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Los Angeles Zoo

Los Feliz is a Los Angeles neighborhood that is home to Griffith Park, Griffith Observatory, and the modern architecture like the famous Ennis House. One of the community’s most loved landmarks is the Los Angeles Zoo. Before it opened, the Griffith Park Zoo (built in 1912) was open to the public. In 1963, the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), a nonprofit organization, was formed to fund the building of the new zoo. The Los Angeles Zoo opened in 1966, covers 133 acres, and houses 1,100 animals.

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Photo Credit: http://www.lazoo.org/2014/11/zoo-lights-press/

The Los Angeles Zoo is located at 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027 and is owned by the City of Los Angeles. It is open every day from 10 am until 5 pm. Note that the zoo stops selling tickets at 4 pm and starts putting the animals to sleep at 4 pm. Free parking is available to visitors. You may want to look into combo tickets that are also for the Aquarium of the Pacific and the Natural History Museum, into military discounts, and into group discounts.

Since 2002, the zoo is also home to a Botanical Gardens that includes 7,400 plants. Wildlife conservation is practiced at the zoo, where California condors are taken care of as well as mountain tapirs. Animals are given medical care at the Gottlieb Animal Health and Conservation Center.

While at the zoo, be sure to stop by the following exhibits:

-Dinosaur Unextinct at the LA Zoo (where you can do a fossil dig and enjoy educational content with the purchase of a separate ticket)

-Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains

-Campo Gorilla Reserve

-Rainforest of the Americas (where animals from tropical areas live, including howler monkeys, toucans, piranhas, bird-eating spiders, and a jaguar)

-Elephants of Asia

-The LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles)

-Red Ape Rain Forest

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Photo Credit: https://wedid.it/campaigns/1238-support-the-los-angeles-zoo-and-save-elephants-from-poaching

In addition to the exhibits, you can view the Worlds of Birds Show, in which endangered birds perform acts at show times throughout the day. (Shows are not held on Tuesdays.) At the Neil Papiano Play Park, children can play on the climbing playground and families can enjoy picnics.  At the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo, families can watch presentations and visit the Muriel’s Ranch, the petting zoo where kids can pet animals and brush them.

If needed, you can rent a wheelchair at the zoo or a stroller (both single and double strollers are available).

If you get hungry, there is plenty of food and dining at the zoo. Reggie’s Bistro, named after the North American alligator Reggie, serves a full menu, craft beer, and wine. You can also stop by the Zoo Grill, Sweet Treats, Cafe Pico (offering beer, aguas frescas, and Mexican food), Mahale Cafe, La Casita, and Gorilla Grill. The Churro Factory serves delicious churros filled with caramel, cream, or strawberry and sundaes, pretzels, and popcorn. There’s something for every taste.

You can shop at the International Marketplace for books, stuffed animals, and gifts (including dinosaur items). If you need things on the go, like hats, sunscreen, and cameras, you can shop at the Safari Station.

Los Feliz is a historic neighborhood in Los Angeles that is bordered by Hollywood and the Santa Monica Mountains. Los Feliz is made up of what originally was Rancho Los Feliz. It is known as the home of many celebrities and is the site of two original designs by Frank Lloyd Wright, including the Hollyhock Home and the Ennis House.

Other landmarks in Los Feliz include:

-Griffith Park

-Berendo Stairs

-Griffith Observatory

-Greek Theatre

If you get a chance to visit the Los Angeles Zoo, we hope you enjoy it!

Are you interested in learning more about the Los Angeles Zoo and other landmarks in Los Feliz and the city of Los Angeles? At Real Estate Unlimited, our experienced team is on hand to supply insight and knowledge about homes and historic neighborhoods in Los Angeles. To schedule a tour of Los Feliz or another neighborhood of interest, contact us to schedule a tour. We are happy to share our love of Los Angeles with you.

The Greek Theatre

The Greek Theatre is an outdoor venue where professional concerts, high school graduations, and community events take place. Located in Los Feliz at 2700 North Vermont Ave, The Greek was designed by Samuel Tilden Norton and constructed in 1929.

The idea for the theatre is credited to Griffith J. Griffith (1850-1919), an American mining industrialist (born in Wales). He purchased the Rancho Los Feliz Mexican land grant in the late 1800s. Griffith donated the land (approximately 3,000 acres) to the city of Los Angeles in 1896, which became Griffith Park, and he funded the building of The Greek Theatre and the Griffith Observatory. Griffith stipulated that the theatre should be crafted in the style of Greek theatres. Traditionally, Greek theatres were outdoor structures where tragedies and comedies were performed to honor the gods. The chorus narrated the action with musical accompaniment. Orchestras were also common in these theatres (an area in the middle of the theatre where the scenes were performed).

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Photo Credit: http://glitteratitours.com/blog/summer-l-a-venues-hollywood-bowl-greek-theater-and-ford-theatre/

The Greek in Los Feliz, located in Griffith Park, has almost six thousand seats. It was upgraded during the 50’s, it was used as barracks during the second world war, and it was renovated in 1995. SMG has been managing the theatre since 2015. It’s home to many concerts and the graduation site for John Marshall High School and Thomas Starr King Middle School. The venue was featured in the film Get Him to the Greek (2010), starring Jonah Hill and Russell Brand.

The Greek has hosted artists like Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra, Sir Elton John, Carlos Santana, and more. It’s also been the location of television shows and films. You can also enjoy food and libations at The Greek at the north and south concession stands, the Agora Coffee Bar, the Plaza Bar, and the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge.

Are you interested in learning more about The Greek Theatre and other landmarks in Los Feliz and the city of Los Angeles? At Real Estate Unlimited, our dedicated and experienced team is available to provide insights and knowledge about neighborhoods and homes in Los Angeles. Call us to schedule a tour of Los Feliz or another neighborhood you may be interested in learning more about. Call us today, and we would be happy to share our love of Los Angeles with you.

The Ennis House – A Temple to Modern Architecture in Los Feliz

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Photo Credit: Losangelesloveaffair.wordpress.com

Falling Water may be the most famous Frank Lloyd Wright home, but this prolific architect created memorable buildings throughout America, including several in California. The Los Angeles neighborhood of Los Feliz is home to the Ennis House, a Frank Lloyd Wright design meant to invoke the surrounding desert and the region’s ancient history. In this post, we’ll take a virtual tour of this Southern California original.

If you’d like to learn about another Los Angeles landmark, check out this blog post about the Holyland Exhibition in Silver Lake!

The Ennis House was commissioned by Charles and Mabel Ennis in 1923 and built in 1924. The house is the fourth and largest of Frank Lloyd Wright’s textile block designs, constructed primarily of molded concrete blocks in a unique graphic pattern meant to invoke ancient Mayan temples. The Ennis House complex is constructed of over 27,000 of these handmade concrete blocks. Frank Lloyd Wright was fascinated by innovative textures and building materials throughout his career, and this quartet of homes comprise a historic experiment in creative use of building materials.

The Ennis House is sometimes referred to as an example of “Mayan Revival” architecture. Bas-relief designs on the concrete blocks are patterned after symmetrical bas-relief sculptures in the ancient temple city of Uxmal in Mexico. The design also features an exterior gate made of wrought iron bent into a striking geometric pattern.

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Photo Credit: Christiesge.wix.com

The Ennis House faced significant setbacks during construction, mostly owing to its unusual makeup. Concrete blocks at the lower levels buckled under the weight above, causing unevenness and structural instability. The concrete was mixed with local granite in order to create a special color and texture. Unfortunately, this admixture created impurities in the final product, weakening the concrete blocks further.

Once construction reached the upper levels, Mabel and Charles Ennis took over, announcing several changes to the original design. Although these changes were intended to limit the structural instability and cost overruns of the building, they didn’t altogether succeed. Always vulnerable, the Ennis House was damaged during the Northridge Earthquake of 1994, suffering further damage during record rains in 2004 and 2005. With over fifteen million dollars in estimated repairs, the future of the Ennis House was uncertain. In 2005, the house was added to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of “11 Most Endangered Historic Places.”

In 2006, a FEMA grant was issued to begin restoration on the house, and more funds were made available by a construction loan through First Republic Bank. Reconstruction included a new structural support system and a new roof. In 2009, the Ennis House was placed on the market, eventually selling in 2011 to its current owner, billionaire Ron Burkle. A condition of the sale was that Ennis House be open to visitors twelve days each year.

To take a virtual tour of another iconic local home, click here to read our blog post about Silver Lake’s Chandelier Tree!

The Ennis House has inspired Hollywood for decades, beginning its cinematic career back in 1933 when it became a shooting location. Its unearthly façade has appeared in classics like The Haunting of Hill House, The Day of the Locust, and Blade Runner. Its interior, which reminds many visitors of a cathedral, has appeared in still more films, including The Replacement Killers and The Thirteenth Floor. Many filmmakers have used the Ennis House as an exotic setting – in Rush Hour, it was transformed into a penthouse apartment in a futuristic Hong Kong skyscraper.

Today, the Ennis House is a pilgrimage site for cinema buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike. If you’re planning to visit Los Angeles, why not plan a side trip to Los Feliz so you can pay tribute to this one-of-a-kind urban temple?

Are you interested in learning more about the Ennis House and other unique Los Angeles landmarks? At Real Estate Unlimited, we pride ourselves on our knowledge of local history and architecture. Call us to schedule a tour of Los Feliz or another unique Los Angeles neighborhood, and let us show you around these unique neighborhoods today!

Moving? Make a Deposit at a Furniture Bank!

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Photo Credit: Unpakt.com

Holiday season is almost here! Many people feel inspired to give during this special time of year, whether through offering warm clothing to a winter coat drive, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or giving to a favorite charity. In this post, we’re going to talk about nonprofit organizations that take a unique approach to helping people in need.

People in the process of moving often struggle to discard their used furniture, but they don’t want to waste time and money packing and hauling bulky items when they can buy new. One solution is to find a drop-off site for a charity like Goodwill. Habitat for Humanity has recently opened ReStore outlets to offer donated furniture at low cost. These donations are valuable, but they can also create administrative challenges. Furniture is bulky, and many thrift and secondhand charities face storage and sorting issues. On top of that, it’s difficult to cart a sectional sofa or bedroom set across town to a drop-off site, especially during business hours.

If you’d like to learn more about resale and thrift stores in the Los Angeles area, check out our post about top vintage outlets in Echo Park!

Furniture banks have emerged as a nationwide alternative to nonprofit secondhand stores. Assisting people who are homeless or in transition, furniture banks provide them with durable, good-quality furniture and housewares. They may be moving from temporary or shelter housing into a more permanent situation, or starting over with few personal possessions. Often without funds to purchase furniture, they’re in desperate need of basic items such as beds, chairs, kitchen tables, and refrigerators. Your gently used furniture can help these people transform their new houses into homes.

Furniture banks also work hard to ensure a painless donation process. You don’t have to worry about transporting your furniture yourself – just call the furniture bank for a pickup, and they’ll show up at a convenient time and remove your gently used furniture.

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Photo Credit: Purewordsmission.org

These nonprofits are generally happy to take a wide range of items. Beds, couches, desks, silverware, kitchen and home appliances, lamps, and rugs are all in demand. Even accessories like throw blankets and artwork may be handy – many furniture banks make it their mission to create comfortable, welcoming living spaces for their clients.

If you’re moving offices or upgrading your office suite, consider donating desks, chairs, or electronics – especially personal computers. Many furniture bank clients are job seekers and families with school-age children, making these donations high-priority. Cribs, changing tables, playpens, and child-size furniture are extremely useful and often scarce, and furniture banks may gladly take any gently-used toys or picture books to pass along to kids.

If you’d like to learn more about opportunities to get involved in your community, check out this post about the Silver Lake Farmer’s Market!

How are furniture banks different from conventional nonprofit resale stores? Instead of storing donated items in a secondhand showroom so that they can be sold to raise funds, furniture banks manage the donation process to ensure that donated furniture is quickly gifted on. Your furniture becomes part of a new living space right away.

The Furniture Bank Association of North America will provide you with information on furniture banks in your area, as well as detailed information about how furniture banks work and what they accomplish. Vietnam Veterans of America is a nationwide nonprofit that provides a variety of services to veterans. VVA operates a stellar pickup service. They accept furniture, appliances, and housewares as well as clothing and other goods.

You may also want to check out the Virtual Furniture Bank, which operates solely online. Since they match every donation with a client prior to pickup, they have no warehouse, working to coordinate pickup and delivery with a trusted list of contractors. Freecycle.org is a more general trade and gift site for used items, but individuals and nonprofits seeking donations check the site often. You can search for a Freecycle virtual bulletin board for your area. In addition, many conventional nonprofit resale stores are responding to demand by offering improved pickup options, so you may want to check to see what kind of assistance they provide.

Furniture banks generally have FAQs to help keep donors informed, but these are some guidelines to remember. First, most furniture banks prefer donations in “new” or “gently-used” condition. If it’s dilapidated or broken, it probably isn’t desirable. Furniture bank employees may be able to advise you on the best way to dispose of furniture that can’t be donated. You can help by cleaning any donated item before pickup. You’ll save volunteers a lot of time and ensure that your donation looks its best for its new family. Finally, consider volunteering yourself! Many furniture banks are overjoyed to have another pair of hands.

If you’re not looking to offload any furniture or housewares just now, furniture banks are also happy to take cash donations, especially during the holidays. They’re always grateful for a “like” or share on social media accounts, so please don’t hesitate to spread the word about this innovative approach to giving!