Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
A Los Angeles blog
from Echo Park

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Losses accrue

Black Monday: Demolition has started on the "site 9A" houses, and my friend Joe emailed me about a bungalow court biting the dust on Lakeshore:

I just drove up Glendale from Beverly and took the veer right onto Lakeshore. There, a few doors down from OK windows , a cool-looking bungalow courtyard complex was being destroyed. It looked like it was built in the 20's or 30's and it's half demolished. What a sin.

If you don't know Echo Park, then you may not know that bungalow courts are one of the distinctive historic features of the neighborhood, and they have helped ensure the conditions of a mixed economy around here. They've also contributed to the sense of cummunal vitality, creating little towns within the town, where neighbors know one another. And they are attractive. Each one lost is a loss for the entire community. That is what we want isn't it? A community? And not just a bunch of new spec houses?

As for 9A. I can barely bring myself even to face it. Fifty old houses. Two hundred-plus people illegally, needlessly "eminent-domained." It's essentially a rape of the neighborhood, by an agency that knows the school is not needed in this area, where campuses are underenrolled and the population is not expected to rise for many many years. It's entirely unclear exactly what the LAUSD hopes to gain by this action. Seems it just couldn't stop itself, like a giant, broken machine with no off button, no wait and think mechanism.

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