Altivo Way

The 1500 block east of Echo Park Ave. was originally called Terrace Drive and then Vestal Drive. Its current name was adopted in 1925.

1565 Altivo: This  home c.1910 served as the residence of Rev. Thomas Marshall, rector of St. Athanasius Episcopal Church until 1918. The house has been home to actor John Huston, Stanton Avery, inventor of Avery adhesives, and opera star Marilyn Horn and her husband, sypmhony conductor Henry Lewis.

1559 Altivo: Influential Los Angeles bookseller Jake Zeitlin lived here in the early 1930s.

 

Alvarado Street

2041 Alvarado: Carey McWilliams, a nationally recognized writer, attorney and  political and social activist, lived here during the 1940s and owned the property until his death. McWilliams’ work inspired the screenplay for the movie “Chinatown.”

 

Avon Park Terrace

1401 Avon Park: The nearly century-old compound at 1401 Avon Park Ter. was built for the family of Beulah and H. Gale Atwater, a dentist. The Atwaters  were civic activists and played an early role in the building of the Hollywood Bowl.

1431 Avon Park: The Pueblo-style Atwater Bungalows are the work of architect Robert-Stacy Judd.

 

Curran Street

Named after the family of William and Margaret Curran,  who built the house at 1562 Curran St. in about 1905.

1557 Curran: This house was moved to its current location from downtown Los Angeles in 1908 by house mover Arthur L. Klock, whose family took up residence in the Victorian house. The Klocks numerous parcels in the area and moved several homes, including 1571and probably 1572 Curran.

 

Echo Park Avenue

The two-mile long avenue courses through the heart of the neighborhood and near many of its historic treasures. One of Echo Park’s pioneer developers, Thomas Kelley, and other area investors paid to create a route to connect Elysian Heights in the north with the emerging trolley and horse lines near what is Sunset Boulevard and Bellevue Avenue. Local property investors backed the opening of a horse-drawn car up Echo Park Road, as it was known during the turn of the 20th century, in 1889. Download Echo Park Ave. history between Curran St. and Land St.

1004 Echo Park Ave:  now a private office building, is the former Echo Park Club House, which once sat where the current Echo Park Recreation Center is now located. The Craftsman-style Club House building   is the oldest surviving city recreation center.

1422 Echo Park Ave: Architect Nathan Black and developer George L McCallister built the Spanish-Colonial style McCallister Manor  in 1932. The apartment complex, once topped by a neon sign bearing its name,  is one of numerous examples cited in the 1982 book “Courtyard Housing in Los Angeles,” one of the first books devoted to the study of this unique style of regional residential architecture.   “Despite the existence of a small fountain, this unusual courtyard is carried out like a public narrow street of dimensions and light quality that are intensely Mediterranean,” said the authors of Courtyard Housing.  The authors  nicknamed the complex the “Big Mama Court”  in “honor of its tenacious manager.”

2240 Echo Park Ave: The volunteer fire department stored its hand-pulled cart here  in the shed next to the former Zeller’s Grocery store.

2351 Echo Park Ave: This 1913 Craftsman-style apartment building, which has been known as “Seven Gables” or Pagoda House,” was built for dentist Harry Bates and his wife by his parents as a wedding present.  The building was enlarged one unit at a time.

2414 Echo Park Ave:  Home of newspaper columnist Estelle Lawton Lindsay, who in 1915 became the first woman elected to the  Los Angeles City Council.

2412 Echo Park Ave:  Built in 1909 originally as a $100 “tent house,” one of the many temporary homes built in the area during the period.

2246 Echo Park Ave: Home of activist Raphael Konigsberg whose involvement in communist and progressive causes lead the California Bar Assoc. to prevent him from becoming a practicing attorney during the early 1950s. It took more than 20 years of legal battles before Konigsberg was admitted to the state bar.

 

Edgeware Road

945 W. Edgeware: The home of artist and children’s book author Leo Politi.

 

El Moran Street

2006 El Moran:  Acclaimed wood engraver Paul H. Landacre and his wife Margaret lived here for more than 30 years. The house was declared a city cultural historic monument in 2006.

 

Fargo Street

This is one of the steepest streets in Los Angeles and is the site of an annual bicycle endurance contest.

 

Laguna Avenue

1020 Laguna: Legendary rock musicians Jackson Browne, Glenn Fry and J.D. Souther lived in this apartment building during the early 1970s when the area attracted many up and coming musicians and artists.  “J.D. and I shared a $60-a-month, one-room apartment-a couch and kind of a bed-with a curtain in front of it,” said Fry in an interview with rock journalist Cameron Crowe. “Right underneath us in an even smaller studio apartment was Jackson. He had his piano and guitars down there.”

 

Laveta Terrace

The grand stairway leading up from Sunset Boulevard, a broad street and a partial ban on barns were some of the selling points of this section of Laveta Terrace,  which developer Alex Culver  called “Sunset Boulevard Heights.” In large newspaper ads in 1905, “Sunset Boulevard Heights” was touted  as commanding superb views  and being only five minutes from the central Los Angeles via trolley car. Free holiday excursions were available.  Utility poles were located at the back of the lots so as not to “mar the beauty of Laveta Terrace,” the Los Angeles Times ad reads. “The elevation of this beautiful living place insures coolness in the summer and warmth during the winter season.” Lots were priced between $1,000 to $1,500 in 1905.

 

Lemoyne Street

Apparently named after William Le Moyne Wills, a Los Angeles surgeon, school board member and prominent member of Los Angeles society at the turn of the 20th century. He was also one of the five men whose land holdings became the park around Echo Park Lake. He was also an early supporter of the establishment of Barlow Hospital on the edge of Elysian Park.  His sister, Francis “Fanny” Wills, lived in the family mansion atop Bunker Hill. She played an instrumental role in saving the Echo Park Club House. Described as a “dapper type” in newspaper articles,  Dr. Wills, a lover or roses,  was said to have been known “in pioneer days as ‘the doctor who always carries a rose in his mouth,”’ according to his obituary. He died at age 80 in December 1933 in his home in San Marino.

 

Liberty Street

1310 Liberty: Golden West Christian Church, which was originally known as Alvarado Street Church of Christ, began as a storefront church in 1906 near the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Alvarado Street. The current church building was constructed in 1928

 

McDuff Street

1435 McDuff:  Built in (1889), this  was the residence of Cono and Antonia Angona when the area north of Sunset Boulevard was still primarily grass or farmland. The family made wine here from 1900-1910, importing grapes from the San Fernando Valley.

 

Morton Avenue

Apparently named after either Palmer Morton Scott or Elizabeth Morton Scott or both. The property  owners were active in land sales in the 1890s and and early 1900s in the area northeast of Echo Park and Scott Avenues. The same area was the site of the “E.  Morton Scott” tract. It’s not clear whether the two were a married couple or siblings. In a 1901,  “Mrs. E. Morton Scott” advertised acre lots for sale in her tract—described as being in the “frostless belt’’—for $200 a piece “on the installment plan.” Water was said to be located within 20 feet of the surface street cars passed the tract.

1627 Morton: The Victorian-style house (1889) was the home of Grace Simons (1901-1985), a local activist who lead the fight to prevent the construction of giant convention center and acres of parking lots in the heart of Elysian Park. She is a founder of the Citizens Committee to Save Elysian Park.

Corner of Morton and Parmer avenues:   The Providence Congregational Church (1914) at the was built by many of its own members and its leaders,  Rev. John H. Cooper and pastor A.E. Reinschmidt.  A newspaper account of the first formal Sunday morning service made note of the “calloused hands” of  Rev.  Cooper that spoke of “his incessant labor for the church.”

 

Scott Avenue

Apparently named after either Palmer Morton Scott or Elizabeth Morton Scott or both. The property  owners were active in land sales in the 1890s and and early 1900s in the area northeast of Echo Park and Scott Avenues.  The same area was the site of the “E.  Morton Scott” tract. It’s not clear whether the two were a married couple or siblings.  In a 1901,  “Mrs. E. Morton Scott” advertised acre lots for sale in her tract—described as being in the “frostless belt’’—for $200 a piece “on the installment plan.” Water was said to be located within 20 feet of the surface street cars passed the tract.

 

Sunset Boulevard

1572 Sunset: The Bank of America branch has operated from this corner since 1930.

 

Sutherland Street

1456 Sutherland: St. Andrew’s church is part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The church was dedicated in December 1957 by Ukrainian immigrants, many of whom had been refugees who fled their country during World War II, according to a Los Angeles Times articles in the same year. The stories said the refugees had been persecuted by the Nazis and Russian Communists. The congregation of 85 families had been worshipping in a rented hall in another section of   Echo Park before they bought an “outdated” mansion  on Sutherland  Street. They raised $20,000 to renovate and remodel the home into a   church, doing much of the work themselves. The current structure you  see with elaborate domes was actually built in the late 1980s

 

Valentine Street

2123 Valentine: The Ross House was designed by modernist architect Raphael Sorriano and built in 1938. The International Style Modern design is regarded as one of his best works, according to “Architecture in Los Angeles.” The home was later occupied by Oscar nominated movie art director Albert Nozaki.

 

Neighborhood Boundaries

Echo Park is a neighborhood in the City of Los Angeles and has no official boundaries or borders. The construction of the 101 freeway in the 1950s and the 2 Freeway also cut off large section of the neighborhood on the south and west. However, historically, speaking, here are some general boundaries:

Western Boundary: Benton Way or Waterloo Street. – Glendale Blvd. – Allesandro St.

Northern Boundary: Riverside Drive

Eastern Boundary: Border with Elysian Park (north of Sunset Blvd), Boylston St. (south of Sunset Blvd.)

Southern Boundary: Beverly Boulevard