Join us on Friday for the Jensen’s sign relighting!

Photo Courtesy Vista Investment Group

Please join us on Friday, October 27  to watch and celebrate the relighting of the historic sign at the top of the landmark Jensen’s Recreation Center.  (Please see the updated ceremony schedule at the bottom of this post)

The 28-foot-high animated rooftop sign made up of 1,300 red, green and white light bulbs depicts a bowler throwing a strike. It is believed to be the only sign of this type and size remaining in the United States.

The Echo Park Historical Society and spent several years working with local groups, like the Echo Park Neighborhood Council, and national organizations, such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, to raise support and funds to repair and relight the sign.

Property owner Vista Investment Group eventually took on and completed the costly and daunting task to preserve this unique historic resource. The repair of the sign is part of Vista’s multimillion-dollar renovation program that includes the restoration of the building’s original brick façade, new entrance and lobby, refinishing of the original hardwood floors and renovation of unit interiors.

The sign went dark for several decades when it was restored and relighted in 1997 through a city grant. That fix proved temporary, however, and the sign went dark again a few years later.

Jensen’s Recreation Center, located at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Logan Street,  was built by the late Henry Christian Jensen in 1924. It was one of several buildings constructed by Jensen in the course of a decade. Jensen was a German immigrant that made his fortune making bricks for the rapidly growing city of early 20th century Los Angeles. His business ventures often combined shopping and entertainment. he building was declared Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument No. 652 in 1998.

Other Jensen ventures include Jensen’s Theatorium in Echo Park, now a grocery store; He also built Jensen’s Raymond Theater in Pasadena, and Jensen’s Melrose Theater in East Hollywood. The Palace Grand Theater and Shops in Glendale was demolished to make way for new development.

Originally, the three-story Jensen Recreation Center had a row of shops, a bowling alley, and a pool hall at street level, and 46 apartments on the top two levels.

The relighting ceremony on Friday, Oct. 27 will begin at 5 pm and the flipping of a giant light switch to activate the sign scheduled for 6 pm.

Walking Tours & Historic Photos: Join us this weekend at the 37th Annual Lotus Festival

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The Echo Park Historical Society will be at Echo Park Lake this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, July 15 & July 16, for the 37th Annual Lotus Festival.

Make sure to stop by our booth near the lotus bed to view our display of historic photos and meet fellow members. (If you would like volunteer at the booth, please contact us)

In addition to displaying historic photos at the lake, the EPHS will also be hosting walking tours during Lotus Festival Weekend:

ECHO PARK LAKE WALKING TOUR

Lady of the Lake

Lady of the Lake

TOUR SCHEDULE

Saturday, July 15 at 10 am

Saturday, July 15 at 1 pm

Sunday, July 16 at 10 am

The Echo Park Lake Walking Tour includes the origins of the Echo Park Lake, the edge of Angelino Heights, site of the American Institute of Mentalism and Angelus Temple.  We will talk about the recent renovations of Echo Park Lake.  This is a slightly strenuous tour with three Echo Park staircases.  Building interiors are not included.

Free for members, $5.00 for non-members. To find out where to start the tour, please RSVP to ephs@historicechopark.org.  Please include the date and time of the tour you would like to join as well as the number of people in your group.

Sister Aimee Slept Here: A Guided Tour of The Parsonage of Aimee Semple McPherson

Join us on Monday, May 15 at  7 pm  for our quarterly meeting and a guided tour of The Parsonage of Aimee Semple McPherson at 1801 Park Avenue.

Located next to Angelus Temple and across from Echo Park Lake, the home is restored with original furniture, photographs, props, personal artifacts and displays. The wonders of modern media tools have transformed memories and memorabilia into a trip back in time, with each room unveiling a portion of the life of Sister McPherson. The parsonage recaptures an extraordinary period of American history and culture—and it reminds us of our Foursquare heritage and call that still continues today.

Learn about the remarkable life and ministry of Aimee Semple McPherson, the world-famous evangelist and founder of The Foursquare Church.

Members RSVP via email ephs@historicechopark.org by Friday, May 12.

What can you do preserve Los Angeles and Echo Park? Find out this week

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In conjunction with the Echo Park Improvement Association,  The Echo Park Historical Society has invited special guest Ken Bernstein of the City of Los Angeles Department of Historic Resources to discuss preservation efforts during a meeting on Thursday, Jan. 5 at 7 pm at Williams Hall at Barlow Hospital, 2000 Stadium Way.

 Mr. Bernstein will discuss the work that the department does and how community members can participate in preserving historic sites and landmarks.  The presentation will be followed by a moderated Questions & Answers session.

What Can You Do To Preserve Los Angeles?

Thursday, January 5, 2016 @ 7pm
Williams Hall, Barlow Hospital
2000 Stadium Way

Walking Tours & Historic Photos: Join us this weekend at the Echo Park Lotus Festival

Echo-Park-Lotus-blooming-July-2015-6-25-2015-4-49-15-PM

The Echo Park Historical Society will be at Echo Park Lake this Saturday and Sunday, July 9 & July 10, for the 36th Annual Lotus Festival.

Make sure to stop by our booth near the lotus bed to view our display of historic photos and meet fellow members.

Also, please join us for Echo Park Lake Walking Tours during the festival. The tour includes a discussion of the origins of Echo Park Lake, a tour of the edge of Angeleno Heights, the site of the American Institute of Mentalism and Angelus Temple. We also talk about the recent renovations of Echo Park Lake. Here’s the tour schedule:

  • Saturday, July 9: 10 am & 1 pm
  • Sunday, July 10:  12 pm &  2 pm  

The tours are free for EPHS members and $5.00 for non-members. The walking tours begin at the Echo Park Historical Society booth located inside the Lotus Festival. To RSVP email ephs@historicechopark.org. Please include the number of people in your reservation.

Lady of the Lake

Lady of the Lake

Enjoy a slice of Preservation Pizza at the Echo Park History Happy Hour!

pizza

History Happy Hour / Quarterly Meeting, 5-7 pm on Tuesday, April 19

Join the Echo Park Historical Society for a History Happy Hour as its Quarterly Meeting at Mohawk Bend, 2141 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026, 5 to 7 pm on Tuesday, April 19.

Help us get a piece of the pie! Our friends at Mohawk Bend will feature Preservation Pizza during the month of April! $4 of every pie sold benefits The Echo Park Historical Society.  $4 of every Preservation Pizza sold at Mohawk Bend in the month of April will benefit The Echo Park Historical Society!

Try the Preservation Pizza at Mohawk Bend during April and help us raise $4 from every pie sold! This pizza features cannellini bean puree, almond ricotta, charred radicchio, grilled onion, arugula, fresh radicchio and balsamic dressing.

Order the Preservation Pizza at @mohawkla during April & they’ll donate $4 to us! Support #EchoPark! RSVP  ephs@historicechopark.org.

See you at the lake on Saturday night for “Double Indemnity”

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The Echo Park Historical Society is one of the sponsors of this year’s Echo Park Film Series, which will screen  movies outdoors at Echo Park Lake.  The film classic “Double Indemnity,” which features some vintage L.A. scenery, will screen this Saturday, Sept. 26 at 7 pm. The movie, which is free,  will be screened in the northwest corner of the lake near Glendale Boulevard and Park Avenue.