The spirit of Echo Park resounds in this remarkable offering, a secluded compound on two lots totaling over 26,000 square feet.
Its centerpiece is a rustic mid-century bungalow hand-built by Robert A. Johnson, a civil engineer for the City of LA who poured his heart and soul into this labor of love. Featuring three bedrooms and two bathrooms, the two-level residence seeks just its third owner.
Original woodwork and carefully crafted details abound including a fireplace, exposed beams, built-ins and inlaid cabinetry, evoking the look and feel of mid-century folk art. When the current owner of the home was renovating, he removed a drop ceiling and on a beam found a signature. The artist, Robert Johnson, has truly left his mark.
From every window find views of pathways, gardens and terraces designed for rambling, relaxing and entertaining friends. The adjacent parcel, incorporated in the sale, provides privacy and a massive tile mosaic that is etched into the hillside. Wrapped in tranquility in a red-hot neighborhood, you are near trendy shopping and dining options on Echo Park Avenue including Pollen, Valerie’s, Cookbook, Chango, and many more.
The compound as a whole feels a world apart, set against a woodsy embankment. The San Gabriel Mountains loom in the distance, and the city is kept at bay. The front yard privacy fence was inspired by a Viking ship, setting the stage for whimsical touches that include a fountain, waterfall, and unique walkways and retaining walls that were entirely crafted by hand. Surprises and details spark to the eye as each individual piece is revealed to be different from the others including stones, shells, petrified wood, fossils, lava rocks, polished glass, bits of broken pottery, even a toy car.
Johnson’s balance of art and craft was purposeful and also fantastical, the product of his engineering mind and artist’s heart. When his steep vacant lot needed shoring up, there was one part of him that knew how to build retaining walls — and another part of him that wanted those walls to be special. Over many years, a passion project took shape in concrete and tile. Seen from below you understand the scale of it, bringing to mind the Watts Towers or Park Guell in Barcelona. Seen from above it is truly epic, and includes from its apex a stunning panorama across the Santa Monica Mountains and Hollywood Sign.
Listing courtesy of Tracy Do, Compass Realty.