Historic Echo Park
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Mary LaFleur
I was just enjoying the Hill Dwellers resident histories and I was wondering why so many of the original titles were in women's names. Were they single or was using the woman's name on the title a common practice? I like to imagine that Echo Park was developed by enterprising avante garde females. Do you have any insights?
Kevin Kuzma
I don't remember where I've heard it at this point, but I think that I was told that married couples often put the house in the wife's name for a strategic reason. I forget what that was at this point, ease of inheritence? Shielding assets from foreclosure?

On the other hand, there were a number of women who did invest in Los Angeles' "original" industry, more than one might assume. My own home was built by a woman who invested in real estate throughout Los Angeles from the 1880s through the 1930s.

I remember reading somewhere that this was if the bank or lender ever tried to foreclose on the owner, it would be more "shameful" to do so on a [helpless] woman and thus, act as a deterrent.

I guess those days of chivalry and honor are long gone.
paula b
Here's another theory.

For a good part of the 20th century (and until the 50s), CA had anti-mesegenation laws preventing "Caucasians" from marrying "Orientals."  Since many Filipinos, for example, married "white women" (little to no immigration of Filipino Women until the 60's), perhaps this flowed over to mortgages and home ownership, aided by the LA City Council's tolerance for a covenance - "no Filipino allowed" to purchase a home in certain neighborhoods.

Angelino Hgts is one area where the first Filipinos arrived and lived.  At the corner of Bellevue and West Edgeware Rd was the first and early Filipino-owned/run grocery store (est. 1930's), called Jimmy's.  This store was last run by Korean Americans, but was closed in 2007-08, after several rounds of protests in the extension of their beverage license.  The first Filipino Americans in LA (1920-30s) who settled in Angelino Hgts/Echo Park are gone now, but their legacies live on.

I would appreciate any information others have on the Filipino American settlers in Echo Park.


Paula B
Chris Anderson
I lived at 1905 Cortez St. (between Glendale and LaVeta Terrace) from 1960 until 1965. Our house was owned by the lady who lived on the north west corner of LaVeta and Cortez. She owned all 3 units, which included a small studio apartment above the garage between the houses. Her name was Edith Burnham and she was long a widow at that time. She drove a big new red and white 1960 Chevrolet Impala hardtop which she kept in the garage under our house.

Though the houses were built around 1910, all were still meticulously maintained with their white clapboard sides and stained glass window decorations. All that is gone now, but 1905 Cortez (no longer part of the main house) has been lovingly restored by the new owner.
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