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Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023

Echo Park Homes Set to be Preserved as Historic Monument after Developer Filed Plans for Demolition

Seven pre-World War II bungalows in Echo Park are set to be preserved as a historic monument, preventing L.A. developer Bixel House from demolishing them to build 12 small-lot subdivision single-family homes.

The City Council approved the nomination on Tuesday with a 10-0 vote, according to public records. There is now a 30-day window to appeal the decision, after which the historic monument status would go into effect.

Property-owner Bixel House filed plans with the city in November to demolish the one-story, 750-square-foot units at 1450-1456 Echo Park Ave. That prompted resident Lena Kouyoumdjian, who lives in one of the homes, to apply for historic monument status. The proposal garnered the support of neighbors and L.A. City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell.

“Bungalow Courts are the City’s signature multi-family housing, and I look forward to working with the community on further updates to City codes that strike a balance and preserve the rich architectural identity in the 13th District while encouraging reasonable growth and development,” O’Farrell said in a statement to the Business Journal.

Kouyoumdjian said she appreciates the “elegance and beauty” of the homes, which are situated around a courtyard and receive plenty of natural light.

“I’m still holding my breath a little bit until the 30 days over,” she said. “I see them as such an asset to Echo Park. Even if I don’t end up living there, I would like to see them preserved.”

According to an L.A. Planning Commission report, the Mediterranean Revival-style bungalow court was built for Louis Wurfl in 1922. Wurfl worked in the steel industry and as a prop master for MGM Studios, constructing sets for movies such as “The Wizard of Oz.”

Residential real estate reporter Helen Zhao can be reached at hzhao@labusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @zhaomeow.

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