Learn More About Your Neighborhood and City
This reading list will help you better
understand the history, architecture and cultural heritage of Echo Park and nearby communities that form the historic core
of Los Angeles.
Click here to let us know of other books that should be included this list. Make
sure to include the complete title, author, and a brief description.
McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America*
McPherson's integration of politics with faith set precedents for the religious
right, while her celebrity status, use of spectacle, and mass
media savvy came to define modern evangelicalism.
Americans Prophet: The Life and Work of
Author: Peter Richardson
Description: This biography details the contributions
of one of the nation's most progressive and influential writers and activists during the middle part of the 20th Century.
McWilliams lived in Echo Park during the 1940s in a hilltop home on Alvarado Street.
Americans & the California Dream, 1850-1915
Description: This book explores the emergence of California as a regional civilization in the late nineteenth century.
The Barlow Story
Author: W. Robert Finnegan
Description: Barlow Hospital in Elysian Park was built more than
a century ago to treat respiratory diseases. Its early supporters included some of the city's most prominent families.
Batchelder Tilemaker *
Author: Robert Winter
Description: Batchelder tiles are found in Craftsman and Spanish-style homes
across Los Angeles, including Echo Park. This book provides insights into Batchelder
and his colorful creations.
Bohemian Modern: Living in
Author: Barbara Bestor
Description: One of the country's most renowned modernist architects, Barbara Bestor has fully embraced
the Silverlake & Echo Park "bohemian modern" style. It is a look that favors raw, authentic materials, brilliant
colors, creative space planning, and a natural flow between indoors and outdoors.
Bungalows of the Twenties*
Reprint of rare catalog includes front or front-angled elevations, floor plans
and interior sketches for dozens of authentic bungalow designs, many unique to the California
California: The Great
Description: This work by McWilliams,
who once lived in Echo Park, is a frank assessment of the state of California at the end of its first one hundred years--its history, population, politics, agriculture,
and social concerns.
Chavez Ravine 1949: A Los Angeles Story *
Author: Don Normark
Description: Don Normark captured images of the former village
and its mostly poor, Mexican residents a few years before it was bulldozed to make way for public housing that was never
built. Dodger Stadium is now located on the site.
American Painters on the Verge*
Featured artists include present and former Echo Park
Heights residents Carlos
Almaraz (1949-1989), Frank Romero and Patssi Valdez.
The Death and Life
of Great American Cities *
Description: A direct and fundamentally optimistic indictment
of the shortsightedness and intellectual arrogance that has characterized much of urban planning in this century. The Death and Life of Great American Cities has, since
its first publication in 1961, become the standard against which all endeavors in that field are measured. In prose of outstanding immediacy, Jane Jacobs writes about what makes street safe or unsafe, about what
constitutes a neighborhood and what function it serves within the larger organism of the city.
Down by the
The first on-the-ground guide to checking out sites new and old, and
getting to know the historic
river that runs through greater L.A.
The Great Depression in California *
This volume examines the traumatic political
and social pressures that changed the state during Great
Factories in the Field:
The Story of Migratory Farm Labor in California *
Description: This book was the first broad expose of the social and environmental damage inflicted
by the growth of corporate agriculture in California.
Mae Respicio Koerner
In the 1920s, the first substantial wave of newcomers settled in downtown Los Angeles, eventually migrating to areas just
northwest of downtown, a section of Echo Park now designated by the city as Historic Filipinotown.
Fool's Paradise: A
Carey McWilliams Reader *
A selection of
McWilliams stories on topics ranging from racism to commerce and farm labor to
Glitter, Stucco &
Dumpster Diving … Reflections on building production in the vernacular city *
Description: In this free-wheeling guided tour to the cityscape
of Southern California, from movie star mansions to the alleys of the homeless, urban planner John Chase combines gossip,
anecdote, archival research and tabloid-worthy self-revelation, grounding architecture as a multi-disciplinary art.
This comprehensive history covers the creation, founding and changes to the city’s largest park.
Ghosts of Echo Park *
Author: Ron Emler and Susan Borden
Description: A colorful pictorial history of the neighborhood.
Harwell Hamilton Harris *
Author: Lisa Germany
Description: Harris was prominent modernist architect who lived in
Echo Park during the 1930s.
Core of Los
Curtis C. Roseman, Ruth Wallach, Dace Taube, Linda McCann, Geoffrey DeVerteuil
In the early 20th century, there was no better example of a classic American downtown than Los Angeles. Since World War II, Los Angeles's
Historic Core has been "passively preserved," with most of its historic buildings
Historic Preservation…An Introduction to its History, Principles and Practice *
Description: Covering the gamut of preservation issues
in layman’s language, the philosophy and history of the movement, the role of government and the documentation and designation
of historic properties, it establishes an historic district, sensitive architectural design and planning, as well as preservation
technology and the economics of building rehabilitation.
History of Forgetting: Los Angeles Erasure of Memory *
Author: Norman M. Klein
Description: A look at the urban history of Los Angeles, particularly
the communities near downtown Los Angeles, including Angelino Heights.
Images of America:
Los Angeles' Boyle Heights*
The Japanese American
Transformed through the everyday interactions of its diverse residents as well as by political events occurring at the regional,
national, and international levels, Boyle Heights'
history reflects the challenges and potential of living in a pluralistic society.
Inventing the Dream:
California Through the Progressive Era *
This volume focuses
on the turn-of-the-century years and the emergence of Southern California as a regional culture.
Keystone: the Life
& Clowns of Mack Sennett *
Description: A biography of Silent Film director and producer
Mack Sennett, who is regarded by many as the father of American slap-stick comedy. Sennett’s former studio in the Edendale
section of Echo Park is a city cultural historic monument.
Landmark LA: Historic Cultural Landmarks of Los Angeles *
Author: Jeffrey Herr
Description: A guide to the hundreds of structures and places that are
recognized as officials landmarks by the City of Los Angeles.
Los Angeles, an Architectural Guide
Author: Robert Winter and David Gebhard
Description: A comprehensive guide to architecturally notable structures
across Los Angeles. Several buildings in Echo Park, Angelino Heights and Silverlake are included.
The Los Angeles River: Its Life, Death and Possible Rebirth
Author: Blake Gumprecht
Description: A detailed history of the Los Angeles River and recent
efforts to restore it.
Los Angeles Art
By Suzanne Tarbell Cooper, Amy Ronnebeck Hall, Frank E. Cooper Jr.
Art Deco's growing recognition coincided with the growth of Los Angeles
as the entertainment capital.
Los Angeles in the Thirties *
A seminal study of the architecture of Los Angeles in the
decade when the city came of age.
Material Dreams: Southern
California Through the 1920s *
In this book, Starr looks at how the roaring 1920s transformed Los Angeles into a sprawling metropolis.
The Name Above the
Title: An Autobiography *
The autobiography of film industry giant Frank Capra.
Railway Vol. IV - Western Division *
A detailed look at the trolley lines that served Echo Park
and the surrounding area. Photos and maps of every line.
Phil Dike *
By Janice Lovoos and Gordon T. McClelland
Artist Phil Dike, who lived in Echo Park
during the 1930s and 1940s,used water colors to capture the
California landscape, becoming one of the region's most
prominent painters during the period.
"Richard Neutra and the Search for Modern Architecture: A Biography
Author: Thomas S. Hines
Description: Many of this modernist architect's work can be found
in nearby Silverlake, where he maintained an office.
Description: This book devotes a chapter to Edendale’s Mack Sennett and one of his biggest stars,
Silent Traces *
Explore the traces of early Hollywood hidden within Charlie Chaplin's timeless films. This stunning work of cinematic
archeology combines Chaplin's movie images with archival photographs, vintage maps, and scores of then-and-now comparison
photographs to conjure up the silent-movie era from an entirely new perspective.
Sister Aimee: The
Life of Aimee Semple McPherson
An extensive biography of legendary evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, whose
Angelus Temple sits across from Echo Park Lake.
An Island on the Land *
Description: A look at the personalities, cults and culture of Southern California from the 1920s
through the 1940s.
Stairway Walks in
Bakalinsky and Larry Gordon
Description: Stairway Walks in Los Angeles draws you around and behind the scrim
of exterior Los Angeles and into its heart – the neighborhoods, the source of the energy and diversity that characterize
L.A. – the human-scaled L.A. These neighborhood walks focus on the
public stairways, an urban legacy devoted to pedestrianism. The ever-changing views, the natural history, the architecture and the social life all become part of the
exploration of the stairways.
Multiethnic Neighborhoods in Early Twentieth Century Los Angeles *
This book examines interactions among working-class Mexicans, Chinese,Japanese,
Jews, Italians, African Americans, and others, reminding us that Los Angeles
has been a multiethnic city since its birth.
Decoration…How to Paint Your Nineteenth-Century American
W. Moss and Gail Caskey Winkler
Description: This book provides a foolproof system for
choosing the colors that will best suit the particular style of your house. It
shows you step-by-step how to apply historically accurate paint colors, how to
treat wood, what sort of finish to use, and even the proper brushes to choose, as well as an invaluable section on surface
preparation to provide protection against peeling paint or rust.
Walls & Molding.
. . How to Care for Old and Historic Wood and Plaster
Author: Natalie Shivers
Description: How to care for old and historic wood
and plaster – this book discusses the best methods for removing stains from wood finishes, how to determine the type
of finish on your molding, how to repair the cracks in your plaster cornice. Answers
to hundreds of questions unique to caring for a repairing same as well as describing the history of these key features and
clearly explains how to save and repair them.
A Guide to the Repair
& Restoration of Wood Windows *
Author: Terence Meany
Simple, clear instructions on how to fix inoperable or broken windows and save thousands of dollars in the process. Detailed instructions provided with detail and humor on how to repair, replace or restore almost any window,
regardless of age. There are repair hints and tricks of the trade you won’t
find anywhere else. It is filled with line drawings and practical tips whether
you are a craftsman or a do-it-yourselfer.
William Mulholland and the Rise of Los Angeles *
Author: Catherine Mulholland
Description: The giant system of imported water that Mulholland created
had a huge impact on the development of early Los Angeles.
* This book was donated to the Echo Park and Edendale branch libraries
through the Ron Emler Memorial Book Program.