We are Watching!

The illegal demoltion of this 1920s bungalow at 1600 Lucretia Ave. was caught today by one of our EPHS board members while it was underway. He immediately took a photo, checked online to see if a demolition permit had been filed (it had not) and reported it to the building & safety department and police. The contractor and property owner will now have to file for the proper permits for public review and ensure public safety.

This demo is probably legal (with permits) but we cannot allow property owners and developers to knock down our old and historic homes and buildings on a whim and without proper approval. Our vigilance lets people know that they can’t get away with this and perhaps make them think twice about “scraping” these structures and replacing them with what will probably be a big, boxy building.

If you think you are seeing an illegal demo in process, first check to see if the proper permits have been filed by going to the Building & Safety website and enter the street address. If no permits have been filed, call the department right away (use the city operator at 311) to register a complaint. If the demo is in process and no inspector can come out, call the police as well (use the non emergency number at 877-ask-lapd) to report the activity.

“Bohemian Los Angeles” Presentation

Author Daniel Hurewitz will discuss his new book, "Bohemian Los Angeles ," on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 3 p.m. as part of an EPHS special event. Please RSVP to ephs@HistoricEchoPark.org and we will reply with location information.
Hurewitz will also make a presentation on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 5 p.m. at Skylight Books in Los Feliz.

Judge Supports EPHS in Lawsuit Against School District

The Los Angeles school district must conduct a full environmental review before it demolishes about two blocks of homes and businesses southeast of Sunset Boulevard and Alvarado Street. The EPHS and other members of the Right Site Coalition had opposed the school district plans for Site 9A because of the damage to historic resources, a sharp drop in enrollment and the availability of alternative sites. A judge from the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Norwalk issued the decision on Monday, Dec. 18 after a court hearing. The school project would require the demolition of more than 50 homes and apartments, which amounts to the single largest loss of homes in the area since the Chavez Ravine neighborhood was destroyed. Most of the residents have moved out of their homes under the threat of eminent domain. Read more about 9A

Echo Park Pottery Sale & Animal Rescue Fundraiser

EPHS supporters are invited to attend the annual Echo Park Pottery Sale at Peter Shire Studio, 1850 Echo Park Avenue, on Sunday, Dec. 10 from 12 pm to 5 pm. While you are there, get a holiday picture of your pooch with St. Nick courtesy of the Echo Park Animal Alliance.

Echo Park Holiday Parade: Saturday, Dec. 9 @ 12 pm – 3 pm

Bring your friends and family to Sunset Boulevard in downtown Echo Park to view this year’s holiday parade and cheer the EPHS entry.

Echo Park Lake Walking Tour: Sat. Dec. 9 @ 10 AM

The Echo Park Lake tour will include some of the neighborhood’s most prominent landmarks, such as Jensen’s Recreation Center, Angelus Temple and, of course, the lake. The tour takes about two hours to complete and includes several stairways. Building interiors are not included. Reservations required. The tours are free for EPHS members; we ask a $5 donation of all others. Please see the Walking Tour section www.HistoricEchoPark.org for details.

Aimee Semple’s Parsonage holds Open House on Dec. 15

The Parsonage, the home and office of legendary evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, will hold a community open house on Friday, Dec. 15th from 10 am to 2 pm. The two-story home, located next to Angelus Temple and across the street from the Echo Park Lake Lotus Bed, was recently restored and transformed into a museum dedicated to one Los Angeles’ most significant figures of the early twentieth century.

The Parsonage, which is now known as the Foursquare Heritage Center, was opened to EPHS members earlier this fall as part of a special tour. It is located at the northwest corner of Lemoyne Street and Park Avenue.

If you have any questions, please call us the Heritage Center at 213-989-6969.

Our Lady of Loretto Alum Starts Website

Gerry Gallagher, a 1968 graduate now living in Scotland, has started a website for Our Lady of Loretto almuni at http://www.ollalumni.com/ . He is seeking contacts, photos and ideas to expand the site. “We need representatives from all classes to help build this site and at the least alumni to help spread the word.” You can contact him by email at gerrymci@btinternet.com .

Echo Park Home Tour Draws a Crowd

About 325 people from all over Southern California purchased tickets to take the 2006 Historic Echo Park Home Tour on Sunday, Nov. 11. The visitors came from across Southern California to trek across some our neighborhood’s steep streets and peek into 10 homes located primarily in Elysian Heights. The Echo Park Historical Society would like to thank our home tour sponsors as well as the more than 100 volunteers who made this event possible.(Photos courtesy of Martin Cox)

Unversity High Seeks History Day Judges

University High School needs you to help judge projects at the Fourth Annual University High School History Day on December 6 and 7, 2006. History Day is like a science fair for history research projects that follow rigorous National History Day rules. Teams of two to three judges will interview students and evaluate projects. A deep knowledge of history is not required; students will teach you! New judges will be paired with experienced ones. Judging will take place during three sessions of approximately two hours each per day. Uni High History Day winners will then compete in County, State, and National History Days. Last year Uni student projects placed in four of the five project categories at Los Angeles County History Day, and then represented Los Angeles County at California History Day. We anticipate more winners this year, but the greatest reward is the experience and the knowledge gained by researching, analyzing, and preparing an entry. Previous judges have been very enthusiastic about the entire experience, and this year should be even better. Last year over 300 students participated; this year we are planning for many more, so we really need your help to invite adult friends to join us for one or more judging sessions. If you have any further questions, please email Mark Rhomberg, Uni High History Day Coordinator, mjr8784@lausd.k12.ca.us.