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Alvarado Terrace Historic District – Part 3

Feb 10, 2011 by Lisa Newton

Up to this point on our Alvarado Terrace Historic District tour, we’ve seen, discussed, and learned about the history that belies the six houses in the Alvarado Terrace Historic District, all of which are featured in the Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument list.

Today, we’ll be visiting a church, a house, an apartment building, and a park, each with its own unique features, story, and history.

To be sure, as I was walking this neighborhood, I couldn’t help but notice that some of the houses have seen better days, while others are in the process of being renewed. Indeed, both are true.

In fact, walking is the best way to view this neighborhood. Otherwise, one is wasting one’s time as many of the houses and other building have ornate and inimical details that would be missed otherwise.

Across the street from the row of houses featured in Part 1 and Part 2 of the Alvarado Terrace Historic District is Terrace Park.

Once known as Summerland Park, Terrace Park, was built in 1904, and actually once boasted a fish pond, rosebushes, a subterranean tool shed, and a full time gardener.

But, in 1921, it was remodeled, and left with only grass and trees.

Today, a small playground, grandstand, and a few really cool street lights are all that’s left of this 1.17 acre park. Yet, it’s still here, and an important component of our cultural and historic heritage.

One of the streets boarding the park is called Powers Place, and it’s actually the smallest street in Los Angeles; measuring less than 50 feet and paved in red brick, the street was named after Pomeroy W. Powers, the then President of City Council and resident of the Terrace. Together, Terrace Park and Powers Place are recognized as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 210.

1415 Alvarado Terrace

Virtually right next to the Kinney-Everhardy House is 1415 Alvarado Terrace. Built in 1928, this five-story building was one of the first high-rise apartments that was built south of Wilshire Boulevard. Designed by William Allen, this building currently rents for $850 for a studio and $1200 for a one bedroom.

For this particular building, it’s imperative that you try and check out its details both inside and out. Because there’s a secure entrance I couldn’t get in, but peaking in the lobby provides a hint of the grandeur of this building and its glory days.

Just a few steps forward, I discovered the Henderson House, a 2½ story Craftsman residence, located at 1421 Alvarado Terrace. It features two gables, one acting as an entrance porch and the other as a dormer. Although originally designed as a large single-family home, today, the interior has been remodeled into a multi-family dwelling containing 5 separate apartments.

As a matter of fact, at the time of this story, this house is actually for sale at a list price of $695,000.

Further down Alvarado Terrace, a large church can’t be missed on the corner. Combining three different styles, Beaux-Arts, Italian and Spanish Romanesque, and Mediterranean, the Iglesia Adventista Central was built in 1912 by the highly acclaimed California architect, Elmer Grey.

The building’s most notable features include its semi-circular porch respite with fluted columns, brick tower, rounded arches, and a tiled roof. This church is also Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 89.

An interesting but rather disturbing point about this church is that it was the last home of the infamous cult leader, Jim Jones’ Peoples Temple from 1970 until their move to Jonestown, Guyana in 1977, where 918 people committed mass suicide. On a positive note, the Church remains while Jones does not.

In order to better assist you with a guide to this area, Travelin’ Local has created this map which covers all of the areas that have been covered and written about, so far:

View Alvarado Terrace Historic District in a larger map

Lastly, Part 4 of the Alvarado Terrace Historic District will be featured tomorrow.

Although on the one hand the place has seen its better days; one can’t help but both appreciate and have an inner desire to be part of this special neighborhood which is integral to LA’s history and culture.

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Architecture, Culture, Family, Los Angeles, SoCal
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