Development Freeze

The Los Angeles City Council late last week adopted an 18-month prohibition on demolitions and new construction in the  area surrounding Echo Park Lake.  The restrictions will be in place while the city surveys and researches  all properties and buildings in the area for the possible creation of a historic preservation district. The area covered by the moratorium includes Sunset Boulevard on the north, Echo Park Avenue on the east, the Hollywood Freeway on the south and Bonnie Brae Street on the west.   

Share Your Room 8 Memories

The EPHS has set up a new memory book dedicated to Room 8 Cat, the legendary feline that served as the mascot of Elysian Heights Elementary School during the 1950s and early 1960s. Room 8 was the subject of numerous newspaper and magazine articles over the year as well as a children's book. Tributes to Room 8 Cat can be found on the sidewalk in front of the school and on a mural.
 We also have set up memory books for Pioneer Market and Echo Park Lake. You can post a comment to an existing memory or send us a new one to add to the books.  

A Feline Legend

Hello everyone. This is a great idea. Seems the legend of Room 8 still runs rampant. In 1961 we moved into a home located on Ewing Street. The backyard butted up against the schoolyard fence. It’s no wonder Room 8 would eventually find his way to our backyard door looking for a freebie. I still remember him vividly, his slow walk, gray hair and those big yellow eyes. He’d come by at his leisure and dine with our two family cats and actually stayed around for one full summer.He lived a great life. How many cats can say they had an entire neighborhood at their disposal for food, warmth and companionship. Here is a url that has more information on him and the location of his gravesite. There are also several photos of Room 8 and students taken by photographers during his heyday.

The Pioneer Spirit

I remember I used to live in the apartments located in the Jensen building, my mother would take me shopping to Pioneer market. We would walk the aisles up and down looking for whatever we needed. I would love riding the quarter machines outside.
I also remember those brown paper bags I would cover my books with. All this hapenned 1984-90, I was 9 yrs. old; now I'm 30 and have moved to Hollywood. Every Saturday I take my kids to Echo Park and share with them my stories about Pioneer. Now a Walgreens stands there, when I go inside I can still feel the Pioneer spirit, it's amazing how Pioneer still lives in me.
                                                                                    Frank Olano, Hollywood, CA


Although I don't have a lot of historical data, my grandfather, Issadore Liebow, started the market in the 40's, from what I recollect. When he passed away suddenly at an early age (in approx. 1955), my grandmother, Eva, was forced to sell to the investors, again from fuzzy recollections. However, we always had fond memories of our Grandma Eva telling us about those early days of operating the market, and how much it meant to her and my grandfather.
Robert M. Weller, Oak Park, CA

Artisan & Architect

Historian Charles J. Fisher will discuss the architectural and cultural contributions of Arthur Benton, who helped restore California's missions and designed some of the grandest mansions of Angelino Heights, on Thursday, Feb 15. at 7 pm. This presentation is part of EPHS's quarterly meeting, which is free and open to the public. The meeting will also include updates on the historical society's upcoming events and preservation issues.

Location: Williams Hall at Barlow Hospital, 2000 Stadium Way.

Aimee Semple’s Daughter Dies

    Roberta Semple Salter, the daughter of Echo Park's legendary evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, died of natural causes Jan. 25, the Los Angeles Times reports. Roberta was at one point destined to replace her mother as head of the church but lost out in a power struggle. Click here for her obituary.

Landmark This!

Tired of watching historic sites crushed by the bulldozer’s iron jaw? Do you know about places that are important to the history of your community but the powers-that-be don’t even know exist? On Saturday, February 10, the Los Angeles Conservancy will team up with the California African-American Museum  to present the Landmark THIS! workshop.

The workshop is free.  Learn how you can personally help protect Los Angeles’ architectural and cultural heritage before it’s too late. Click here for details.

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 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.