ANGELENO HEIGHTS — Most persons interested in local history are satisfied with collecting some old photos and taking a walking tour. But not Danny Muñoz, the Echo Park native with a deep love of his neighborhood and its history. Muñoz co-founded the Echo Park Historical Society, spent 30 years restoring a 19th Century Victorian he shared with his partner and then turned the attic of the Angeleno Heights home into a 1,000-square-foot archive of historic photos, documents and other memorabilia he shared with professional researchers and curious neighbors. Last week, Munoz died at age 68 from an apparently undiagnosed case of liver cancer, reports the West Hollywood news website Wehoville.
While Muñoz was passionate about local history, in West Hollywood he was known as a long-time waiter and employee at Ed’s Coffee Shop, where he worked for about three decades before retiring last year.
In Angeleno Heights, Muñoz had been an active member of board that oversees the Angeleno Heights historic district, where he and partner, David Hiovich, had called home for more than 30 years. In addition, Muñoz had also been a long time board member of the Citizens Committee to Save Elysian Park.
Over the decades, as the couple restored and repaired their 1895 home, Muñoz filled the residence with historic photos, newspaper clippings, books and other items. Eventually, the collection grew so large that the couple converted their attic into an archive, where racks of metal shelves offered a peek into the city’s past. For many years, Munoz spent Sundays – his only day off from work – organizing his archive and jotting down the title and information about each item on index cards.
Muñoz, in a 2010 interview with The Eastsider, said he had never bothered to count how many items he had in his collection, which continued to grow after he completed his attic archive. He said at the time, “I can already see that I’m going to run out of space eventually.”
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