Proposed Demolition Of Echo Park Bungalow Court Spurs Neighborhood Activism, Council Action


CITY HALL -- Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell is encouraging the Echo Park community and historic preservationists to attend a City Planning Commission meeting on Thursday regarding a cultural historic monument status application for a set of pre-World War II bungalows proposed for demolition.

The Cultural Heritage Commission will hear the item regarding 1456 Echo Park Avenue on Thursday, January 19, 10 a.m., at Los Angeles City Hall, 200 N Spring Street, room 1010, Los Angeles, 90012. The Office of Historic Resource staff is recommending the Commission take the nomination for 1456 Echo Park Avenue under consideration for designation as a Cultural Historic landmark.  

News of the development project broke last month. According to City records, an application filed by the developer of 1456 Echo Park Avenue calls for the construction of 12 single-family homes under the city’s small-lot development ordinance.

“The proposal to demolish this piece of Echo Park history flies in the face of our preservation efforts, as well as my work to revise the City’s Small Lot Subdivision ordinance,” said Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell. “In addition, the proposal does not align with my goals to maintain the historic character of our Echo Park neighborhood.  I will continue to work with the residents of 1456 Echo Park Avenue to preserve this property, and do my best to make sure they are protected under their rights as renters.”  

The project, proposed by Bixel House LLC, would require the demolition of seven apartments and the removal of nearly 4,000 cubic feet of earth.  Resident Lena Kouyoumdjian is spearheading efforts for the historic cultural monument status.

“I am doing this because I think the bungalows are a rich piece of Echo Park history,” said Kouyoumdjian. “It’s important to make sure development does not come at the cost of neighborhood character.”

The Councilmember supports the residents and their efforts to seek Historic Cultural Monument status for the bungalows. He also plans on introducing a series of motions in the coming days that will address the inconsistent zoning in this area of Echo Park Avenue, and also direct staff to report on preservation recommendations to bolster the protections available to these threatened bungalow courts.

During his first term in office, Councilmember O’Farrell has worked with local communities to designate five additional Historic Cultural Landmarks in the 13th District; a 104-year old Craftsman-style home in Silver Lake; the Black Cat Tavern, also in Silver Lake, birthplace of the LGBT movement; the Hollywood Palladium and the Earl Carroll Theatre, two Streamline Moderne Art Deco entertainment venues; and the Tom of Finland House in Echo Park, home of the world-renowned artist with the same moniker.