Classic Echo Park Bungalow Threatened
As the groundbreaking for a new live-work affordable
housing project nears,efforts have ramped up in recent weeks to save the 1911 bungalow on the large, otherwise vacant lot
at Delta Street and Echo Park Avenue known as Chicken Corner.
In October, Echo Park Historical Society President
Jesus Sanchez and Vice President Kevin Kuzma met with representatives of Insite Development and their architectural firm Archeon
in an attempt to persuade the developers to retain the house on its
current site. Because
the house is not a registered Los Angeles landmark,the developer is not required make any effort to retain or relocate it. It is the argument of the EPHS that while the house lacks official recognition,it may be eligible for landmark status. Regardless
of landmark status, however, most who have seen the interior agree that the house warrants preservation as a surprisingly
intact example of Echo Park’s craftsman bungalows.
In an attempt to help persuade Insite of the bungalow’s
potential, property owner Alina Sanchez Myklebust assisted the EPHS’s effort by giving a tour of two similar Alvarado
bungalows that are undergoing renovation and restoration. Featuring similar built-ins,
pocket doors and millwork, these homes were a great "before and after" demonstration of the home’s value.
Despite these efforts, however, Insite has expressed little
support for retaining the house on its site of 93 years. So, parallel efforts have been underway to find a lot owner or interested
developer to relocate the house.
Dozens of interested parties responded to our online postings
requesting additional information or tours of the house. Unfortunately, only
a handful of these interested parties owned or knew of potential lots for the house, and after conducting inspections and
meeting with lot owners from as far away as Sunland-Tujunga, it appears at this point that there are only a few possibilities
for the house. The first potential developer is a project manager for Insite’s
construction firm. Her construction experience and affiliation with Insite would be an asset during the complicated process of relocating and rehabilitating the house
on its new, yet undetermined site.
Another potential taker, Jeff Kuzma, an Angeleno Heights resident
and brother of EPHS VP Kevin Kuzma, has proposed moving the house to one of the available lots on Edgeware Road near Carroll
Avenue in Angeleno Heights. These lots are currently owned by Angeleno Heights residents Murray Burns and Jim Praeger who purchased them early this year from a developer who had proposed building a dense condominium development
on the site.
Any possible relocation would have a very tight timeline. Insite has stated their desire to clear the lot and begin construction by early February. In the event that no relocation plan is successful, Insite has stated their interest in offering salvage from the house to the local community.
The Echo Park Historical Society will continue to work with Insite
in finding the best, least-destructive option for this representative Echo Park bungalow.