Originating in the late 1880s, Echo Park is one of LA’s oldest established neighborhoods, especially around Angelino Heights. Located west of downtown LA, the area has no official fixed boundaries but generally Echo Park refers to the land east of Westlake, south of Riverside Drive and Silver Lake, west of Elysian Park and north of Beverly Blvd. The early communitywas founded by a carriage maker, Thomas Kelly, who later turned his hand to real estate development. The name Echo Park originated when workers at the nearby reservoir noticed that their voices echoed off the canyon walls, and the name stuck. Itwas later nicknamed Red Hill as it was the hub of political radicals such as Woody Guthrie, who lived on Preston Avenue.
Prior to World War I, Echo Park was home to the early Los Angeles film industry. Mack Sennett’s studio thrived during the age of the silent movie and many films starring Charlie Chaplin, Ben Turpin, the Three Stooges, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle and Laurel and Hardy were shot in the area. It is still a popular location for film shoots such as the movies Chinatown, Tending Echo Park and Columbus Day. You may recognize scenes from Michael Jackson’sThriller music video, and The Manor in the TV series Charmed is a home in the Echo Park neighborhood.
Rolling hills and steep bluffs provide a scenic backdrop to the many Craftsman-style homes and Spanish-style buildings in this Eastside enclave. The area has its share of rich and famous residents along with working class families and up-and-coming writers, artists and musicians.Famous past and present residents include Steve McQueen, writer Ayn Rand, director John Huston and artist Jackson Pollock. Other areas of interest include historic Filipinotown in southwest Echo Park and Victor Heights, where homes enjoy views of Los Angeles Civic Center.This walkable area attracts many visitors when it hosts its annual cultural festivals including the Lotus Festival and the Cuban Festival.Reputable schools, local parks and libraries make Echo Park a desirable family neighborhood.
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