Category: Architecture

The Unique Architecture of Echo Park


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Echo Park has an eclectic roster of homes, commercial buildings, and public spaces that make the neighborhood a destination of its own. Street art, sunset views, hidden city staircases, boutiques, and eclectic architect make up the foundation of Echo Park.

Early 20th century architecture allows history to speak for itself. On the opposite side of the coin, there’s an industrial-meets-nature vibe about Echo Park, and it’s emboldened in the city’s more modern architecture. This unique architectural flair of the community is what continues to attract new residents from all around the world. Featured here is some of the unique architecture of Echo Park:

Modernist House on Lemoyne Street

Echo Park real estate reached new records when it sold a three bedroom, two bathroom house on Lemoyne Street for $2.275 million––well over its asking price of $1.895 million. The wooden fence outside the house is dotted with bright, techni-colored glass panels and a set of teal concrete steps. The home was designed by was designed by architect Rachel Allen, whose previous work includes Echo Park Bungalows. She’s also currently working on Pershing Square Renew in Downtown Los Angeles and the multi-family residential unit Encore Capital in Eagle Rock.

The house is designed to nestle into the land and transform the space into an urban retreat among nature. The goal for the space was to maximize the architectural connection to the outdoors, and a large portion of the house is composed of floor-to-ceiling windows. A long strip of glass on the ceiling spans the home from one end to the other, making the trees feel just as part of the interior as the concrete floors and sustainably harvested walnut. Check out more photos here.

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Ark House

Situated along Lake Shore in Echo Park is the ultra-modern Ark House. Like other Echo Park staples, this multi-family building was sustainably designed to blend in seamlessly with nature; it features floor-to-ceiling sliding glass “windows” with corrugated metal screens that allow for temperature regulation. In the winter, they’re removed.

Los Angeles Times Magazine said the space represented, “smart, flexible design solutions that raise the bar on the indoor-outdoor connection so essential to life in Southern California.” The three-story building is built primary on concrete––the third floor features an expansive communal outdoor garden and terrace that overlooks Echo Park and downtown Los Angeles. Its design inspiration was based on the concept of a “mini mall” and all units in the building are the same (though each has its own interior flair based on the inhabitants, of course).

Architect Norman Mailer began working on the home in 2006 and  finished his design in 2010. Since then, it’s been included in several Los Angeles home tours, including Dwell on Design.

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The Atwater/ Holi Village Bungalows

We wrote about the Pueblo-style Atwater Bungalows in detail early last year, and they’re worth mentioning in any write-up about Echo Park real estate and architecture. Dr. H. Gale Atwater, an early Echo Park luminary, commissioned the property in the early 1930s, but they were designed by Robert Stacy-Judd. The design was inspired by traditional Hopi kivas in India and the concept of communal living architecture, and Stacy-Judd hoped to evoke the spirit of that. They were built from unfinished adobe to lend it a rustic appearance, and outfitted with pueblo-style windows, staircases, and cone-shaped chimneys.

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Image source: LA Times –×520.png

Victorian Homes on Carroll Avenue

Gingerbread trimmings and gabled roofs galore; this is a Victorian-era dream. Angelino Heights was the first suburb of Los Angeles, and it remains an important staple in the city till this day. Carroll Avenue is lined with grandiose Victorian homes from another era, and has the largest concentration of Victorian homes in the city. Originally constructed during the 19th century for upper and middle class families, today the 1300 block is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, while the entire neighborhood is the first in Los Angeles to be designated Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ).

This area has also had its share of Hollywood fame. Originally built for City Councilman Daniel Innes, 1339 Halliwell Manor is the iconic site of popular television series Charmed––and it still gets plenty of attention from the show’s fans. Walk a little further down, and you’ll reach 1345 Carroll Avenue from Michael Jackson’s iconic “Thriller” video. And a little walk from there is Carroll Avenue, which is “Mad Men” Don Draper’s childhood home.

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Image source: Discover Los Angeles


Blackbirds is an 18-unit small-lot housing project from architect Barbara Bestor. Polished concrete, white oak, fancy landscaping, rooftop decks, and tailored cabinetry are just a few features spread across these 18 properties. Bestor aimed to construct a progressive solution for high-quality, dense housing. According to its website, “Blackbirds is an experimental contemporary urban living where community, nature, and design are in balance with each other.” Each two and three-bedroom property is built around public and private outdoor spaces.

Each also features large windows for natural light, patios, and amazing outdoor views.

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Image: Bestor Architecture

Jessica’s Bungalow

Jessica Fleischmann is the owner of an Echo Park bungalow that, upon first glance, doesn’t look like much of anything out of the ordinary. The fleshy pink siding of the front exterior was kept in tact to preserve the historic character of the place, but Fleischmann, a graphic designer and daughter of Ernst Fleischmann (who led the Los Angeles Philharmonic) wanted a renovation that reflected modernity.

She commissioned architecture firm PRODUCTURA to work on the redesign. Today, it has a steel, grid-like frame in the back with full-glass windows spanning two floors. Oak wood, concrete flooring, and metal all blend together to create an urban oasis of sorts. Check out a full description of the renovation and its photos on Dwell.

The home was also featured in the Mark Ruffalo-featured film, “The Kids Are Alright.” Read more about her experience renting out her home for four days for $15,000.

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Image source: Dwell

Lento Brick Court

In 2010, the Lento Brick Courtyard was officially declared a Los Angeles historic-cultural monument. This prevents the property from any interior or exterior changes (and demolition) unless approved by the Cultural Heritage Commision in Echo Park. And while there’s nothing overtly historical about this (as with the Victorian homes on Carroll Avenue) or overtly modern (like Ark House), its unique courthouse housing design is a symbol of its time.

Unlike the surrounding area, it uses brick instead of stucco and wrought-iron fencing rather than wood. One writer from Echo Park Now said the design looks like something “you might find in New York as opposed to Los Angeles.”

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Image source: Historian 4 Hire