Northeast Los Angeles is renowned for its diversity. But the diversity extends not only to the people but also to the types of character homes available on the market.
The neighborhoods of Northeast Los Angeles (NELA) are stocked with various styles of character homes. Throughout the last century, there was five major eras that influenced the different styles of homes that can be found today throughout Northeast Los Angeles. Each of these eras introduced unique styles that residents of Los Angeles live in today.
The Victorian Era took place between 1860 and 1910. This was the first era of popular homes built in NELA. Victorian architecture was influenced by builders of the British Empire who moved from the east coast. Today, many Victorian homes still exist in Angelino Heights and Highland Park. Victorian homes paved the way for domestic living. These homes were the first homes to have electric lighting and indoor plumbing. The layouts of these homes match the lifestyle of the 19th century. Back then; kitchens were utilized solely for cooking, and had a small bedroom attached for the help. The dining rooms were large and decorative. Pocket doors separated some rooms so that tea parties and smoking sessions could happen simultaneously without disturbing each other. Because they were built in the 19th century, Victorian homes lacked proper insulation and heating systems. However, more people began to migrate to Los Angeles and present more styles of homes.
The Turn of the Century era between 1890 and 1920 introduced several new styles of homes into NELA. These homes include the California Craftsman, California Bungalow, and Spanish Revival. The combination of these homes started the first Los Angeles suburbs. The California Craftsman was tailored to regular household families who did not have butlers or maids. Kitchens gained areas for dinner tables and shelves and cabinets began to appear on the walls of other rooms. Craftsman homes are generally one to two stories and have an open floor plan to allow for better heating and insulation. Craftsman homes contain a fireplace, tile, and working light fixtures. The California Craftsman and California Bungalow are essentially the same. The small differences can be found in the arts and crafts features. For example, only a Bungalow would have a large veranda out front with eaves that will protect the home from the sun in the summer and draw in the light during the winter. Bungalows are generally one story, however some contain a built in second story or a slightly raised basement that can be used as an entertainment room. Bungalows are built in clusters so that their uniform size provides privacy from other tall homes.
Spanish Colonial Revival homes were modeled after the beautiful and stunning Spanish Missions located on the Californian coast. Spanish homes are characterized by their flat, terra cotta tile roofs and stucco walls. The windows are lined with wood and an archway marks the entry. Spanish homes were influenced by the warm climates of Mexico, Spain and North Africa. These homes cater towards this weather by having open passageways and courtyards.
The Period Revival (1920-1940) put Los Angeles as the top city in the nation with the largest assortment of Period Styles. The California Craftsman, California Bungalow, and Spanish Colonial Revival continued to grow and develop throughout this period. The Tudor Revival also became increasingly popular. These homes are found mostly in Altadena and Pasadena. The Tudor Revival has several characteristics that set it aside from other styles of homes. The windows and chimneys are tall with very steep roofs. Most Tudors have large living rooms and comfortable fireplaces. Tudors are the size of mansions with a simple, rustic look. They are some of the most expensive types of houses.
The Mid-Century Modern came to life in NELA between the World Wars in the Early Modern Era of 1920-1945. These houses have symmetrical, geometric patterns and visible lines. Many popular TV shows of the 60s and 70s featured Mid-Century Modern homes. This style was popular all over the world, but fit California climate perfectly. These homes have giant glass windows that take up full walls, wood and stone in the architecture, and open floor plans that allow for an easy passageway between rooms. Their roofs are either flat or slightly raised and are most commonly single story. The sleek and clean style matches both the exterior and interior of the house. These homes are most commonly found in Eagle Rock, Altadena, and Pasadena.
In the Post-World War II (1945-1965) Era, the previous styles were simplified so they could be produced in mass quantities. As cities and communities continue to grow, styles and architecture continue to evolve to fit the needs of the neighborhood, the weather, and the people.