Honey Explores Echo Park Addresses

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May 1, 2012 · Posted in Notes from Above Ground 

By Honey van Blossom

(Honey is a Belgian Marxist former strip-tease artiste.)

Lionel Rolfe’s remembrance of meeting Jake Zeitlin touches on Zeitlin’s arrival in Los Angeles from Texas in 1925. http://echopark.patch.com/articles/lionel-rolfe-remembering-echo-park-s-jake-zietlin-part-one.

When Zeitlin first moved to Los Angeles, he sold books at Bullock’s downtown. After that, he sold books from a valise, working from his home. He “found a foothold” in a converted hallway on Hope near Sixth Street. Then he moved to 705-1/2 Sixth Street.

Zeitlin’s first home in Los Angeles was on 1623 Landa. That portion of Landa is at the top of Echo Park Avenue. http://echopark.patch.com/articles/photo-essay-you-cant-get-there-from-here-landa-street#photo-5673050

One of two houses on Landa, probably the one where Jake lived

I found two cottages at 1623 Landa, one behind the other. The road to the bottom structure stems from Landa. Googlemaps does not reveal a name for that road. According to the Los Angeles County Assessor’s website, one house was built in 1924 and one was built in 1929. The photographs that accompany this blog show both houses.

In 1931, he moved to 1559 Altivo Way. (West View: Jake Zeitlin at 75 – Looking Back,” by Ward Ritchie) http://www.historyofscience.com/pdf/Jake-Zeitlin-at-75.pdf.

Ward Ritchie, then a young printer, set up an invitation to Zeitlin’s house:

Will partake of the brew
And bread of Jake Zeitlin
Whose eyrie is at 1559
Altivo Way on the third
Thursday of November….”

John Huston lived at 1565 Altivo Way. John Huston was an actor, screenwriter and director. He directed both his father Walter Huston (In the Treasure of Sierra Madre, with Humphrey Bogart) and his daughter Anjelica Huston. John Huston graduated from Lincoln Heights High School across the river.

Ursula Vils wrote about Altivo Way in a November 2, 1983 article for the Los Angeles Times. (“Residents Chronicle the Folk History of an L.A. Neighborhood.”)

“The Echo Park hills, before and during the early days of subdivision, were a resort and weekend recreational for city residents, some of whom built shacks as overnight shelters for camping and horse-back-riding parties.”

Dian R. Gardener built a proper house at 1555 Altivo Way in about 1913. (Assessor’s website). Others cut existing homes in other areas and reassembled them in Elysian Heights. Gardner leased 1559 to Zeitlin in 1931.

Vils describes the valley below as comprised of small farms, which were flooded out almost annually during the winter rains. The railroad yards below Zeitlin’s houses also flooded. “Several early residents remember seeing boxcars bobbing in the river current during the floods of 1913-14.”


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