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60 years of cheering on the Dodgers in Los Angeles

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October 4, 1959: Fans at the third game of the World Series.

#ThisTeam #TheseFans

Los Angeles may arrive in the third inning and leave in the seventh, but that doesn’t mean we’re not good fans to the Dodgers.

Starting even before Walter O’Malley relocated the team to Los Angeles in 1958, Angelenos have been cheering for and supporting the Boys of Summer, from Sandy Koufax to Fernando Valenzuela to Orel Hershiser to Yasiel Puig, first at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and then, starting in 1962, at Dodger Stadium.

In honor of the playoffs, here’s a look back at Dodgers fans through the ages:

 USC Digital Library
Frances Hambelton, 15, of Canoga Park, gathers signatures for a petition to bring Dodgers to Los Angeles in the fall of 1957.
 USC Digital Library
Dodgers fans celebrate at bar at Seventh and Broadway; “Bartender John Wixted had misfortune to be a White Sox fan.”
 Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
“Here’s [a] portion of wild-eyed throng that set a new National League night game record in the season debut of the Dodgers” on April 13, 1960.
 Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
“No, this isn’t an on-ramp to a toll road. Nor is it a traffic jam. It’s an auto lineup of anxious baseball fans waiting at Solano Street entrance to new Dodger Stadium” in 1962.
 Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
April 10, 1962: On opening day of the first season at Dodger Stadium, “Fans lined up to see the new ballpark, then awaited the first pitch.”
 Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
April 18, 1958: “The team rides in a motorcade parade down Broadway, en route to its first game in Los Angeles: A 6-5 win over the San Francisco Giants before 78,672 fans at the Coliseum.”
 Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
1988: “Los Angeles hailed its world champion Dodgers with a parade down Broadway. Fans packed the sidewalks as floats made their way up the street.”
 Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
June 2, 1958: “Never in the history of baseball did a team—a last place team—receive such a welcome as that accorded the Dodgers last night at International Airport, where some 7,500 rabid fans met the club.”
Premiere Of 'Bluetopia' - ArrivalsPhoto by David Livingston/Getty Images
A Dodger fan’s tattoo of sportscaster Vin Scully is seen at the premiere of ‘Bluetopia’ at the Pacific Design Center on April 18, 2009 in West Hollywood, California.
 Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
October 3, 1959: “Here are some of the 5,000 greeters at airport last night as the Dodgers returned from Chicago where they evened the series yesterday. What a day it’ll be at the Coliseum tomorrow!”
 Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Dodger Fan Club enthusiasts at the airport on October 3, 1959. “They and all Southern Californians are ready for the very first World Series Game ever to be played in Los Angeles. Coliseum will be rocking tomorrow!”
 Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Fans camp outside the Dodgers ticket office to await the sale of Series tickets on October 8, 1977.
 Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser and his son meet fans at the player’s parking lot in 1988.
San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles DodgersPhoto by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers hold up a sign intended for Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium on July 31, 2007.
 Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Fernando Valenzuela pennants for sale outside Dodger Stadium in 1981.
 Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Dodgers float moves down Broadway as fans turn out to honor 1981 World Champion Dodgers.
 Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
The backside of a Dodger fan’s head at a Sunday afternoon baseball game in 2000 held at Dodger Stadium.
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A young fan in face paint at a game versus the Giants.
 Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Valley residents board buses to watch the Dodgers beat Cincinnati in 1959.
 Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
A Dodger player handing out balls to fans at Dodger Stadium.
 Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
October 8, 1963: “Mrs. Green simply held out her Dodger apron!” Mrs. Green’s apron reads “The heck with housework, let’s see the Dodgers play!”

Landlords are threatening rent hikes if Proposition 10 passes, activists say

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Proposition 10 would end statewide restrictions on rent control in California cities.

The ballot measure would roll back state regulations on rent control

In August, North Hollywood resident Jacob Swanson, 36, heard from his building’s property manager that rent for his apartment would increase from $1,850 to $2,000 per month, higher than the typical yearly increase he was used to.

Eager to know the reason for the higher rent hike, he emailed the property manager to ask if repairs or upgrades were planned for the building. The reply he received didn’t mention any repairs; instead, the building’s manager blamed the increase on “the upcoming election.”

Renter advocates say Los Angeles landlords and building managers are hitting tenants with rent hikes in advance of November, when voters will decide on Proposition 10, a statewide ballot initiative that would lift restrictions on rent control in California cities.

Larry Gross, director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, tells Curbed he’s heard of three such instances in the past week, including the email that Swanson received.

That email does not mention Proposition 10 by name, but notes that owners of the building, which is not covered by LA’s rent stabilization ordinance, are “facing rent control” in November.

In some cases, Gross says landlords are using the price increases to pressure tenants into voting against the measure. He’s received notifications from tenants in two different buildings about rent increases explicitly tied to the ballot measure.

A letter shared with reporters bears the letterhead of Rampart Property Management, an LA-based firm with more than a dozen available apartments listed on its website. It informs tenants of a pending rent increase in response to the ballot measure.

“In preparation for the passage of this ballot initiative we must pass along a rent increase today,” reads the letter.

Gross says that the tenant who brought the letter to the coalition lives in a building that is not subject to rent control restrictions, and now faces a $700 increase.

But the letter also includes a promise from the property manager to reevaluate the new rental prices following the results of the election.

“If the ballot measure fails,” says the letter, “we will revisit the rent increase with a desire to cancel it with new leases.”

Gross says the coalition received a similar letter from an attorney working with a tenant in Historic Filipinotown. Signed by Curtis C. Arndt, a Santa Monica chiropractor who owns a small apartment complex in the neighborhood, the letter states that “if the proposition does not pass, I will then consider rolling back rents to their current level.”

Neither Arndt nor Rampart Property Management responded to requests for comment on the letters.

Gross says he’s heard reports of similar messages being sent to tenants in other parts of the state. When coupled with increases in rent, he argues, political messages like these constitute “voter intimidation.”

He maintains that when landlords or property managers offer vague assurances that rents will be reduced if the proposition fails, they attempt to convince tenants to vote against their own long-term financial interests.

“It undermines the whole electoral process,” says Gross.

In Swanson’s case, the email he received tying his rent hike to the election wasn’t sent until after he asked for clarification.

“I don’t think it’s voter intimidation,” he says. “It’s more like pre-punishment. He doesn’t even know if it’s going to pass yet, but I’ve got to pay the toll in case it does.”

If approved by voters, Proposition 10 would repeal the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act, a state law that prevents cities from restricting rental prices on single-family homes, condos, and buildings constructed after 1995.

Cities would still have to pass new regulations for the ballot measure to have any impact on California’s housing market, but the initiative would open the door for many newer buildings—including the one Swanson lives in—to be placed under rent control moving forward.

Zev Yaroslavsky, a senior fellow at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and a former Los Angeles County Supervisor, calls rent hikes in advance of the election “raw, ugly, and unethical.” But he also says he’s seen these tactics before.

In 1978, when Yaroslavsky sat on the Los Angeles City Council, many local apartment owners reportedly promised to lower rental prices following passage of Proposition 13, a ballot measure that slashed California’s property tax rates.

As the Los Angeles Times reported at the time, not all those landlords followed through; some even raised rents, speculating that city leaders would move to restrict prices.

Those fears were borne out when the City Council imposed a six-month rent freeze in October of that year. Following the freeze and other temporary measures, the rent stabilization ordinance went into effect, limiting rent hikes to between 3 and 8 percent annually.

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Sleek midcentury time capsule in the Cahuenga Pass asks $1M

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Featuring original built-ins and a vintage oven

Nestled alongside the Cahuenga Pass, just south of Universal City, is this dashing midcentury modern home that appears to have been kept in pretty good shape since its 1954 construction.

Per the listing, the home was built for a boom operator employed by Cecil B. DeMille. Many original details are still intact, including most of the kitchen, which boasts sleek chrome handles on the cabinetry and a vintage Western Holly oven with a porthole-style window.

Other interior features include cork floors, wood-paneled walls, beamed ceilings, and clerestory windows. The living room is illuminated by a long wall of glass, and a stone-floored nook to the side has built-in shelving and a brick fireplace.

The home has three bedrooms and its two full bathrooms have been recently updated. It leads out to an enclosed backyard with a pergola-shaded patio.

Sitting on a 6,185-square-foot lot, the house also has large front and side yards, with a carport equipped with an electric charger.

Asking price is $1.048 million.

Front door
Dining room
Kitchen
Bedroom
Bedroom 2
Doors to backyard
Front yard

Construction on Long Beach’s tallest tower, Shoreline Gateway, is underway

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It should be open by the end of 2021

The tower that will grow to be Long Beach’s tallest broke ground in the city’s downtown on Thursday, developers Ledcor Properties Inc. and Anderson Pacific LLC announced.

Called Shoreline Gateway, the 35-story tower “will add an icon to our skyline,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “We’ve been waiting for this project and excited that it will bring over 300 new homes to Long Beach.”

Shoreline Gateway sits at the corner of Ocean Boulevard and Alamitos Avenue. It will hold 315 “ultra-luxury” apartments—a mix of studios, and one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging from 580 square feet to 2,480 square feet. The building will be topped by two-story penthouses on the 34th and 35th floors. The design team for the project includes Studio One Eleven and Carrier Johnson + Culture, with landscape architecture by RELM.

The Shoreline Gateway structure is next to a 17-story apartment building called the Current, also developed by Ledcor and Anderson Pacific. The two projects are connected by a 10,000-square-foot plaza. The Current, which holds just over 200 apartments, opened in 2016.

Shoreline Gateway is scheduled for completion in late 2021, but a taller project is already in the works in Long Beach’s downtown. Called West Gateway, the development would rise to 40 stories and be part of a six-building mixed-use complex directly north of the World Trade Center.

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Netflix will expand in Hollywood with second office tower

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The streaming media company has already rented the building across the street

Netflix is doubling down on Hollywood. Today, developers of EPIC, a 13-story office development on Sunset Boulevard, announced that the streaming company has signed a lease for the entire building.

“EPIC is part of our continuing investment in LA and Hollywood,” Netflix’s chief financial officer David Wells said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be able to continue to grow our team there.”

EPIC is designed by Gensler, and will feature floor-to-ceiling windows, terraces, fire pits, and a rooftop deck. The building will also be outfitted with electric-car-charging stations, bike lockers, and showers.

Developed by Hudson Pacific Properties, EPIC is due to be complete in 2020. Netflix will move into the building in phases that same year. The company’s lease at EPIC expires in 2031.

Netflix has already rented the entirety of the 14-story ICON tower and almost 92,000 square in the five-story office building CUE. The company has extended its leases at both building for an additional five years.

Both ICON and CUE are located across the street from EPIC, on the Sunset Bronson Studios lot, and are also owned by Hudson Pacific Properties.

The terraces at EPIC.

Flamboyant South Park skyscraper moves ahead

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Construction could start in two years

By 2023, the car wash at the corner of Figueroa and Olympic could be replaced with a “kaleidoscopic” 58-story skyscraper.

That’s according to a new timeline in a newly released draft environmental impact report, which shows construction could begin as soon as 2020.

The tower would hold a handful of different uses, including a hotel and hundreds of condos.

Designed by Nardi Associates, the unique, grid-like exterior shell of the building is intended to invoke a kaleidoscope, and will incorporate plants, LED lights, and photovoltaic panels on its exterior “exoskeleton.”

On its website, Nardi says the tower was designed as a “monumental urban tree… where real vegetation is combined with digitized landscape and graphic art images.”

The first three floors of the high-rise would hold 65,074 square feet of commercial space. Above that would be office space, 373 hotel rooms, and 374 condos. On the 13th floor, the tower would have “a large, elevated, landscaped atrium.” The project would also hold six levels of underground parking

The carwash on the site now was long considered a hold-out in a neighborhood where new developments have been steadily proposed, taking out parking lots and shorter commercial buildings and replacing them with multi-building megaprojects.

The plan to redevelop this major corner site in South Park first emerged in late 2015—about a year after the longtime owner, Robert Bush, sold the site to developer Ben Neman for $25 million. Bush bought the property in 1980, paying $525,000.

1930s Streamline Moderne in Fairfax headed for landmark status

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“A rare and remarkable intact example” of the style

The campaign to preserve a 1920s Streamline Moderne single-family home in Fairfax won a big victory today when the city’s cultural heritage commission approved its application for monument status.

The house at 947 Martel Avenue was designed by William Kesling, a master of the Streamline style, which incorporates the curves, chrome, and portholes of planes, trains, and glamorous ocean liners who used it on a number of apartment buildings throughout Los Angeles.

Actor Wallace Beery commissioned the residence, which is reportedly one of only 21 known remaining Streamline Moderne properties designed by Kesling.

In a statement read before the commission, Adrian Scott Fine, advocacy director for the Los Angeles Conservancy, stated his support for the nomination, calling the house “a rare and remarkably intact example of Streamline Moderne.”

Planning staffers had recommended that the commissioners approve landmark status for the house. Commissioners Barron and Kennard, who visited the house, agreed the house was still in good, largely original condition. Commissioner Kennard called the property “an amazingly intact house.”

The owner of the residence, developer Ilan Gorodezki, had originally submitted plans to the city to build a 17-unit condo complex on the property and an adjacent site that houses four apartments—a move that would have required demolishing the Kesling.

At an August 20 hearing, Gorodezki and his wife Linda Flloko told the commission that they no longer planned to demolish the house. They opposed the nomination and we not present at the hearing today.

The nomination still needs the approval of full Los Angeles City Council.

Mayor says gas tax repeal would delay train service to LAX

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Garcetti speaking against Proposition 6 at a press event Wednesday.

Along with other big transportation projects

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti urged California voters Wednesday to reject a ballot measure repealing a statewide gas tax.

The mayor says losing revenue collected through the tax would delay or jeopardize some of the city’s most significant transportation projects, including train service to LAX.

“Thanks to the voters of LA County who approved Measure M, we’re on the cusp of finally connecting LAX to rail,” said Garcetti in a statement. “[Proposition 6] would undo those plans.”

The ballot initiative, sponsored by a group called Reform California and backed by the state’s Republican Party, would eliminate a 12-cent tax on gas that went into effect last year and subject new gas taxes or motor vehicle fees to voter approval going forward.

Supporters argue that this would save consumers money and force California legislators to rethink financing mechanisms for road repairs and public transit. But opponents, including Garcetti, argue that funding from the gas tax is crucial to completing key transportation projects on time.

According to a financial forecast released by Metro in September, more than a dozen major projects in LA County are set to receive funding through the gas tax. They include construction of a new train station at 96th Street, where riders will be able to connect to LAX via a people mover system; a transit line through the Sepulveda Pass; a light rail line connecting the Gateway Cities to Downtown LA; and repair work and resurfacing on the 5, 10, and 605 freeways.

If efforts to repeal the gas tax are successful, Metro estimates that these projects could be delayed between three and five years. That would make it tricky for the transit agency to achieve its well-publicized goal of completing 28 projects in time for the 2028 Olympics.

According to Garcetti, these potential side effects of repealing the tax make voting against the ballot measure a “no brainer.”

Recent polling data suggests a small majority of California voters are inclined to agree. A poll released last week by the Public Policy Institute of California found that 52 percent of voters plan to vote against the measure, compared to 39 percent who say they’ll vote yes.

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City Council gives AvalonBay go-ahead to build 475 live/work units in Arts District

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Construction is expected to start in 2019

The ever-changing Arts District will soon have another large project to add to its roster of developments under construction. A big mixed-user planned for Alameda near Seventh Street in the Arts District received approval today from the City Council.

The project, from developer AvalonBay, would bring 475 live/work units (24 for low-income tenants), a grocery store, and commercial space to the 3.75-acre site.

Designed by R&A Architecture, the development at 668 Alameda would rise up to seven stories and feature space for galleries and art production.

As previously planned, AvalonBay expects to begin construction sometime in 2019, with the build-out lasting about 36 months.

Four cold-storage buildings sit on the property now; they would be razed for the new project.

This development is one of a handful planned along Alameda, widely considered to be the western boundary of the Arts District.

Directly north of 668 Alameda, at Sixth Street, a major mixed-use project is planned by developer Sun Cal and designed by Herzog & deMeuron that would bring two 58-story towers and over 1,700 new residences.

Closer to Fourth Street, an adaptive reuse project would repurpose an old industrial building as a 66-room hotel, and 186 live/work units are planned to replace a parking lot and office building.

AvalonBay is busy across the city, constructing 695 apartments at AVA Hollywood, on Santa Monica Boulevard near Highland Avenue. That project is scheduled to wrap up in late 2019.

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‘Godfather’ horse head house back on the market for $135M

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Photos by Jim Bartsch.

Built in 1927, the storied estate features 30 bedrooms and 40 bathrooms

A storied Beverly Hills estate has returned to the open market with a bold, $135 million price tag.

Known as the Beverly House, the residence played a role in The Godfather as the house where the infamous horse head was found. The property was last up for sale in 2016, asking $195 million.

The 1927 residence was designed by Gordon B. Kaufmann, the architect of the 1935 Los Angeles Times building in Times Mirror Square, Hollywood Palladium, Hoover Dam, and Santa Anita Racetrack.

The estate was built for a banker named Milton Getz and was later purchased by William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies.

Inside the enormous, 30-bedroom, 40-bathroom estate, the dwelling holds a ballroom with coved ceilings, a two-story library with hand-carved woodwork, an in-home theater with drop-down projection screen, and a pool room with a fireplace from Hearst Castle.

A loggia leads from the house’s central hall to a large outdoor terrace. The grounds also include a huge swimming pool, pool house, and lighted tennis court.

Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker Global Luxury has the listing.

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Beloved Bob Baker Marionette Theater will leave its longtime home, open in new location

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In November, the Bob Baker Marionette Theater is leaving its home of over 50 years.

The new home will be inspired by decades-old sketches

The landmark Bob Baker Marionette Theater announced today that it will leave its longtime home on Glendale Boulevard and First Street by the end of November.

The building that has housed the theater for more than five decades is slated to be demolished at an unknown date to make way for a mixed-use development. The theater was offered a space in the new project but decided to strike out on its own.

The beloved theater and its puppets will hold a day-long celebration on November 23—the institution’s final day in its present location and 55 years to the day from when the theater opened in 1963.

Around that time, the organization plans to announce the location of its new permanent LA home.

Regardless of where the theater goes in the city, “we will continue to offer the Westlake community creative resources and access to the ongoing events,” theater operators said in a statement. Puppeteers take part in outreach initiatives in local schools and throughout the neighborhood around the theater.

If everything goes according to schedule, the marionette theater’s new location will be up and running by the end of 2019, says spokesperson Winona Bechtle.

With its bright red curtains and prolific tinsel, the original marionette theater will be a hard act to follow, but the future home of the Bob Baker Marionette Theater will be based on “original and unrealized concepts by Bob Baker himself,” as seen in drawings by Morton Haack—the costume designer for the original Planet of the Apes—sketched nearly 60 years ago.

The new theater will also incorporate “all the beloved features of the current theater, from the drywall to the chandeliers.”

Between November 23 and the opening of the theater’s new home, the marionettes will hit the road for a series of traveling engagements and pop-up appearances from the Pasadena Playhouse to the Santa Monica Pier.

The organization will also launch the Bob Baker Marionette Mobile, “a traveling ice cream truck and puppet caravan.”

Bob Baker and Alton Wood opened the marionette theater in 1963. Both were puppeteers.

Baker worked on numerous films, including Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and episodes of Star Trek, according city documents related to the theater’s landmarking.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that the new theater would open by the end of this year. It will open by the end of next year.

13 haunted attractions to freak you out this Halloween

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Inside a Knott’s Scary Farm maze.

From theme parks to home haunts, here’s where to scare yourself silly

October is here, and Halloween is right around the corner. The time for costume planning, pumpkin carving, and candy collecting is nigh. Above all, it’s the season for haunted hayrides, zombie mazes, and any number of other spooky encounters.

For those looking for some fun, controlled terror this Halloween, we’ve mapped some of the best haunted attractions across Los Angeles. Some have high production values (and high ticket prices); others are homemade and completely free. All are scary in their own ways.

For more spooky reads:

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Here’s what $680K buys around LA

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We’ve got five options, from Hollywood to Highland Park

Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, where we explore what you can rent or buy for a certain dollar amount in various LA ’hoods. We’ve found five homes and condos within $10,000 of today’s price: $680,000.

Front of house
Dining room
Kitchen
Outdoor dining areaCourtesy Pacific Union

This Tujunga residence was built in 1953 and features airy interiors illuminated by walls of glass and wide panels of windows. The house has been recently renovated and it’s got a new HVAC system and surround sound speakers. Equipped with two bedrooms and one bathroom, the house has 1,133 square feet of floor space. Sitting on a 5,985-square-foot lot, it has an attached garage and an enclosed backyard with multiple patios. Asking price is $679,000.

Living room
Kitchen
Bedroom
BalconyCourtesy Pacific Union

How about this condo, located on the seventh floor of the Hollywood Versailles Tower, close to the intersection of Hollywood and La Brea? The 954-square-foot unit has one bedroom and two bathrooms, with a kitchen and bathrooms that have been recently remodeled and a private balcony. Shared amenities include a swimming pool, a fitness center, and a lobby lounge. Asking price is $685,000, and HOA dues are $803 per month.

Front of house
Living room
Kitchen
Back of houseCourtesy Jennifer Wenzlaff, Redfin

This classic Spanish-style home in Highland Park was built in 1928. It sits on a compact 2,285-square-foot lot with patio space and a back deck that offers nice views across the neighborhood. Inside are original hardwood floors, though most of the house has been recently updated. It has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, with 1,142 square feet of living space. There’s even a basement with laundry and a bit of extra storage space. Asking price is $674,500.

Front yard
Living room
Kitchen
BackyardVia Polly Watts, Maxim Properties

This comfortable-looking home in Lake Balboa has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, with 1,246 square feet of living space. The kitchen has been recently renovated and offers new countertops and stainless steel appliances. The light-filled living room is equipped with a gas fireplace. Sitting on a grassy 6,001-square-foot lot with a detached garage in the back, the house is asking $679,900.

Living room
Bedroom
Kitchen
BalconyCourtesy Pacific Union

This Downtown LA condo is located in South Park’s EVO Lofts building. Measuring in at 1,020 square feet, it’s got a wide open floor plan (technically, it’s a one-bedroom, though there’s no dividing wall between the bedroom and the rest of the unit). The condo has wood floors, stainless steel appliances, a breakfast bar, and in-unit laundry. Building amenities include a swimming pool, a lounge, barbecue areas, and a fitness center. Asking price is $685,000, with HOA dues of $762 per month.

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Circa towers with massive LED screen open in Downtown LA

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The two-tower development is “a city-within-a-city”

Two 35-story towers at 12th and Figueroa officially opened today, welcoming their first residents. Located directly across the street from LA Live and fronted by a 18,000-square-foot LED screen, the 648-unit project is hard to miss.

“Circa embodies luxury urban living to the fullest,” says Scott Dobbins, president of Hankey Investment Company, one of the four investment entities that owns the development. “It’s a city-within-a-city that will become a focal point of Downtown LA.”

The development, designed by Harley Ellis Devereaux and Hanson LA, includes a variety of residential units, plus shops and restaurants and a private two-acre park.

The apartments range from 600-square-foot one-bedrooms to lavish, nearly 4,000-square-foot penthouses.

Rents start at $3,000 and go up to $25,000 a month for the penthouses. Three of the six penthouses are already leased, according to developers.

Residents have access to a two-acre private park by LRM Landscape Architecture, two pools, two spas, and outdoor fireplaces.

At the ground floor, Circa holds 48,000-square-feet of retails space, including 26,000 square feet for restaurants. The names of the retail tenants haven’t been released yet, but they are expected to include “up to four nationally-branded retailers.”

Circa is one of more than 30 projects under construction or in the planning stages in the South Park neighborhood.

26 things to do this fall in LA

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Forest Lawn.

26 places to visit in LA, from cemeteries to the best new art exhibits

Welcome to Curbed LA’s pocket guide, a map of 26 essential things to do in Los Angeles. Suited for locals and visitors alike and curated by our editors, this map is updated seasonally, focusing on cultural institutions, the outdoors, and beautiful spaces.

This autumn, we’re paying special attention to places where you can glimpse fall colors, as well as new fall exhibitions and impressive architecture. Our picks include well-known classics and under-the-radar spots, from the Getty to a new brewpub in a glorious Art Deco space to the cemetery where Michael Jackson and Walt Disney are buried.

If we missed any cool spots, let us know in the comments.

Looking for more ways to explore the City of Angels this summer?

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Whimsical improvements make Western more walkable

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In Koreatown, strip malls now feel like gathering places

The new palms that greeted CicLAvia revelers as they crossed into Koreatown on Sunday aren’t freshly planted trees. The laser-cut aluminum fronds that march up and down Western are affixed to street light poles, creating a neon-green parade down the corridor.

The faux palm trees act like an urban canopy of sorts, complementing clusters of bright perforated-steel benches and planters sprouting monstera leaves—all casting geometric shadows on the colorfully painted pavement below.

Part of an initiative named Welcome to Western, these streetscape improvements designed by LA-Más are designed to make the busy, car-centric stretch of Western from Third Street to Melrose more walkable. The first phase of the improvements, which are funded by City Council districts 4 and 10, was installed in August with more to come in the upcoming months.

These first changes are mostly clustered around First and Western, although the palms continue for several more blocks in each direction.

The improvements are functional in that they provide dignified respites frocm LA’s relentless sun, but they also create delightful destinations where you might plan to meet a friend. On Sunday, the seating areas were well-used by families needing to make a pit stop along the CicLAvia route, with kids’ bike helmets bobbing among the colorful installations.

“It really is about welcoming people and opening up the street,” says Elizabeth Timme, LA-Más co-principal.

The way the furniture is arranged feels like a series of public living rooms. There are places to read a newspaper (in one of three languages sold in boxes on the corners) and enjoy a pair of bungeoppang, the popular fish-shaped pastry made fresh in the back of HK Market.

The project site, which was selected through Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Great Streets initiative in 2014, was originally chosen because it lacked public space and is the northern gateway to Koreatown.

But that doesn’t mean it lacked cultural assets, says Timme.

“Koreatown is an institution,” she says.

Through its research, LA-Más realized its goal for the project was less about “branding” the area and more about helping everyone to better use the sidewalk—including reclaiming underused areas of strip-mall parking lots.

The communal table outside of HK Market has become a gathering place for diners, commuters, and families.

Some of the new seating and bench elements were designed for specific street vendors who serve the surrounding blocks. On a recent tour, a taco truck pulled up at the corner, giving its customers perfect proximity to the large communal table, and, more importantly, its shade.

Instead of sourcing neighborhood-agnostic elements like LA’s standard bus benches, which feel plopped onto the sidewalk with little regard for the existing streetscape, LA-Más designed its own custom pieces and pulled its bright palette of colors from the surrounding blocks.

The colors match the HK Market logo.

The coral of the table perfectly matches the HK Market logo across the parking lot; the three-tone green street lamps seem sampled from the Bank of Hope sign. The effect is that your eye is drawn past the new additions and into the neighborhood itself.

Another delightful trick that LA-Más employed: The parts of the streetscape that it couldn’t change—the blue diagonal lines demarcating disabled parking zones, bright yellow bollards, white crosswalk stripes—were incorporated into the design through color or pattern, turning the functional parts of LA streets into sculptural accents.

Even the city’s bus benches are drawn into the fold, making the generic tubular green feel almost like it was part of LA-Más’s plan.

All the tables, stools, and decorative elements were custom-designed by LA-Más and fabricated in Los Angeles.

When it came to choosing materials for the elements, there wasn’t much leeway—LA’s street furniture rules dictate that everything needed to be made from durable powder-coated steel.

But just as the team started to bid on pieces of steel from a local fabricator, the Trump administration’s new tariffs created major price fluctuations. The tariffs so dramatically gouged the project’s budget that instead of having four hubs open by the end of the summer, the designers could only afford to produce two.

More funding is being procured, says Timme, but the process has been gut-wrenching for the designers. “We were incredibly impacted, both in the scope of the work and how we could give back to the community.”

Timme and her LA-Más co-principal Helen Leung say they met with every business and property owner on the street and organized well-attended public events, gathering input not only on what the project should look like, but how the changes could best serve the neighborhood.

To make sure Welcome to Western doesn’t feel abandoned over time, LA-Más is working with Koreatown Youth and Community Center to handle maintenance duties and tend to the newly planted landscaping (including more actual trees).

The forms of the palm trees and other plants that add greenery to the street were inspired by Henri Rousseau’s lush paintings.

But the possibility of a few defaced utility boxes isn’t LA-Más’s biggest concern.

“Graffiti and vandalism doesn’t bother me. The traffic and the way people drive really bothers me,” says Timme, who was hit by cars two times while working on the project (she wasn’t seriously hurt).

While other Great Streets projects were paired with infrastructural enhancements like road diets, bike lanes, curb extensions, or better pedestrian crossings, Western got none of those safety improvements.cc

Yet it’s remarkable how much LA-Más did without changing traffic patterns. Even something as simple as painting the street lamps a minty green, with that bus-bench green accent at human height, offers a rewarding experience for people walking.

Plus there’s something to the idea of elevating the city’s most basic infrastructure into these colorful, eye-catching landmarks.

Instead of a top-down, cordoned-off approach that’s often paid for by developers, maybe functional linear parks like this that stretch along busy corridors—much like the way CicLAvia works—are a better idea for carving out more public spaces for LA.

A network of sidewalk living rooms could offer residents a more enjoyable way to shop, work, and play without getting in their cars, while still remaining immersed in their neighborhood’s vibrant street life.

And it could be done in a way that enhances, not erases. What Welcome to Western does best is denote that these blocks are special, not because of what a handful of designers decided should happen on these corners, but because of what was already happening there.

Kelsey Keith, Curbed’s editor-in-chief, will be serving on LA-Mas’s fundraiser committee in November 2018. She had no involvement in the planning, execution, or editing of this story.

 
 
DMS