Echo Park lies north of the Hollywood Freeway to the Golden State Freeway from the Glendale Boulevard area on the west to Elysian Park and downtown on the east. Like Silver Lake, Echo Park has its own lake; unlike Silver Lake however, Echo Park Lake can actually be used for recreational purposes. The lake’s exotic lotuses are famous throughout Los Angeles.
Angelino Heights is rarity in any city, but especially so in Los Angeles. Why so special? Where else can one find a neighborhood full of flamboyant Victorian homes of the 1880s, many meticulously restored or in the process thereof, with the dramatic background of the Los Angeles skyline of today? In recognition of this unique heritage, Angelino Heights was long ago designated the very first of the now two dozen or so Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (HPOZs). As such, homeowners may avail themselves of property tax relief under the Mills Act—and they may pass these advantages on to subsequent owners—a big selling plus. The neighborhood has an active HPOZ board that promotes preservation and restoration of the vintage architecture. What homeowners do inside is, for the most part, not subject to design review.
The effect of the HPOZ is palpable at every turn in Angelino Heights: antique streetlights cast a gas-light-like glow along many of the streets, most notably along Carroll Avenue. Carpenter Gothic gingerbread festoons many of the homes. (There are also prime examples of Mission Revival, Craftsman, Spanish, Country English and other early 20th Century styles as well.) Hitching posts and carriage steps at the curbside are not affectations, but rather authentic vestiges of a pre-automobile Los Angeles. Despite its close proximity to downtown, Angelino Heights was actually one of the first suburbs of Los Angeles in an era when Los Angeles had just grown large enough to adopt house numbers. The feel of yesterday is so strong in Angelino Heights that the neighborhood is a perennial favorite of film crews. Per square foot, Angelino Heights has some of the best buys in the area.
Elysian Heights is also known as Echo Park Hills. In many ways, Elysian Heights resembles some areas of Silver Lake: dramatic hillsides with equally dramatic home sites and views of the basin to the ocean and to downtown. The housing stock is eclectic with a strong representation of pre-World War II homes in varied revival styles. Most homes have small, well-established gardens. For buyers who desire “a home in the hills”, Elysian Heights is an excellent value, especially for first-time buyers. For this reason, Elysian Heights is a favorite of artists and young couples who contribute to the lively mix of style and energy found in this neighborhood.