craftsmanNortheast Los Angeles, a hotbed for Craftsman homes 100 years ago and again today.

There is a prized feature commonly associated with Craftsman homes: built-ins. For fans of these solidly built structures – found in good supply in southern California, and Northeast LA (NELA) in particular – highly-valued cabinetry that attaches to walls as flanks to sideboards, drawers or fireplaces is actually a sign of the rise of the middle class. When Craftsman homes were constructed, roughly from the 1890s through 1930, the butler’s pantries of Victorian homes made less sense tucked away. Larger homes were more affordable, even if live-in help was not. Now china could be displayed in the living quarters, as kitchens gained breakfast nooks where families, not servants, gathered for meals.

Craftsman-style homes are immensely popular in NELA. In fact, the architects who helped define the American Craftsman Style, Greene and Greene, were based in Pasadena. Key characteristics include one or two stories, with low-pitched roofs and clipped gables. Broad eaves are held up with exposed rafter tails and knee braces, while substantial verandas on the front and/or sides invite outdoor living. On the inside is a casual open floor plan – a key departure from Victorians, enabled in part by improved heating systems – plus a fireplace, the built in cabinetry, and finishes (hardware, light fixtures and tile work) that are characteristic of the Arts & Crafts style, even if mass produced.

Many Craftsman homes are Bungalows, and most Bungalows are Craftsman. The difference is typically in the layout (single-story Bungalows are fronted by a large veranda, while other Craftsman structures deviate from that). The style was easily adapted from the mansions of the Ultimate Bungalows (several historical landmarks are found in Pasadena) to scaled-down versions. Depending on the specific location, preserved features and modern amenities, Craftsman homes in places like Eagle Rock, Mt. Washington, Pasadena, Highland Park and Glassell Park can list for $400,000 on past the $1.0 million mark.

To see what’s available on the market now, contact Steve Aranda at 360 Real Estate Group (323-868-6242). Steve is an expert in buying and selling real estate in NELA, having represented buyers and sellers in the area for more than 13 years.

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