Two longtime neighborhoods in the hilly central region of Los Angeles, Silver Lake and nearby Echo Park are both built around city reservoirs that gave them their names. The communities are socioeconomically and ethnically diverse, and have long been home to many notable people in entertainment and the arts. Both have a number of active local improvement and conservancy organizations. A movie town since the ‘30s, Silver Lake was home to the early studios of Walt Disney and cowboy star Tom Mix. It is crisscrossed by numerous municipal staircases that provide pedestrian access up and down the hills, including the famous one up which Laurel and Hardy failed to wrestle a grand piano. Since 2000, gentrification has transformed Silver Lake. Now known as one of the city’s hippest neighborhoods, it’s home to many bars, nightclubs and restaurants, and the center of LA’s alternative and indie rock scene.
Silver Lake Homes
Starting early in the last century, the rolling hills and steep bluffs of Echo Park became a prime locale for clapboard cottages, Spanish-style bungalows and a sprinkling of postwar and Modern houses. The area is also home to the historic Victorian neighborhood of Angelino Heights and to the city’s second-largest park, Elysian, dedicated in 1886. Southern California’s first botanical garden (1893) and the Los Angeles Police Academy are located here. In the ‘20s, Echo Park was home to Mack Sennett’s Keystone Studios among others.