Northeast Los Angeles was built since the mid-19th century, with several distinct architectural styles represented in both wealthy and working class neighborhoods.
The popularity of Northeast Los Angeles is driven in part by the rich inventory of homes from town to town. Real estate professionals - as well as homebuyers - mention a city and a certain type of home comes to mind. Pasadena homes? California Craftsman. Eagle Rock and Highland Park homes? Mission Revival. Mt. Washington homes? Midcentury Moderns.
Often, homebuyers are looking for a specific architectural style – but it might be wise to consider several in order to broaden one’s opportunities to locate in a specific school district or near certain transportation arteries.
Following are the types of home architecture that predominate the region:
Spanish Colonial Revival – Distinguished by red tile roofs, arched and often large windows, wrought iron balustrades, and colorful tiles in kitchens, baths and on staircases. Advantages include an historical connection to California’s Mission aesthetic, a style that melds well with the climate and lifestyle.
California Craftsman and Bungalows – Distinguished by low-slung lines that welcomed America’s middle class to home ownership in the early part of the 20th century (e.g., out were maid’s quarters of the Victorians and in were larger kitchens and cabinetry to store/display dishes in dining rooms), bungalows and Craftsman homes are quite similar and often described interchangeably. Street-facing gables are the first indication of these homes, found throughout Southern California. Advantages include how the first floors were no longer sectioned by parlors but instead flowed into each other, as more modern heating and cooling systems allowed for that. Verandas were protected from rain by larger roof overhangs, a complement to outdoor living. Many were built side-by-side in places such as Garvanza and Mt. Washington that afford privacy from taller structures looking into their generous garden spaces.
Victorian era – Distinguished by the “painted ladies” built in the latter half of the 19th and first decade of the 20th century, these are some of the original homes of northeast Los Angeles towns that in particular include Highland Park (don’t miss a visit to Heritage Square, an open-air museum of relocated Victorians in Montecito Heights). Advantages include how these houses ooze with character, many with the original ornate woodwork, kitchen pantries, mature landscaping – and some enjoy historical landmark status.
MidCentury Modern – Distinguished by clean lines, mostly at right angles, NELA has some stunning examples of MCM homes by architects who include Jim de Long, a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright. Advantages include how this style of architecture, often featuring large windows, flowing spaces and a connection between the outdoors and interiors, to be perfect for the Los Angeles climate and the vistas that are characteristic of NELA. Where to look? Put Glassell Park in your list of places to consider.
New builds – Distinguished by contemporary features that take advantage of hillside settings in places like Eagle Rock, these are often the homes with the best in technology, including energy efficiencies, solar rooftop arrays, etc. Advantages include all the things that buyers who prefer new construction (i.e., move in with little need to repair or update anything).
There are other styles as well: Streamline Modern and other variations on what is broadly called Art Deco, dot the region. Colonial and Beaux-Arts examples can be found in unexpected places, log cabin-style homes were built in earlier and later decades of the 20th century, small cottages (particularly in Hermon) and Pueblo Revival homes (flat roofs, parapeted walls of stucco, projecting roof beams, rounded corners) often are confused with Spanish/Mediterranean architecture.
A realtor who knows where to find specific styles of California homes is Tracy King. With a quarter-century of experience in NELA, she can identify features in homes that stand the test of time.
With over 30 years experience in helping clients buy and sell homes in Northeast Los Angeles, Tracy King has a depth of real estate knowledge that makes her the go-to for both the first-time home buyer and the seasoned real estate investor. When she's not holding open houses or negotiating offers, Tracy enjoys wine tasting, cooking, or planning her next trip to Paris. If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Northeast Los Angeles, contact the Tracy King Team at 626.827.9795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.