishing characteristics of an architectural-type specimen, inherently valuable for study of a period, style or method of construction.” So, who is responsible for building this 7-unit bungalow court that many now deem to be worthy of saving? The landmark application, researched by one of the property’s tenants, presents the story of Louis Wurfl:

“Born to German immigrants, Louis grew up in Echo Park and eventually began working in the family business: steel. He worked on many prominent steel projects in the Los Angeles area, including the cross on Echo Park’s historic Angelus Temple and several neon signs throughout the city. The growth of Los Angeles housing has always been intertwined with the city’s film industry, and 1450 Echo Park Avenue is a prime example of that. Like many people who built housing complexes in the 20s, Louis worked in the film industry as a prop master for MGM, building pieces for movies, including the Wizard of Oz’ Tin Man as well as several properties in Los Angeles.”

The Cultural Heritage Commission is scheduled to vote on Thursday, March 2, on the landmark nomination. The nomination would then be forwarded to the City Council for a final vote.

Updated: The Cultural Heritage Commission voted unanimously to declare a 1920s era Echo Park bungalow court a city historic landmark. A final vote will be taken by the City Council.

Wurfl Court bungalow | Courtesy Los Angeles Planning Department

Screenshot 2015-12-10 at 3.10.51 PM

Can’t get enough Echo Park news? Sign up for The Eastsider’s Echo Park Weekly email newsletter. Echo Park Weekly features EP-centric stories, tidbits, advice, observations, information as well as the week’s top news.

Jesús Sanchez, Publisher
The Eastsider

Please fill out every field

Subscribe to our mailing list

View previous campaigns.

Problem with the form? Let us know


  1. This is fantastic news!!!! I’m so proud of the commission for recognizing the importance of this court. Thank you to all the folks involved with saving this. Thank you.

  2. This court is a rundown eyesore with a internment-camp-inspired gate surrounding it. If the current owners would keep it up better, I’d support this landmark status. Instead, it will continue to be an eyesore on a block of eyesores. What Echo Park Ave between Sunset and Scott needs is some new development with modern buildings and off-street parking!

  3. This is just so ridiculous. Perhaps the people in Eagle Rock who don’t want the housing unit built where the Sizzler currently stands should apply to have the Sizzler declared a city historic landmark.

  4. This was about blocking private property rights not city historic landmark status. The property was sold and THEN historical status was applied for AFTER that sale- by a tenant for their own personal benefit.

    “Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves”
    Abraham Lincoln

    Shame on you council member Mitch O’Farrell, CD13. Did you take an oath of office to defend the US Constitution? Honor your oath. Your supporting this and therefore selling out the US Constitution for votes and $$$.

    Freedom isn’t free. Many people died defending our constitutional rights and freedoms so the we may live free.

    Here we have bureaucrats and politicians and committees and tenants taking away a private property owners right to choose. Truly frightening and dystopian when you consider what is happening here to our rights.

    The government is about to take an individual property owners rights away for the benefit of other individuals? In the USA. Can you believe this? The USA? We the People…? People died defending the Constitution of the United States and these government politicians and bureaucrats (paid with our tax money) are preventing a private individual from freely exercising their private property rights in a free democratic society?

    Why did our patriots die then? Theft of individual rights by government? “Government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

    So many of our rights are being eroded by the government. And here is another example with the Wurfl courts of the government attacking a private property owner. An attack on freedom and anti American to say the least.

    No wonder Trump was elected? When governments and politicians do this to free individuals? People become angry. This is wrong and a trampling of individual private constitutional property rights; supported by a corrupt government represented by council member Mitch O’Farrell. Spread the word and bend over. You’re next.

    (Freedom isn’t free. Even a developer has rights protected by the US Constitution of the United States.)

    • Patriotism and development go hand and hand.
      Patriotism and anti-development go hand and hand.
      Long stand Echo Park Courts and the lemon tree!

    • I wouldn’t say it this way, but this person is right. It is bullshit that this designation is occurring only after the sale. And those bungalows are really nothing special. Seems like overreach and a good way to keep that stretch of Echo Park Ave. looking crappy.

      • Jared Mazzaschi, cool blog man!

        What is so crappy about Echo Park Ave visually? The open spaces between the homes, the long front yards of some properties are green, there are actually some trees as well. The impending building planned for the Wurfl Court bungalow will be a huge block of white wall and stucco- SO BANAL.

        • Jared Mazzaschi

          Thanks for checking it out! 🙂 And the compliment.

          I don’t know what building plan you are referring to (maybe an old article?) but the are just kind of looks sort of run down – I’m thinking specifically down by the liquor store and the building that used to be a little ceasar’s but is now the place where restaurant dreams go to die. Oh well. I guess now it will stay the Wulf court. S’all good.

    • this tierra is not yours no matter how much money you paid for it

      if we cant be proactive we have to be reactive


  5. Many thanks to the commission for recognizing the value of this bungalow court; that entire block should have historic status; you will not find anything like it elsewhere!

  6. The owners should be forced to make the grounds look nice, invest in some landscaping and fresh paint amd yeah maybe remove that ugly ass fence. These bungholes look awful 🙂

  7. Total BS. Buy your own place and apply for whatever historic status you want. This is nothing more than an enterprising tenant’s excuse to keep her rent low.

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *