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RIP to the Grand View Bungalow Court in the Westlake District


Gentle reader,

When routing a walking tour, every step matters.

If we’re going to ask our guests to get out of their cars to explore unfamiliar Los Angeles neighborhoods, we want them to constantly marvel at the richness of the history, from beautiful buildings that are impossible to miss, to less obvious scraps of the past: century-old maker’s marks pressed into the sidewalk, sentinel trees, faded ghost signs and even the occasional horse tether still embedded in the curb (as shared on our Angelino Heights & Carroll Avenue tour).

And because these are tours about Los Angeles, a city that is suffering the negative impacts of public corruption around land use and a City Planning department that hands out discretionary zoning benefits like Hallowe’en candy, buildings sometimes get demolished between tour dates.

When they’re good and useful buildings, it’s always sad, but we’re used to it.

But the sheer scale of what has been happening just south of MacArthur Park leaves us breathless—so much so that we asked the gifted Dronescape photographer Steve Lucero to document it for his channel, The Artery LA.

In just a few short months, most of a block comprised of 18 standalone 1940s-era bungalows, each with two affordable units and shared patio space, has been demolished, the land cleared and the community of neighbors—including Alejandra M. Castro who appealed to try to save her home—dispersed.

Some of those neighbors are likely visible in the alley behind the boarded up bungalow court, surrounded by the discarded artifacts of daily life.

Esotouric’s Substack is a reader supported publication. If you’d like to support our preservation work as a paying subscriber, you can do that below. You can also tip us on Venmo (Esotouric) or here. Your support helps us look out for Los Angeles and we thank you!

We all paid for this, because the state gave the developer $4.1 Million in Proposition 1 affordable housing development funds, and because Mayor Karen Bass directed City Council to issue a low interest tax-free bond so Abode Communities can replace 36 bungalow homes with 100 small apartments at an estimated cost of $840,000 per unit!

We will pass the vacant lot that used to be the bungalow court community at 714-760 S. Grand View Street on tomorrow’s Westlake Park tour route, because the influential Chouinard Art Institute (later absorbed into CalArts) is just across the street. And if you join us on the tour, all you’ll see is a vacant lot wrapped in a green demolition fence.

But if you’ve read this newsletter and watched the videos, you know that it’s actually a crime scene, a blatant example of the demented public policies that are chewing up existing housing to replace it with new housing that costs a fortune, and contributes to L.A.’s homelessness crisis.

R.I.P. Grand View Bungalow Court—we won’t forget you!

Yours for Los Angeles,

Kim & Richard


Psst… If you’d like to support our efforts to be the voice of places worth preserving, we have a tip jar and a subscriber edition of this newsletter, vintage Los Angeles webinars available to stream, in-person tours and a souvenir shop you can browse in. We’ve also got recommended reading bookshelves on Amazon and the Bookshop indie bookstore site. And did you know we offer private versions of our walking and bus tours for groups big or small? Or just share this link with other people who care.

Tour Gift Certificates


Westlake Park Time Travel Trip Walking Tour (Sat. 2/10) • Angelino Heights & Carroll Avenue Time Travel Trip Walking Tour (Sat. 2/17) • The Real Black Dahlia Crime Bus Tour (Sat. 2/24) • SOLD OUT Know Your Downtown L.A.: Tunnels To Towers To The Dutch Chocolate Shop Walking Tour (Sat. 3/16) • The Run: Gay Downtown History Walking Tour (Sat. 3/23) • Franklin Village Old Hollywood Walking Tour (Sat. 3/30) • John Fante’s Downtown Los Angeles Birthday Walking Tour (Sat. 4/6) • Raymond Chandler’s Noir Downtown Los Angeles Walking Tour (Sat. 4/13) • Human Sacrifice: The Black Dahlia, Elisa Lam, Heidi Planck & Skid Row Slasher Cases Walking Tour (Sat. 4/20) • Downtown Los Angeles is for Book Lovers Walking Tour (Sat. 4/27) • Alvarado Terrace & South Bonnie Brae Tract Time Travel Trip Walking Tour (Sat. 5/4) • Charles Bukowski’s Westlake Walking Tour (Sat. 5/11) • Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice Walking Tour (Sat. 5/18) • Evergreen Cemetery, 1877 Walking Tour (Sat. 5/25) • POP – Preserving Our Past Downtown Los Angeles Walking Tour (Sat. 6/1)