Arroyo Description

Come take a walk back through time in one of our favorite early Los Angeles suburbs: Highland Park, down around the Arroyo. We’ll begin the adventure at El Alisal, the Pueblo Revival / Craftsman style home of author, preservationist and civic booster Charles Fletcher Lummis. Following a tour of the house museum and tales of The Old Man’s advocacy for saving Southern California landmarks, documenting traditional recipes and songs, and recognizing Native American achievements in art and architecture, we’ll set out on a stroll around the lower Arroyo, for tales of fascinating characters, remarkable buildings and places where the past is so very present you can almost kiss it.

On our walk, we’ll explore Griffin Avenue, part of an early subdivision, and share stories of crimes and oddities that took place there. And we’ll stop at the one-time home of Florencio Morales, to honor the neighborhood hero folk artist whose wild holiday displays were a citywide sensation in the early 1990s.

We’ll stop outside the Arturo and Mabel Bilderrain House (1912), an unusual, transitional home that blends the then popular Craftsman and Mission Revival styles with elements that reflect the inward facing adobe culture of the Spanish Colonial-era, to learn about the famous pet rooster, and ascend 40 steps to see the landmarked Young-Gribling Residence (R.B. Young, 1885) and enjoy fabulous city views in the company of California historian and neon sign maker Paul Greenstein, who restored both homes.

And we’ll visit Heritage Square, the living history museum of rescued buildings, to hear about the tragedy of the landmarked mansions The Castle and The Salt Box that were moved from Bunker Hill. And we’ll hear some much happier historic preservation success stories. Plus you’ll get to see Heritage Square’s vintage Los Angeles streetlight boneyard, with rare lamps awaiting future restoration.

This walking tour is illustrated with rare photos you can view on your smartphone.