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Curbed LA - All Love where you live

  • Expo Line might get signal prioritization
    by Alissa Walker on October 14, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    Councilmember Mike Bonin wants the city to give signal priority for trains, meaning cars would be held at intersections as trains are passing through. | Los Angeles Times via Getty Images Frequency and reliability have become an issue on the Expo Line due to service cuts Travel times on the Expo Line could decrease by 15 percent if a new plan is approved that would give light-rail trains priority at intersections shared with vehicular traffic. The plan, which comes in the form of a motion filed last week by Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, notes that the train travels through 22 street-level signals on its journey from Downtown LA to Santa Monica, which can significantly delay trips for passengers. The 15-mile trip is supposed to take 47 minutes, but often takes longer. “The success of our transit system depends on improving speed, frequency, and reliability, particularly where our rail and bus lines are affected by traffic congestion on city streets,” the motion reads. Frequency and reliability have become an issue on the Expo Line due to service cuts that riders said have led to packed cars and long waits between trains. Metro added additional service during peak hours to address overcrowding concerns. But even adding more trains doesn’t necessarily mean transit riders will get prioritized over cars. When trains get even a little bit behind schedule, they can get slowed down dramatically by red lights, especially through Downtown, where the Expo Line travels through the most non-gated intersections. Long Beach implemented signal prioritization for trains as part of the Blue Line improvements, which, when the line is reopened completely, is expected to shorten travel times by 10 minutes. The decision whether to prioritize cars over trains is left up to the cities, meaning that for the Expo Line, it’s LA’s transportation department, not Metro, that will have the final say for how fast trains can travel within city limits. Bonin’s motion is actually proposing a two-part solution to the problem. The first is ordering the city to give signal priority for trains making street-level crossings, meaning that cars would be held at intersections as trains are passing through. The second is asking the city to take 60 days to examine how LA’s traffic control system, known as ATSAC, could become more responsive for people who are walking, biking, or taking transit. Longterm solutions for the second item might mean the addition of bike-only traffic signals, like the ones in place on some protected bikeways, or signal prioritization across other forms of transit, which are already used for some rapid bus routes.

  • Ravishing 1920s Moorish Revival in the Los Feliz Oaks asking $5.5M
    by Pauline O'Connor on October 14, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    The hilltop home was one of the first built in the neighborhood. | Photo by Harrison Schaaf, courtesy of Jenna Cooper/Compass Rock the casbah! Less than a square mile in size, the Griffith Park-adjacent enclave known as the Los Feliz Oaks is quite a treasure trove of notable architecture. Sprinkled throughout its curving, hilly streets are fantastic examples of Spanish Colonial, Italianate, Greek, English Tudor, Craftsman, Pre-Columbian, and International Modern-style residences. Now available in an off-market listing is one of the first homes built in the tract, a 1924 Moorish Revival. Located at 2200 Mountain Oak Drive, a few doors down from the landmark Arzner-Morgan Residence, the home was built for a well-to-do family from Chicago, according to the Los Feliz Improvement Association’s historical survey. While the hillside property has been around for nearly a century, its Hollywood-glam interior is of very recent vintage, having undergone a thorough revamp overseen by Alexander Design. Measuring 4,042 square feet, it features four bedrooms, three and a half baths, concrete, hardwood, and tile floors, beamed ceilings, wrought iron details, a hand-molded plaster fireplace, built-ins, ample walls of glass, and high-end finishes throughout. Exterior spaces include a roof deck with built-in furniture and endless views, a newly designed spa and outdoor dining area, and terraced gardens. On an 8,382-square-foot lot, it’s offered with an asking price of $5.5 million. Jenna Cooper of Compass holds the listing. Tessa Neustadt Slender wrought iron railings provide understated drama to the two-story entry foyer’s staircase.Tessa Neustadt The living room features beamed ceilings, built-in niches, and walls of glass.Tessa Neustadt The fireplace surround is hand-molded plaster. Tessa Neustadt The open-plan kitchen features custom cabinetry outfitted with brass hardware from Liz’s Antique Hardware, a walnut center island, and integrated Thermador appliances. Tessa Neustadt Tessa Neustadt The home has four bedrooms and three and a half baths.Tessa Neustadt Virtually Here Studios The rooftop deck serves up spectacular views.Harrison Schaaf The 4,042-square-foot residence has multiple cascading terraces.

  • Here’s what $480K buys in Los Angeles
    by Jenna Chandler on October 14, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Options include two fixer-uppers and two finished condos Via Ken Conant, Re/Max Estate Properties City Terrace This week kicks off with a diamond in the very rough. The Spanish-style with a tower could be restored to its 1920 glory, but it will take a brave buyer. The listing notes to “enter at your own risk,” due to cracks, collapsed stairs, and uneven floors. A visionary bold enough to tackle the project will likely see the potential in the 2,634-square-foot residence’s size and its former charm, including a curvaceous breakfast nook, living room with a barrel ceiling and picture window with sweeping views, and wrought iron detailing on the exterior. In all, it holds four bedrooms and two baths across two levels on a 5,708-square-foot lot. It’s accepting back-up offers at $499,000. Photos by Charmaine David, courtesy of Tracy Do Downtown Here’s a pad that’s already well-polished. The move-in ready condo has one bedroom and one bathroom in 700 square feet. Features include tall ceilings, new laminate floors, large windows, and an open floor plan with a contemporary kitchen outfitted with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and an island. The unit also has central heat and air, in-unit washer and dryer, and one parking space. Counted among the building amenities are a 24/7 doorman, gym, and courtyard. Located at Sixth and Hope streets, the asking price has been reduced to $488,000. HOA dues will set you back $608 per month. Via Capital Real Estate San Pedro Here’s another fixer. The turn-of-the-century residence is nearly 120 years old and has Craftsman and Victorian-style influences. It still has its original hardwood floors, along with period built-ins and moldings. Coming in at 1,710 square feet, it contains one bedroom and two bathrooms, but there’s an attic that could be used as living space as well. With a front porch and curb appeal, it sits on a 4,500-square-foot lot with R2 zoning. It’s listed at $480,000. Via K & K Realty Group, Inc. Vermont Knolls In South LA, on a street populated with pretty Spanish-style homes, this three-bedroom dwelling has a slightly more modern look on the exterior. Inside, the living room is a stunner, with arched nooks, wrought-iron light fixtures, a striking fireplace with tile detailing, and exposed beams. The lone bathroom retains its original purple tilework. Upgrades include refinished hardwood floors, new windows, new roof, and new plumbing. The 1,427-square-foot home is positioned on a lot measuring 4,078 square feet; it also holds a detached two-car garage. The asking price is $490,000. Via Keller Williams Pasadena This newly remodeled condo comes in at 1,135 square feet, holding two bedrooms and two bathrooms—including a master suite with a walk-in closet—plus a generously-sized covered balcony. There’s plenty of room in the kitchen and living room areas for a little office set-up, additional pantry storage, and a dining table. Located off Del Mar and Sierra Madre boulevards in a complex constructed in the 1970s, it’s about 1.5 miles to the Gold Line’s Allen Station, Pasadena Pizza Co., and Jameson Brown Coffee Roasters and less than 2 miles from the Huntington Library and Gardens. It’s listed at $490,000, with monthly HOA fees of $410.

  • Unbungling a classic California bungalow
    by Samantha Weiss Hills on October 14, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    Architects do some back and body work to create a photographer duo’s indoor-outdoor haven Something as simple as a doorknob—or the placement of a light switch—is all it takes to change someone’s perspective. That was the case for photographers Ivan Feign and Kat Phillips when they brought in Toni Lewis and Marc Schoeplein of Lewis Schoeplein Architects to overhaul the design of their circa-1940 Mar Vista bungalow. When first-time homebuyers Feign and Phillips went searching for a home in spring 2016, they wanted to stay on the west side of the city. The couple was hoping to uncover a fixer-upper that they could make their own, so when they saw the Mar Vista house, a well-built structure rife with poor remodel choices on the back, they knew they had a good option on their hands. Phillips was particularly interested. The living room sofa—custom from Sofa Club—and the West Elm Terrace coffee table perch on a Sun-Kissed Landscape rug, also from West Elm. The interiors throughout, except for the master bedroom, are painted Dunn Edwards Whisper. “She thought this house had potential, but it was also livable at the time, so we didn’t have to immediately get on with it,” Feign explains. “We moved in for five months before we ended up going ahead and getting it ready to renovate.” The house afforded the couple a partly suburban lifestyle, yard and all, along with access to the rest of the city. “You’re still about 30 minutes away from everything because we’re close to the 405 and the 10,” Feign says. They closed on the house in March 2016 and began searching for someone to help them reimagine the space. They were particularly drawn to kitchen design that incorporated bright white and color accents, since Feign needed a great place to photograph for clients, many of which are food-related. After a few lackluster walkthroughs with other firms, they were delighted with Lewis and Schoeplein’s energy and enthusiasm for the project. The kitchen is made up of a mix of Ikea and custom cabinets, which are finished with painted doors and custom natural teak end panels. The countertops are Caesarstone Blizzard, and the cheerful tile is Mutina Tex. “Everything is bright, sunny, and happy,” says Lewis. “We felt a really different energy from Toni and Marc; they were genuinely interested and excited about working on this project,” says Feign. They also shared elements of Feign and Phillips’s vision for the house even before they spoke in detail about the project. As soon as they walked in, for example, the architects saw the opportunity to rearrange the flow from room to room—a change Feign and Phillips had also been discussing. Lewis Schoeplein’s use of color was another aspect of the practice that drew Feign and Phillips to their work. They didn’t want the space to read as cold with too much white, so they chose to use generous swaths of color in the most frequently used rooms, including the kitchen and bathrooms. They were also excited by the firm’s use of large windows and sliding doors. “We really wanted that indoor-outdoor experience,” Feign says. In the guest bathroom, Mutina Aland tiles cover the walls. The open shower has fixtures from Kallista and an AquaTeak Shield teak shower bench. The custom cabinets are in Dunn Edwards paint, and countertops are Caesarstone Organic White. Deep blue Electra Grande Neptune tile covers the floors and the wall behind the Hydro Systems tub in the master bathroom. The bathroom fixtures are from Kallista. Even though Feign and Phillips moved to North Carolina for six months at the start of the renovation, in what Feign calls their “East Coast adventure,” permitting was slow going. That meant they returned to Los Angeles right as construction began, and they took up residence in a small nearby apartment until it was finished. When Lewis and Schoeplein first visited the home, they knew immediately that they were not going to be able to save the back. “There was this concept of, ‘Could we just remodel it?’ and I walked in the door and said ‘I’m really sorry, but we have to tear down the whole back of the house,’” Lewis says. The decision was advantageous: It allowed for the reconfiguration of the front part of the house, primarily relocating the landlocked kitchen to open up onto the backyard, the gravel courtyard, and a new deck, which Lewis says is the best part of the property because of the view. A row of sliding doors off the kitchen, down a hallway, and from the master bedroom open up to the back, framing the courtyard. The indoor-outdoor space features a yellow Fermob table and chairs and a West Elm loveseat under a Tech Lighting Konial 5 sconce. The Cembrit Cembonit cement boards are in 921 Flint, 967 Granit, and 922 Graphite.Removing the back part of the house also afforded the opportunity to build an addition with some height, making it feel like it was its “own animal, springing off of the roof lines of the old house,” says Lewis. Since the intervention they were making was more contemporary than period, the architects and homeowners agreed to alter the exterior of the bungalow, cladding most of it in tricolor concrete board and repainting the stucco to match. “What’s great about the concrete board is that it’s no maintenance, no fuss, so once it’s up there they never have to deal with it again,” Lewis says. Only the living room and dining room were left untouched, and a row of sliding doors down a hallway now opens up to the back, framing the courtyard in glass. The deck, Lewis says, provides a more intimate space if it’s just Feign and Phillips hanging out, and a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor living. The addition is home to a master bedroom and bathroom, with floor-to-ceiling windows, angled ceilings, and an additional private deck. Lewis says they wanted to “incorporate color wherever we could in splashes,” which is evident in the cheery yellow kitchen backsplash, the master bathroom’s deep blue tile, and a second bathroom’s pink cabinetry. The master bedroom, painted in Dunn Edwards Legendary Gray, holds a Floyd Platform bed with Calvin Klein bedding and fruit pillows from Tokyo Japanese Outlet. The bed sits on a Nicolette rug from Lulu & Georgia. “Everything is bright, sunny, and happy,” Lewis explains. “Not super expensive, but durable. It [was] just about being honest about the way that things are fabricated, and doing a few things well.” Feign and Phillips appreciated even the smallest touches that the architects brought to the project, like the placement of light switches at hip height, which make them more accessible and don’t mess with sight lines. Feign explains that they knew that the couple would want to hang a lot of art on the wall, and the light switches don’t compete with it. The dining room, one of two rooms that were not changed in the renovation, is home to a Room & Board Pratt desk, Moooi Random pendant light, and a West Elm Terrace bar cart.The handles throughout the house are more typically used in the kinds of commercial projects Lewis Schoeplein often designs. “I see them all the time when I’m driving around, on schools and libraries,” Feign says. Lewis says the renovation felt like a collaborative “art project,” since the artistic couple was super involved, even helping to arrange tiles for the kitchen backsplash. The classic California bungalow look was preserved in the front, even with the new paint and Cembrit Cembonit cement board. (The loveseat is from the Venice Love Shack.) The one-car garage is home to Feign’s photography studio. The project inspired Feign and Phillips because they felt like they were “working with people who seem to care about everything,” Feign says. “It made me think about architecture differently.&rdquo

  • Map: Saddleridge Fire evacuation orders lift, containment at 43 percent
    by Jenna Chandler on October 14, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    A gutted home on Hampton Court in Porter Ranch. | Photo by Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images The Saddleridge Fire is burning at a rate of 800 acres per hour A map of the Saddleridge Fire perimeter is below. With Santa Ana winds easing, temperatures dipping, and humidity rising, firefighters have wrestled the Saddleridge Fire in northern Los Angeles to 43 percent containment. Authorities have allowed all of the estimated 100,000 residents who had been evacuated to return home. After erupting Thursday night, the blaze spread to Porter Ranch and Granada Hills and surrounding wildland areas, swelling to 7,552 acres. An estimated 31 homes were damaged, with 13 structures completely lost, according to Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas. “I saw burns that came up to the backyards of hundreds, if not thousands of homes,” Terrazas said. “That took a lot of effort, and to not have any serious firefighter injuries is amazing.” There has been no cause attributed to the fire, but Terrazas said arson investigators have talked to two witnesses who said they saw sparks from power lines ignite the blaze. “We are aware of a story out there in the media from a witness who saw fire falling from a transmission tower,” Terrazas said. “We believe that witness, and someone else who said something similar.” For two days, an estimated 1,000 firefighters, aided by helicopters and a super scooper, battled gusty winds and bone dry conditions, and residents remained under mandatory evacuations even where there were no active flames. “It only takes one ember to start another fire,” Terrazas cautioned Friday. “Embers at this fire have traveled downwind over one mile, that is why we’re being very, very cautious in allowing repopulation.” AFP via Getty Images Wind whips through Porter Ranch on Friday.The fire broke out around 9 p.m. Thursday near the 210 Freeway at Yarnell Street in Sylmar, amid 50 mph wind gusts and humidity as low as 3 percent. The flames swept west and south after jumping the 5 Freeway, spreading into the “northernmost reaches” of Porter Ranch. It burned at a rate of 800 acres per hour. “You can imagine the embers thrown in the wind have been traveling a significant distance,” Terrazas said. TV news reporters on scene have described the firefight as a game of “whack-a-mole.” Richardson called Thursday night’s winds “devastating.” Even in areas not affected by the fire, smoke generated by the blaze polluted air across the basin Friday and Saturday, and the Air Quality Management District advised residents who could smell smoke to avoid or limit outdoor activities. All freeways that were closed have been reopened, according to Caltrans, including the 5, 14, 118, 210, and 405 Freeways. Truck routes for the 5 and 14 Freeways are still closed. Cal State Northridge canceled classes Friday and 40 local LAUSD schools were closed, with additional schools closing early due to smoke. AFP via Getty Images A time exposure shows embers from Saddleridge Fire blown by the wind in the Porter Ranch.

Curbed LA - All Love where you live

  • Expo Line might get signal prioritization
    by Alissa Walker on October 14, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    Councilmember Mike Bonin wants the city to give signal priority for trains, meaning cars would be held at intersections as trains are passing through. | Los Angeles Times via Getty Images Frequency and reliability have become an issue on the Expo Line due to service cuts Travel times on the Expo Line could decrease by 15 percent if a new plan is approved that would give light-rail trains priority at intersections shared with vehicular traffic. The plan, which comes in the form of a motion filed last week by Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, notes that the train travels through 22 street-level signals on its journey from Downtown LA to Santa Monica, which can significantly delay trips for passengers. The 15-mile trip is supposed to take 47 minutes, but often takes longer. “The success of our transit system depends on improving speed, frequency, and reliability, particularly where our rail and bus lines are affected by traffic congestion on city streets,” the motion reads. Frequency and reliability have become an issue on the Expo Line due to service cuts that riders said have led to packed cars and long waits between trains. Metro added additional service during peak hours to address overcrowding concerns. But even adding more trains doesn’t necessarily mean transit riders will get prioritized over cars. When trains get even a little bit behind schedule, they can get slowed down dramatically by red lights, especially through Downtown, where the Expo Line travels through the most non-gated intersections. Long Beach implemented signal prioritization for trains as part of the Blue Line improvements, which, when the line is reopened completely, is expected to shorten travel times by 10 minutes. The decision whether to prioritize cars over trains is left up to the cities, meaning that for the Expo Line, it’s LA’s transportation department, not Metro, that will have the final say for how fast trains can travel within city limits. Bonin’s motion is actually proposing a two-part solution to the problem. The first is ordering the city to give signal priority for trains making street-level crossings, meaning that cars would be held at intersections as trains are passing through. The second is asking the city to take 60 days to examine how LA’s traffic control system, known as ATSAC, could become more responsive for people who are walking, biking, or taking transit. Longterm solutions for the second item might mean the addition of bike-only traffic signals, like the ones in place on some protected bikeways, or signal prioritization across other forms of transit, which are already used for some rapid bus routes.

  • Ravishing 1920s Moorish Revival in the Los Feliz Oaks asking $5.5M
    by Pauline O'Connor on October 14, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    The hilltop home was one of the first built in the neighborhood. | Photo by Harrison Schaaf, courtesy of Jenna Cooper/Compass Rock the casbah! Less than a square mile in size, the Griffith Park-adjacent enclave known as the Los Feliz Oaks is quite a treasure trove of notable architecture. Sprinkled throughout its curving, hilly streets are fantastic examples of Spanish Colonial, Italianate, Greek, English Tudor, Craftsman, Pre-Columbian, and International Modern-style residences. Now available in an off-market listing is one of the first homes built in the tract, a 1924 Moorish Revival. Located at 2200 Mountain Oak Drive, a few doors down from the landmark Arzner-Morgan Residence, the home was built for a well-to-do family from Chicago, according to the Los Feliz Improvement Association’s historical survey. While the hillside property has been around for nearly a century, its Hollywood-glam interior is of very recent vintage, having undergone a thorough revamp overseen by Alexander Design. Measuring 4,042 square feet, it features four bedrooms, three and a half baths, concrete, hardwood, and tile floors, beamed ceilings, wrought iron details, a hand-molded plaster fireplace, built-ins, ample walls of glass, and high-end finishes throughout. Exterior spaces include a roof deck with built-in furniture and endless views, a newly designed spa and outdoor dining area, and terraced gardens. On an 8,382-square-foot lot, it’s offered with an asking price of $5.5 million. Jenna Cooper of Compass holds the listing. Tessa Neustadt Slender wrought iron railings provide understated drama to the two-story entry foyer’s staircase.Tessa Neustadt The living room features beamed ceilings, built-in niches, and walls of glass.Tessa Neustadt The fireplace surround is hand-molded plaster. Tessa Neustadt The open-plan kitchen features custom cabinetry outfitted with brass hardware from Liz’s Antique Hardware, a walnut center island, and integrated Thermador appliances. Tessa Neustadt Tessa Neustadt The home has four bedrooms and three and a half baths.Tessa Neustadt Virtually Here Studios The rooftop deck serves up spectacular views.Harrison Schaaf The 4,042-square-foot residence has multiple cascading terraces.

  • Here’s what $480K buys in Los Angeles
    by Jenna Chandler on October 14, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Options include two fixer-uppers and two finished condos Via Ken Conant, Re/Max Estate Properties City Terrace This week kicks off with a diamond in the very rough. The Spanish-style with a tower could be restored to its 1920 glory, but it will take a brave buyer. The listing notes to “enter at your own risk,” due to cracks, collapsed stairs, and uneven floors. A visionary bold enough to tackle the project will likely see the potential in the 2,634-square-foot residence’s size and its former charm, including a curvaceous breakfast nook, living room with a barrel ceiling and picture window with sweeping views, and wrought iron detailing on the exterior. In all, it holds four bedrooms and two baths across two levels on a 5,708-square-foot lot. It’s accepting back-up offers at $499,000. Photos by Charmaine David, courtesy of Tracy Do Downtown Here’s a pad that’s already well-polished. The move-in ready condo has one bedroom and one bathroom in 700 square feet. Features include tall ceilings, new laminate floors, large windows, and an open floor plan with a contemporary kitchen outfitted with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and an island. The unit also has central heat and air, in-unit washer and dryer, and one parking space. Counted among the building amenities are a 24/7 doorman, gym, and courtyard. Located at Sixth and Hope streets, the asking price has been reduced to $488,000. HOA dues will set you back $608 per month. Via Capital Real Estate San Pedro Here’s another fixer. The turn-of-the-century residence is nearly 120 years old and has Craftsman and Victorian-style influences. It still has its original hardwood floors, along with period built-ins and moldings. Coming in at 1,710 square feet, it contains one bedroom and two bathrooms, but there’s an attic that could be used as living space as well. With a front porch and curb appeal, it sits on a 4,500-square-foot lot with R2 zoning. It’s listed at $480,000. Via K & K Realty Group, Inc. Vermont Knolls In South LA, on a street populated with pretty Spanish-style homes, this three-bedroom dwelling has a slightly more modern look on the exterior. Inside, the living room is a stunner, with arched nooks, wrought-iron light fixtures, a striking fireplace with tile detailing, and exposed beams. The lone bathroom retains its original purple tilework. Upgrades include refinished hardwood floors, new windows, new roof, and new plumbing. The 1,427-square-foot home is positioned on a lot measuring 4,078 square feet; it also holds a detached two-car garage. The asking price is $490,000. Via Keller Williams Pasadena This newly remodeled condo comes in at 1,135 square feet, holding two bedrooms and two bathrooms—including a master suite with a walk-in closet—plus a generously-sized covered balcony. There’s plenty of room in the kitchen and living room areas for a little office set-up, additional pantry storage, and a dining table. Located off Del Mar and Sierra Madre boulevards in a complex constructed in the 1970s, it’s about 1.5 miles to the Gold Line’s Allen Station, Pasadena Pizza Co., and Jameson Brown Coffee Roasters and less than 2 miles from the Huntington Library and Gardens. It’s listed at $490,000, with monthly HOA fees of $410.

  • Unbungling a classic California bungalow
    by Samantha Weiss Hills on October 14, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    Architects do some back and body work to create a photographer duo’s indoor-outdoor haven Something as simple as a doorknob—or the placement of a light switch—is all it takes to change someone’s perspective. That was the case for photographers Ivan Feign and Kat Phillips when they brought in Toni Lewis and Marc Schoeplein of Lewis Schoeplein Architects to overhaul the design of their circa-1940 Mar Vista bungalow. When first-time homebuyers Feign and Phillips went searching for a home in spring 2016, they wanted to stay on the west side of the city. The couple was hoping to uncover a fixer-upper that they could make their own, so when they saw the Mar Vista house, a well-built structure rife with poor remodel choices on the back, they knew they had a good option on their hands. Phillips was particularly interested. The living room sofa—custom from Sofa Club—and the West Elm Terrace coffee table perch on a Sun-Kissed Landscape rug, also from West Elm. The interiors throughout, except for the master bedroom, are painted Dunn Edwards Whisper. “She thought this house had potential, but it was also livable at the time, so we didn’t have to immediately get on with it,” Feign explains. “We moved in for five months before we ended up going ahead and getting it ready to renovate.” The house afforded the couple a partly suburban lifestyle, yard and all, along with access to the rest of the city. “You’re still about 30 minutes away from everything because we’re close to the 405 and the 10,” Feign says. They closed on the house in March 2016 and began searching for someone to help them reimagine the space. They were particularly drawn to kitchen design that incorporated bright white and color accents, since Feign needed a great place to photograph for clients, many of which are food-related. After a few lackluster walkthroughs with other firms, they were delighted with Lewis and Schoeplein’s energy and enthusiasm for the project. The kitchen is made up of a mix of Ikea and custom cabinets, which are finished with painted doors and custom natural teak end panels. The countertops are Caesarstone Blizzard, and the cheerful tile is Mutina Tex. “Everything is bright, sunny, and happy,” says Lewis. “We felt a really different energy from Toni and Marc; they were genuinely interested and excited about working on this project,” says Feign. They also shared elements of Feign and Phillips’s vision for the house even before they spoke in detail about the project. As soon as they walked in, for example, the architects saw the opportunity to rearrange the flow from room to room—a change Feign and Phillips had also been discussing. Lewis Schoeplein’s use of color was another aspect of the practice that drew Feign and Phillips to their work. They didn’t want the space to read as cold with too much white, so they chose to use generous swaths of color in the most frequently used rooms, including the kitchen and bathrooms. They were also excited by the firm’s use of large windows and sliding doors. “We really wanted that indoor-outdoor experience,” Feign says. In the guest bathroom, Mutina Aland tiles cover the walls. The open shower has fixtures from Kallista and an AquaTeak Shield teak shower bench. The custom cabinets are in Dunn Edwards paint, and countertops are Caesarstone Organic White. Deep blue Electra Grande Neptune tile covers the floors and the wall behind the Hydro Systems tub in the master bathroom. The bathroom fixtures are from Kallista. Even though Feign and Phillips moved to North Carolina for six months at the start of the renovation, in what Feign calls their “East Coast adventure,” permitting was slow going. That meant they returned to Los Angeles right as construction began, and they took up residence in a small nearby apartment until it was finished. When Lewis and Schoeplein first visited the home, they knew immediately that they were not going to be able to save the back. “There was this concept of, ‘Could we just remodel it?’ and I walked in the door and said ‘I’m really sorry, but we have to tear down the whole back of the house,’” Lewis says. The decision was advantageous: It allowed for the reconfiguration of the front part of the house, primarily relocating the landlocked kitchen to open up onto the backyard, the gravel courtyard, and a new deck, which Lewis says is the best part of the property because of the view. A row of sliding doors off the kitchen, down a hallway, and from the master bedroom open up to the back, framing the courtyard. The indoor-outdoor space features a yellow Fermob table and chairs and a West Elm loveseat under a Tech Lighting Konial 5 sconce. The Cembrit Cembonit cement boards are in 921 Flint, 967 Granit, and 922 Graphite.Removing the back part of the house also afforded the opportunity to build an addition with some height, making it feel like it was its “own animal, springing off of the roof lines of the old house,” says Lewis. Since the intervention they were making was more contemporary than period, the architects and homeowners agreed to alter the exterior of the bungalow, cladding most of it in tricolor concrete board and repainting the stucco to match. “What’s great about the concrete board is that it’s no maintenance, no fuss, so once it’s up there they never have to deal with it again,” Lewis says. Only the living room and dining room were left untouched, and a row of sliding doors down a hallway now opens up to the back, framing the courtyard in glass. The deck, Lewis says, provides a more intimate space if it’s just Feign and Phillips hanging out, and a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor living. The addition is home to a master bedroom and bathroom, with floor-to-ceiling windows, angled ceilings, and an additional private deck. Lewis says they wanted to “incorporate color wherever we could in splashes,” which is evident in the cheery yellow kitchen backsplash, the master bathroom’s deep blue tile, and a second bathroom’s pink cabinetry. The master bedroom, painted in Dunn Edwards Legendary Gray, holds a Floyd Platform bed with Calvin Klein bedding and fruit pillows from Tokyo Japanese Outlet. The bed sits on a Nicolette rug from Lulu & Georgia. “Everything is bright, sunny, and happy,” Lewis explains. “Not super expensive, but durable. It [was] just about being honest about the way that things are fabricated, and doing a few things well.” Feign and Phillips appreciated even the smallest touches that the architects brought to the project, like the placement of light switches at hip height, which make them more accessible and don’t mess with sight lines. Feign explains that they knew that the couple would want to hang a lot of art on the wall, and the light switches don’t compete with it. The dining room, one of two rooms that were not changed in the renovation, is home to a Room & Board Pratt desk, Moooi Random pendant light, and a West Elm Terrace bar cart.The handles throughout the house are more typically used in the kinds of commercial projects Lewis Schoeplein often designs. “I see them all the time when I’m driving around, on schools and libraries,” Feign says. Lewis says the renovation felt like a collaborative “art project,” since the artistic couple was super involved, even helping to arrange tiles for the kitchen backsplash. The classic California bungalow look was preserved in the front, even with the new paint and Cembrit Cembonit cement board. (The loveseat is from the Venice Love Shack.) The one-car garage is home to Feign’s photography studio. The project inspired Feign and Phillips because they felt like they were “working with people who seem to care about everything,” Feign says. “It made me think about architecture differently.&rdquo

  • Map: Saddleridge Fire evacuation orders lift, containment at 43 percent
    by Jenna Chandler on October 14, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    A gutted home on Hampton Court in Porter Ranch. | Photo by Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images The Saddleridge Fire is burning at a rate of 800 acres per hour A map of the Saddleridge Fire perimeter is below. With Santa Ana winds easing, temperatures dipping, and humidity rising, firefighters have wrestled the Saddleridge Fire in northern Los Angeles to 43 percent containment. Authorities have allowed all of the estimated 100,000 residents who had been evacuated to return home. After erupting Thursday night, the blaze spread to Porter Ranch and Granada Hills and surrounding wildland areas, swelling to 7,552 acres. An estimated 31 homes were damaged, with 13 structures completely lost, according to Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas. “I saw burns that came up to the backyards of hundreds, if not thousands of homes,” Terrazas said. “That took a lot of effort, and to not have any serious firefighter injuries is amazing.” There has been no cause attributed to the fire, but Terrazas said arson investigators have talked to two witnesses who said they saw sparks from power lines ignite the blaze. “We are aware of a story out there in the media from a witness who saw fire falling from a transmission tower,” Terrazas said. “We believe that witness, and someone else who said something similar.” For two days, an estimated 1,000 firefighters, aided by helicopters and a super scooper, battled gusty winds and bone dry conditions, and residents remained under mandatory evacuations even where there were no active flames. “It only takes one ember to start another fire,” Terrazas cautioned Friday. “Embers at this fire have traveled downwind over one mile, that is why we’re being very, very cautious in allowing repopulation.” AFP via Getty Images Wind whips through Porter Ranch on Friday.The fire broke out around 9 p.m. Thursday near the 210 Freeway at Yarnell Street in Sylmar, amid 50 mph wind gusts and humidity as low as 3 percent. The flames swept west and south after jumping the 5 Freeway, spreading into the “northernmost reaches” of Porter Ranch. It burned at a rate of 800 acres per hour. “You can imagine the embers thrown in the wind have been traveling a significant distance,” Terrazas said. TV news reporters on scene have described the firefight as a game of “whack-a-mole.” Richardson called Thursday night’s winds “devastating.” Even in areas not affected by the fire, smoke generated by the blaze polluted air across the basin Friday and Saturday, and the Air Quality Management District advised residents who could smell smoke to avoid or limit outdoor activities. All freeways that were closed have been reopened, according to Caltrans, including the 5, 14, 118, 210, and 405 Freeways. Truck routes for the 5 and 14 Freeways are still closed. Cal State Northridge canceled classes Friday and 40 local LAUSD schools were closed, with additional schools closing early due to smoke. AFP via Getty Images A time exposure shows embers from Saddleridge Fire blown by the wind in the Porter Ranch.

  • Report: Inglewood home prices skyrocket 63 percent
    by Jenna Chandler on October 11, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    Inglewood has “quintessential three-bedroom, two-bath” homes on tree-lined streets. | By Liz Kuball “It’s popping over here,” one real estate agent says Home prices in Inglewood—arguably one of the most quickly transforming pockets of LA—surged 63 percent from 2014 to 2018, according to a new analysis from PropertyShark. The median sale price in the South LA city shot up from $298,044 in 2014 to $485,000 in 2018, according to PropertyShark, making it the fastest-growing market in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. During that five-year period, the median sale price in the city of Los Angeles jumped 25 percent. Real estate agents working in Inglewood say the city’s proximity to the Westside and Silicon Beach, its moderately-sized single-family homes, and suburban feel have made it an increasingly desirable place to buy a home. “That quintessential three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,500-square-foot house on a residential tree-lined street, that’s what we found here,” says real estate agent Max Armand. After renting for a few years in Mid-City, he and his wife purchased a home in Inglewood’s Morningside neighborhood at the end of 2017. While prices have soared, Inglewood remains more affordable than neighboring communities in the city of Los Angeles, where the median stood at $870,000 last year. Major investments are pouring into Inglewood, from the $2.6 billion NFL stadium that’s set to open next summer, to the forthcoming train line that will bring three Metro stations to the city, to new small restaurants and cafes opening in downtown Inglewood. “It’s popping over here,” says real estate agent Heather Presha, who joined Keller Williams Realty in Inglewood in December 2017 after working for a number of years in the Baldwin Hills and Windsor Hills area. “The way things have been going, it’s been pretty crazy,” she says. “Four and a half years ago, I couldn’t get anyone get to move to Inglewood.” Most of the demand, agents say, is from first-time homebuyers looking for single-family homes in the northern section of Inglewood Presha said she recently had 17 offers for a small two-bedroom, one-bathroom home on the 700 block of East Fairview listed at $585,000. It’s in escrow now, she said, in the mid-$600,000s. “People wrote letters, and it wasn’t investors, there was only one investor offer,” she said. “These are people trying to buy a place for themselves.” Jennifer Okhovat, an agent with Compass, who has primarily worked in West Hollywood, has sold two condos in Inglewood in the past 12 months, one for $385,000 and another for $480,000—both to employees of start-ups. “I don’t think that anyone thought that Inglewood would gain the momentum that it has,” she says. “Buyers are being priced out of other neighborhoods and are seeing the potential that Inglewood has,” Okhovat says, “and the gentrification that is coming.” In June, Inglewood Mayor James Butts said Inglewood was already experiencing unprecedented “economic prosperity.” He predicted that more was on the way, and acknowledged that renters needed help. “There are longterm residents who are vulnerable and at risk of sudden displacement without some form of economic protection,” he said. Powerful grassroots organizing efforts among renters in Inglewood have pushed city leaders to adopt rent control to help tenants as housing costs rise. Many of them blame development. For that reason, activists are trying to stop the construction of an NBA area for the Los Angeles Clippers and are pushing for the construction of affordable housing instead. Those advocates would argue that gentrification has already arrived, and it’s doing harm, not good. “People are always talking about gentrification about this and that,” says Presha. “But people want to buy and sell. That’s what I do. I just keep going.&rdquo

  • Dubai in WeHo? Residents loathe new Viper Room plans
    by Jessica Flores on October 11, 2019 at 7:59 pm

    At a community meeting, residents say they hate the look of the mixed-user designed by Morphosis Residents erupted in anger when West Hollywood city staffers announced Thursday night that the aesthetics of a Morphosis-designed redevelopment of the Viper Room on the Sunset Strip would not be considered in a state-mandated environmental analysis. “Who decided that aesthetics wouldn’t be considered?” Susan Milrod asked, shouting. “That’s why I came here,” another resident added. The city of West Hollywood hosted the public meeting to update residents on the project, review the environmental impact report process, and get feedback from the community. They got an earful. The property owner, represented and managed by Plus Development, is planning to raze the Viper Room and reincorporate it into two distinct high-rises designed by Thom Mayne’s Los Angeles firm, Morphosis. The buildings would bring another 115 hotel rooms to the Strip, plus 31 market-rate condos and 11 affordable units. (Plus Development was cofounded by Tyrone McKillen, the agent who developed and sold Beyonce and Jay-Z their Bel Air house). The futuristic-looking development would be made up of two structures: a C-shaped building clenching a more familiar rectangular-shaped structured clad in glass. City staffers planned to have breakout sessions after the presentation to further discuss the project and hear from community members. But many residents weren’t okay with that. “That won’t work because all of us here are all on the same page,” one woman said. Milrod asked the group of about 30 people in attendance to raise their hands if they opposed the project. The majority did. Asked who was in favor, one man, Richard Lewis, bravely raised his hand. “Something’s gonna get built,” Lewis said. “It might as well look interesting.” Lewis, who has lived in West Hollywood for 46 years, said the project will create more jobs. He also liked that it will provide affordable housing. Courtesy of City of West Hollywood The development was designed by local architecture firm Morphosis. Renderings show it would add a lot of greenery to Sunset, between San Vicente Boulevard and Larrabee Street. But most residents were concerned with how it looks. “It doesn’t belong on Sunset Boulevard,” said Jessica Hancock, who has lived in West Hollywood for 47 years. She said the design of the building looks like something that “could be in Dubai or Vegas.” “It’s too tall, too massive, and the design is grotesque,” said Richard Rothenberg. Doug Vu, senior planner for the city of West Hollywood, said projects like this one that are within a “transit priority” area, meaning it’s close to a significant transit corridor, can exclude aesthetics under state regulations. The aesthetics were reviewed in an initial study. “But that doesn’t mean that the planning commission or the City Council can’t consider the issue of aesthetics and render their decision,” he says. “It just may not be considered an environmental issue per se under the California Environmental Quality Act.” As part of the environmental review process, city staffers are asking the public to submit feedback about the plans by October 25 via email to Vu at dvu@weho.org, or via mail at 8300 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069.

  • 6 open houses to check out this weekend around Mid-City
    by Pauline O'Connor on October 11, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    Courtesy of Courtney Poulos and Silke Fernald/ACME Real Estate Options include Craftsman cottages, a glammed-up Spanish bungalow, a sleek contemporary townhouse, and a quaint 1920s Colonial Revival Welcome to another edition of our weekly series rounding up open houses to check out over the weekend, because who doesn’t love a little real estate gawking? This week’s installment shines the spotlight on six listings in Mid-City and Jefferson Park. Courtesy of Courtney Poulos and Silke Fernald/ACME Real Estate Where: 2845 12th Ave., LA 90018When: 2 to 5 p.m., Sunday October 13Specs: 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms; 2,320 square feetSelling points: White oak floors, high ceilings, French doors, designer tile and other upscale finishes, curated by Beau Casa.Asking price: $1.375 million Courtesy of Coleman and Alexi Laffoon/Compass Where: 1828 1⁄2 South Redondo Blvd., LA 90019When: 2 to 5 p.m., Saturday October 12 and Sunday October 13Specs: 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms; 2,092 square feetSelling points: Ten-foot ceilings, walls of glass, a rooftop deck with built-in BBQ and panoramic views, a two-car garage.Asking price: $1.149 million, plus monthly HOA fees of $205. Courtesy of Kathryn Werner/Pinnacle Estate Properties Where: 955 Keniston Ave., LA 90019When: 2 to 5 p.m., Sunday October 13Specs: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms; 1,964 square feetSelling points: Hardwood floors, crown molding, French doors, a decorative fireplace, Carrara marble counters, solar panels, and a detached garage “already plumbed for a quick conversion to a guest residence.”Asking price: $1.695 million Courtesy of Chantal Maciel/Executive Bankers Realty Where: 3446 4th Ave., LA 90018When: 2 to 5 p.m., Saturday October 12Specs: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms; 1,510 square feetSelling points: Box-beam ceilings, a gas fireplace, quartz countertops, built-ins, upgraded plumbing and electrical systems.Asking price: $980,000 Courtesy of Alexis Gallardo/Compass Where: 1952 Hillcrest Dr., LA 90016When: 2 to 5 p.m., Saturday October 12Specs: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms; 2,168 square feetSelling points: White oak hardwood floors, Caesarstone countertops, all new foundation, framing, windows, electrical systems, copper plumbing, HVAC, and drought-resistant landscaping.Asking price: $1.295 million Courtesy of Venessa Blair/Compass Where: 1339 Meadowbrook Ave., LA 90019When: 2 to 5 p.m., Saturday October 12Specs: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms; 1,993 square feetSelling points: Hardwood floors, a working fireplace, a formal dining room with wainscoting, a bay window, French doors, an updated kitchen, tankless water heater, and elevated dining patio.Asking price: $1.398 million

  • For $1.5M, three-bedroom Atwater Village house has pool, finished attic
    by Jenna Chandler on October 11, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    The shape of the living room’s picture window echoes the gambrel roofline. | Photos by Christine Bullard, courtesy of Courtney and Kurt Real Estate Team Lots of bonus spaces Fetching features new and old fuse flawlessly in this Atwater Village home. The old: gambrel shaped ceilings with exposed beams, arched entryways, and a floor-to-ceiling fireplace with brick detailing. The new: A kitchen beset with jade-colored cabinets, an island, and iridescent tile backsplash. But the home’s chief advantage is that it offer lots of bonuses spaces, including a finished attic, finished garage, and a basement. Spanning 1,736 square feet, the dwelling holds three bedrooms and one and three quarter baths. The living spaces flow nicely together, connected via a couple of arched entryways. Off the home’s backside, two sliding doors open to a grassy lawn, covered patio, pool, and a finished, detached garage. At 3351 Garden Avenue, the 6,750-square-foot property is listed with Alyssa Valentine and Courtney Smith of Compass at an asking price of $1.49 million. The fireplace is trimmed in brick; a little built-in nook is a cute substitute for a mantel.The galley kitchen boasts lots of cabinets, a large window over an apron sink, and a couple of floating shelves. The finished attic.The master suite features a fairly spacious bathroom and custom walk-in closet.The finished garage.The home was built in 1936.

  • Meet the ghosts at LA’s most haunted hotels
    by Bianca Barragan on October 10, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, purportedly haunted by Marilyn Monroe. | Shutterstock Just in time to schedule a spooky Halloween staycation Los Angeles has many well-haunted landmarks, and Hollywood is at least partially to blame —and thank—for that. Many of the town’s ghosts are film stars: Rudolph Valentino, Carole Lombard, and Marilyn Monroe. Some of them even haunt more than one location. They tend to like hotels—they lived fabulous lives when they were alive, after all—and so do lots of lesser-known ghosts, mysterious little kids, angry teenagers, and silent adults alike. Below, the spooky histories of seven paranormally-blessed hotels in the Los Angeles area, and an introduction to each of their ghostly presences. Some have been converted to apartment buildings, while others operate as hotels; book with caution. Shutterstock Chateau Marmont.Chateau Marmont Converted to a hotel in the 1930s, Chateau Marmont, the exclusive and elegant hotel off the Sunset Strip, has become a hideaway for celebrities. For some, including Britney Spears and Jim Morrison, it has been the setting for meltdowns, affairs, and drunken shenanigans. John Belushi liked to party here so much, it would make sense he’d stop by in the afterlife. People say Bungalow No. 3, where he fatally overdosed in 1982, is the site of strange occurrences. The most disturbing story involves a toddler whose family stayed there for a stint in 1999. As the Travel Channel tells it, his parents would hear him laughing alone. They got up the nerve to ask him why, and he responded, “The funny man.” Then, “when his mother was leafing through a book of celebrity guests of Chateau Marmont, the boy pointed to John Belushi and exclaimed, ‘The funny man!’” The Knickerbocker Hotel The Knickerbocker Hotel, around since the 1920s, began its life as an apartment building. But it wasn't until it became a hotel that it became popular with the Hollywood set—producer Louis B. Mayer, inventor/aviator/filmmaker Howard Hughes, actress Betty Grable, and singer/songwriter Johnny Mercer were all guests at one time or another during its heyday. Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio supposedly came to the hotel’s Lido Room bar for clandestine dates, and then, in 1954, spent their honeymoon here. It’s alleged that Monroe stuck around post-mortem and haunts the the ladies' room; the bar is taken by the ghost of Rudolph Valentino. A maintenance worker told The Hollywood Reporter last year that a woman who threw herself off the roof also continues to haunt the Knickerbocker (since converted to senior apartments). “Many have seen her. When I work in the basement, shadows go by and doors close and open by themselves.” He might have been referring to dress-designer-to-the-stars Irene (aka Mrs. Irene Gibbons), who threw herself off the eleventh floor of the building in 1962, according to an Los Angeles Times report from November 16 of that year. Who’s not haunting the Knickerbocker? Harry Houdini. His wife tried for a decade to contact him via an annual séance on the roof, but he never made an appearance. By Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin The Millennium Biltmore. Millennium Biltmore Hotel The Biltmore opened in 1923 and was the talk of the town. Built at a cost of almost $9 million, it had such luxurious conveniences as a bath in every room. From 1935 to 1939, the Biltmore hosted the Academy Awards and during World War II, the hotel became a “rest and recreation facility” for soldiers. Naturally, all that history means it’s a supernatural magnet. (Fitting that it played a Slimer-haunted hotel in the Ghostbusters.) From the lobby to the roof, paranormal activity has been reported at the Biltmore. There’s a nurse ghost on the second floor, a creepy little girl ghost on the ninth floor, and, according to one account, “a boy with no face” on the roof. The most famous ghost reportedly hiding out in here is the ghost of Elizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia. The story goes that this hotel was one of the last places Short was seen alive before she was brutally murdered. Short’s ghost has been seen on the tenth and eleventh floors, but also in the lobby. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel The glamorous Roosevelt opened in 1927 right in the thick of Hollywood and, as such, has a star-studded history. It was often used for movie premiere after-parties, and it hosted the first Oscars. The Roosevelt's clientele and striking Spanish Colonial Revival-style architecture “helped shape the image and myth of Hollywood as a place of glamour and luxury,” argues a 2010 survey of Hollywood-area historic resources. Not even death can keep many of those stars away now. Marilyn Monroe, the busiest ghost in the biz, supposedly haunts her old room (1200), where she lived as her fame grew; it’s rumored that her first ad was shot at the Roosevelt’s pool. “Many see Marilyn in the mirror. They also see a little girl in a blue dress,” a maintenance worker told The Hollywood Reporter. The apparition of silver-screen babe Montgomery Clift has been blamed for patting guests’ shoulders and watching maids in Room 928, where he stayed for three months while filming From Here to Eternity, and the ghost of Carole Lombard has also been spotted floating around the upper floors. In the Blossom Room—where the first Oscars were held—two ghosts have been, um, documented: a presence of a tuxedoed man, and a presence of a man in a white suit. Nothing's worse than an underdressed ghost. Alexandria Hotel The Alexandria today serves as apartments for low-income tenants, but when it opened in 1923 it was quite luxurious. Guests included presidentsWilliam Howard Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson, plus such celebs of the time as Rudolph Valentino, Theda Bara, Mary Pickford, and Charlie Chaplin. The ballroom on the second floor is supposedly haunted by a handful of dancers. “An angry teenager” has been spotted in Charlie Chaplin’s old suite. Rudolph Valentino, when he’s not over at the Knickerbocker, swings by the Alexandria to skulk around his old 12th-floor room. He may or may not be alone: A manager told The Hollywood Reporter that “a famous person” died on the 12th floor. Shutterstock The Georgian.The Georgian This eight-story Santa Monica hotel was the one of the tallest in town when it opened in 1933. Its “ocean views, speakeasy and Art Deco design” helped it to appeal to Hollywood types looking to escape; Carole Lombard and Clark Gable were known to stop by, the Santa Monica Daily Press has reported. (It’s rumored that their meetings took place when Gable was still married to his previous wife.) Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle, and big-name gangsters like Bugsy Siegel and Al Capone were also frequent visitors. In the 1960s, the building was converted to apartments; in the 1990s, it returned to hotel form. All that back and forth must have confused some spirits and left them stuck there—a sales rep for the hotel told the Daily Press, “One of our overnight officers tells a story about getting a telephone call from a guest room that was not occupied and he just heard giggling. A guest claims to have checked into their room, put their stuff down and jumped into the shower. When they came out the television was on, the bed was open and the suitcase was empty.” The former speakeasy became a bar after Prohibition (which ended the year the hotel opened) and is supposedly super-haunted: “At many times when the restaurant is completely empty, employees have heard loud sighs, gasps and have been startled by a disembodied voice who greets them with, ‘Good Morning.’” The Cecil Hotel The Cecil Hotel opened in 1925 as a well-furnished hostelry frequented by respectable people. It didn’t have a long heyday, as KPCC has noted—already, “all the action had sort of shifted to the Biltmore Hotel to start a long slow deterioration into burlesque halls and pawn shops.” It was downhill from there, with murders in the 1920 and 1930s; as Downtown became more and more shabby, the Cecil became the kind of place where hung out: both The Nightstalker (Richard Ramirez) and Austrian killer Jack Unterweger spent time there. The Cecil Hotel may have rebranded itself recently as The Stay on Main, but it just can’t shake its rep as a place where scary things happen. In 2013, a tourist staying at the hotel went missing for weeks, and was eventually found in the hotel’s rooftop cistern. (Yes, people had been showering in and drinking that water.) That story, along with the Cecil's whole sordid past, inspired the current season of American Horror Story. In real life, the ghost of a boy has reportedly been photographed outside a fourth floor window, but there's no way that's the only spirit still lurking around. Hotel Figueroa A 1920s YWCA turned hotel, this boutique inn has been thoroughly remodeled into a fashionable hotel. But a grisly history, which, according to the LA Weekly, includes two murders and a suicide, can’t be renovated away. One of the murder victims was Cecilia Oswald. According to the Weekly, she was killed in April 1950, her naked body discovered in one of the hotel rooms after her partner confessed: “I killed her. I killed her because I loved her.&rdquo

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