2225 India Street: Spanish Styling in Silver Lake Heights

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Just south of the Los Angeles River and slightly east of where the 5 and the 2 freeways intersect sits this absolutely lovely 2 bedroom/1 bathroom Spanish Colonial home in the Silver Lake Heights subdivision of Silver Lake. Built in 1937, this 1044 sq. ft. home is airy, spacious, and in a highly coveted part of the city. Thankfully, this dream home with fantastic curb appeal can become some lucky person’s reality, because it’s on the market right now accepting backup offers for the asking price of $799,000.

“It was as perfect day a day as ever that shone out of the heavens” reads an article in the Los Angeles Herald from 1890, “and as the roads are generally in good order, firm, smooth, and clean, a drive behind a fleet pony was anything rather than disagreeable. While the sky was bright the sun ways not hot, and from early morning to sunset there was not a moment when the breeze was not as fresh and life-giving as a breath from Paradise.”

The journalist in the article was describing a day trip he took near the Los Angeles River, in the country side between what was known back then as Rancho Los Feliz and Ivanhoe or today’s Silver Lake. A real estate boom in the late 1800s meant that developers were beginning to sell tracts of land.

Los Angeles Daily Herald, December 20, 1887

Los Angeles Daily Herald, December 20, 1887

Couple that with the fact that reservoirs were materializing, and promising innovations like the Red Car train were becoming actualized, and this part of the city soon became a bustling enclave.

Los Angeles Herald, October 30, 1910

Los Angeles Herald, October 30, 1910

Speaking of the Red Car, one can still visit the remnants of the old Red Car trail right near 2225 India Street by traversing the Corralitas Redcar Trail.

View of Edendale on Pacific Electric to Glendale, 1905, courtesy of USC Digital Libraries, California Historical Society Collection

View of Edendale on Pacific Electric to Glendale, 1905, courtesy of USC Digital Libraries, California Historical Society Collection

Beginning just south of Fletcher Drive, the Corralitas Redcar Trail offers visitors an alternative to Silver Lake’s abundant network of “secret stairs.” Perfect for hiking, the 1.6 mile trail runs almost parallel to the Glendale and 5 Freeways and has been nicknamed “Silver Lake’s Stonehenge” because of a group of concrete blocks that can be found near the beginning of the trail near Fletcher and Riverside Drives. According to redcarblogspot.com, the concrete blocks are portions of the foundation that originally belonged to the Fletcher Red Car Viaduct that ran through Glendale.

 

Courtesy of Atwater Village Chamber of Commerce

Courtesy of Atwater Village Chamber of Commerce

The concrete blocks along the Corralitas Red Car Trail were deemed a historic-cultural site in 2003. An LA Weekly article from 2011 named the Corralitas Trail the best “Potentially Haunted Trail” in Los Angeles. The same article also mentions the Silver Lake Meadow, which is less than a mile away from 2225 India Street on the Southeast side of the Silver Lake reservoir. The meadow is a 5-6 acre space located south of Armstrong and North of Earl Street and was originally part of the reservoir until it was filled up and closed off years ago. In 2011, the city invested in a $1 million project to open the meadow again to the public, where it now brims with beautiful blue cedars, sycamores, and native plants such as lilacs and Mexican sage (Reston, LA Times). The project was a controversial one because residents feared that the accompanying construction and traffic would disturb the community.

Neutra-VDL Research home, 1932 courtesy of USC Digital Libraries

Neutra-VDL Research home, 1932 courtesy of USC Digital Libraries

Just a short jaunt away from the Silver Lake Meadows, on the Western edge of the reservoir, is Richard Neutra’s famed VDL Research House and Residences, named after architect Cees H. Van der Leew, a Dutch enthusiast and patron of Neutra’s work. Built in 1932, the home was notable for its all glass construction and rooftop. As Neutra’s family grew, so did the property, and a garden house and solarium were eventually built. The VDL space is available for architecture tours given by Cal Poly Pomona Architecture students at specific times and days during the week.

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The design of 2225 India Street is a considerable departure from the modern stylings of the Neutra residences, of course. Terra cotta patios, wrought iron fixtures, and signature stucco are the trademarks of the welcoming, homey Spanish bungalows that dot the Silver Lake landscape.

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Gorgeous hardwood floors, French doors, and plenty of natural light combine with a delightful symmetry in the living room. Exposed beams and a decorative fire place provide the perfect balance between cozy and spacious. Abundant built-in bookshelves make this ideal living for the creative types that tend to favor this part of town.

And that’s not hyperbole. 2225 India Street has been home to a steady stream of artistic-leaning residents like talent scouts and graphic designers, and in the early 2000s was once home to the former Executive Director of the Creative Artists Agency Jefferson Coombs.

But the home has drawn many from across the career spectrum (well, like lawyers and doctors.) In 1977, 2225 India Street was purchased by a Dr. Gary Leach and his wife Barbara. The doctor, former Chief of the Department of Urology and Director of the Urodynamics Laboratory at Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center, was once named “Best Doctor in America.” Not too shabby, indeed.

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An intimate dining nook is equally bright and inviting. French doors leading to the outdoor patio make this dining area even more fluid and spacious.

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Charm and a sense of old Hollywood glamour echoes throughout the lovely kitchen. Remarkable features like gorgeous stone counter tops, lovely tiling, and country style cabinetry offer the home chef just about everything necessary for a quiet dinner indoors.

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But perhaps the best part, really, is the O’Keefe and Merritt antique stove. Here’s an old ad for one of those O’Keefe and Merritt stoves from a 1934 issue of the San Bernardino Sun:

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San Bernardino Sun, March 22, 1934

With their creamy enamel finishes, wide cooktops, and nostalgic auras, these vintage stoves popular during bleak postwar times are certainly making a resurgence. The O’Keefe and Merritt factory was a 6-acre factory located at 3700 E. Olympic Blvd, where it employed almost 600 men to produce over $2 million annually of refrigerators, air conditioners, stoves, and other appliances for customers across the country.

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The airy, spacious theme continues into the bedrooms. Another set of French doors in the master bedroom creates fluidity even throughout the home’s more private areas for a wonderful indoor/outdoor feel.

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Expansive, sunny walk-ins sweeten the deal. Complete with built-ins…and a window? This closet has just become our new happy place…seriously, this is the place to go when you don’t want anyone to find you.

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No sweet Spanish bungalow would be complete without some artful, decorative tile. Just the splash of color we needed to balance the clean, airiness throughout the home.

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The indoor/outdoor fluidity comes to fruition upon emerging into the home’s backyard. Resembling a small park, the backyard is a wonderful respite from what is likely the busy life of a Silver Lake resident. At just the right size–not so large  to be a huge chore to maintain yet still large enough to host a dinner party or watch the children play hide and seek (do kids still play this?)–it’s as much an oasis as the interior of the home it borders.

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Did we say oasis? We meant paradise. Walk up a few steps from the backyard onto your own private, well-manicured island and enjoy a brisk Silver Lake night with a hot toddy and the heat from a slow-crackling fire from a cast iron outdoor chimnea.

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Of course, if you get the gumption to leave your little corner of the world, you likely won’t regret it. 2225 India Street is comfortably close enough to the things that matter–like the new Whole Foods slated to open later this year on Glendale Boulevard near Fletcher. Or for the most romantic meal in town, just a couple of miles away on the other side of the reservoir is Cliff’s Edge. And, as always…the heart of Silver Lake–its reservoir–will be there for your every whim.

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