The home’s nearly century-old charm welcomes visitors off the street.

The back of the home features a new addition in corrugated metal.

The 1907 Echo Park cottage on Lemoyne Street was a mess after decades of  neglect.   There was wood rot and the back stairs had collapsed. There was no heating or cooling system to speak of. The foundation was made from brick. And then there was the 250-pound bee hive found inside a bathroom wall.  While many people would have seen a tear down, developer and house flipper Rudy Dvorak  saw potential.  After buying the 896-square-foot home a year ago, he launched an extensive renovation that is nearing completion.  While many builders might strip a house in such bad shape down to the studs and start over,  Dvorak took extra care to preserve as much of the home’s original charm and features even as he nearly doubled its size with a striking new modern addition clad in corrugated metal.

“We fused different periods together,” said Dvorak, who firm, Reinhabit, has renovated homes in  Highland Park, Hollywood Hills and other neighborhoods. “I love saving old stuff.”

But Dvorak had no intention of hiding the new in this classic home.  The striking addition, which includes a roof top deck and new living spaces, is sheathed in shiny corrugated metal.  “We didn’t want to hide the addition,”From the street, however, the 96-year-old home retains its traditional appearance with a welcoming porch, original wood windows and front door, now painted a bright orange.

Inside, the home has been rebuilt but Dvorak managed to salvage the transom windows above the doorways and as reused some of the original wood lath as decorative paneling. On the interior stairway, the treads on the stairs are made from wood salvaged from the outside of the house. Even the custom light fixtures contain old wood from the home. Dvorak also also resused wood flooring, cabients, pedestal sinks and other pieces from other old homes. While the reused items have been cleaned up and repaired, it’s clear that they are old and not some Restoration Hardware recreation. In fact, when it came to the salvaged wood floor, Dvorak’s crew lightly sands down the wood and refinishes its with a stain that lets old paint and stain show through.

It would have been much cheaper to have started from scratch to build a house of the same size, he said. But Dvorak said the results would not have been the same. “The people who buy from us prefer it.”

Salvaged floors have been refinished but still show off their age.

New custom fixtures include pieces of old wood from the home.

Old cabinets get spruced up.


Original wood from the home’s exterior was reused on the interior stairway.

Rudy Dvorak standing in front of the new addition covered in corrugated metal.

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