10 reasons to visit emerging neighborhood in LA
Located just South of Silver Lake and West of Echo Park lies the little known neighborhood of Historic Filipinotown or the Hi-Fi District as it’s come to be known. Architecturally the area is full of pre-war houses; primarily Victorian and Craftsman with several hybrid versions set amongst sprawling commercial mid-Century buildings.
The Hi-Fi District is in the midst of a resurgence with several new construction projects primarily in the way of condos and apartments. Population density always brings about new retail opportunities. The area has several things going for it; close proximity to Silverlake, Echo Park and DTLA, easy freeway access and historic houses.
Amsterdam Modern & New Made LA
Amsterdam Modern and sister company, New Made LA. occupy a 10,000 square foot Mid-Century Commercial building on Glendale Blvd.
Owner Ellen LeComte has assembled an impressive selection of hand picked mid-century furniture and lighting acquired on her frequent buying trips to Amsterdam.
Everything from Vintage Rattan Lounge Chairs to a Mint Condition Hans Wegner Daybed can be found at A.M.
A stroll through the aisles reveals new treasures at every turn.
The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree 🍎
Simon LeComte (son of owner Ellen) created a sister line to Amsterdam Modern called New Made LA. The impetus for the line was to create pieces that are affordable, practical and inspired by Mid-Century design. Simon has succeeded on all counts.
Every piece in the collection was designed for ease of use and function. Sconces have interchangeable shades, side tables are modular and chairs fold flat for easy storage.
Simon, an accomplished welder in his own right, found inspiration for the black enameled perforated steel shades from Mid-Century pieces in the store.
The colors used in the line were inspired by the paintings of 20th Century artist Piet Mondrian.
Where Urban Blight meets Urban Renewal
At the Eastern edge of Hi-Fi, spans the 1st Street Viaduct, a concrete bridge built in 1942 at the intersection of Glendale Blvd. and 1st Street (Beverly Blvd.) as seen in this photograph taken in 1956.
In recent years, the East wall of the bridge has become a canvas for street murals.
According to Design East of La Brea, “Since 2015, more than 80 artists from all over the world have come to LA’s Historic Filipinotown to transform the neighborhood’s alleys, buildings, and parking lots into the city’s most comprehensive outdoor art gallery. The concentration of murals—over 100 and counting—has turned the area into an international street art destination, with new visitors walking the sidewalks every weekend.”
Anyone up for a live puppet show?
Bob Baker’s Marionette Theatre sits at the intersection of 1st Street , Glendale Blvd. and Toluca Street. Opened in 1962 in a former Motion Picture Scenery Shop, the theatre provides a series of live seasonal shows including The Nutcracker Suite during Christmastime.
If you’re looking for somewhere different to take a group of children, I highly recommend scheduling a visit to Bob Baker’s Marionette Theatre. It’s a magical experience and one they soon won’t forget.
The Vista Hermosa Park, a charming hilly oasis designed by Landscape Architect extraordinaire, Mia Lehrer opened in 2008.
Vista Hermosa is one of those rare jewels situated on 10 acres perched on a hill within minutes of DTLA. The terraced park is a respite for families, inner city youths and people with dogs. I remember when the former Oil Field was in the process of being graded and how pleasantly surprised I was to learn a new park was in the works. The area was rough, still is to some extent; however, change is in the air.
What Mia Lehrer and her associates succeeded in creating is nothing short of magic. Indigenous, drought resistant plants engulf winding pathways that emerge onto wide open grassy plateaus with cinematic views of the LA Skyline. My pups enjoy our visits every time 🙂
City of Z Design & Morfi
City of Z Design is a curated Vintage & Modern Furniture and Lighting shop open by appointment in the Hi-Fi District. I opened City of Z Design after working as a set decorator, art director and prop stylist on Film, TV and Still shoots for the past 20 plus years.
City of Z Design recently launched MORFI, a line of classically modern furniture hand built (in Los Angeles) to last.
Interior Design, E-Design and Sourcing Services
We offer interior design, e-design and sourcing services. If you’re on the hunt for a particular piece, in all likelihood, we can find it. Drop us an email and let us know what you’re looking for. E-design is a good option for people who are super busy or out of town. If you’ like to schedule a complimentary 1 hour consultation by phone click here and use code MyFirstConsult.
Loft Thirteen, the first high end Vintage Furniture shop in the area sells “by appointment only”.
The Beverly Building
The Beverly Building, a former Brassiere Factory on the Western Edge of Hi-Fi was built in 1925.
Mural Alley Behind The Beverly Building
As I mentioned earlier, Hi-Fi has become known for its incredible murals. So much so every August 27th de LaB and Gabba Gallery host “Hidden Hi Fi: Art Alleys Celebration” which you can check out here
If you can’t make it to the annual celebration, consider booking a Jeepney tour through The Filipino Worker’s Center
According to Light Space Shadow the Beverly Building was recently restored and features a Spanish style facade with brick walls, a batwing bow-truss and 100 year old maple floors.
The Interior Design Firm slash Vintage and Modern Home Decor Shop opened a design studio and warehouse in The Beverly Building that’s “by appointment only”.
Nickey Kehoe’s Flagship Home Decor Shop, NK Shop is located at 7221 Beverly Blvd. The shop features an impressive array of curated vintage & antique finds in addition to pieces from their private collection.
It’s been interesting to witness the transformation of a neighborhood. I remember when DTLA and Silverlake were grungy. Now Downtown is thriving and Silverlake was named “America’s Hippest Hipster Neighborhood” by Forbes Magazine. Unfortunately not all change is good. Many developers with no sense of history or appreciation for their surroundings construct eye soars that would make Howard Roark wince. The area is already blighted by a series of soulless strip malls erected in the 80’s. On the positive side, I really like what Light Space & Shadow did with The Beverly Building. I hope companies like Industry Partners and the 1933 Group join in to develop properties in the area. It’ll be interesting to see how the Hi-Fi district changes in the coming years. It’s a bit like the wild west now.
Photographic Sources; 1. City of Z Design 2. Amsterdam Modern 3. City of Z Design 4. City of Z Design 5. City of Z 6. Tate Museum 7 & 8. new Made LA 9. Lost LA/KCET10. COZ 11. YELP 12-19. COZ 20, 21. Light, Space Shadow 22. Design East of LaBrea 23.Light,SpaceShadow 24-26. Nickey Kehoe 27&28 COZ