Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
A Los Angeles blog
from Echo Park

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Curbed LA today sets the mighty Echo Park Historical Society in opposition to the entire sea of pink roofs and stucco walls erected in the 1980s. The site cites an LA Times opinion piece in which Mark Kendall argues the tide of public favor is sure to roll in for the Valencia-like developments with all of their stucco. Whose to say he's wrong? Curbed points to EPHS, which long has sought to shoo away the "stucco bird," which has sprayed so many shingled bungalows. Used irresponsibly, it's the SoCal equivalent of aluminum siding.

(For the record, Echo Park has something like seven houses of the faux-Mediterranean, pink roof and stucco walls that Kendall thinks inevitably will become hip.)

(Also for the record, I am on the board of the Echo Park Historical Society but have been involved in none of the stucco politics for which Curbed gives EPHS credit.)

Chicken Corner's two clucks on stucco: A before-and-after photo of any house that was built as wood-sided and then covered with stucco will end any discussion over the merits of stucco. The Thing about stucco is it gets dingy. Soot and black dust land on all of those little pebbly ledges. And, of course, there's the way our own minds' eyes have come to "read" stucco, which is to associate it with cheap, mass production. On the flip side, I am sure that plenty of people who have fled memories of paint-peeling, termite-y looking, dingy clapboard houses view/viewed stuccoed homes with an entirely different set of aesthetic expectations.

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