Silver Lake, Los Angeles
|Neighborhood of Los Angeles|
The hills of Silver Lake
Silver Lake boundaries as drawn by the Los Angeles Times
|Named for||Politician Herman Silver|
Silver Lake is a residential and commercial neighborhood in the central and northeastern region of Los Angeles, California, built around what was then a city reservoir which gives the district its name. The "Silver" in Silver Lake is not because of the water's color, but named for the local engineer who built the reservoir. It is known for its restaurants and clubs, and many notable people have made their homes there. The neighborhood has three public and four private schools.
Silver Lake is flanked on the northeast by Atwater Village and Elysian Valley, on the southeast by Echo Park, on the southwest by Westlake, on the west by East Hollywood and on the northwest by Los Feliz.
Street and other boundaries are: the Los Angeles River between Glendale Boulevard and Fletcher Drive and Riverside Drive on the northeast, the Glendale Freeway on the east, Effie Street, Coronado Street, Berkeley Avenue and Fletcher Drive on the southeast, the Hollywood Freeway on the south, Virgil Avenue on the west and Fountain Avenue and Hyperion Avenue on the northwest. The prime real estate around the lake is known by realtors as the "Moreno Highlands."
The Silver Lake neighborhood council has mapped the boundaries of its council region.
During the 1930s, Walt Disney built his first large studio in Silver Lake at the corner of Griffith Park Boulevard and Hyperion Avenue, later the site of Gelson's Market. As consequence, the name "Hyperion" is of great significance to the Walt Disney Company, with many company entities carrying the name, such as Hyperion Books and the Hyperion Theater in Disneyland.
Several blocks away on Glendale Boulevard was the studio of Tom Mix. The location is now occupied by the Mixville shopping center. It is rumored that Mix buried his steed "Tony, the Wonder Horse" on the property. The neighborhood is crisscrossed by numerous municipal staircases that provide pedestrian access up and down the neighborhood's signature hills. Among these are the Descanso Stairs, Redcliffe Stairs and the Music Box Stairs. The famous flight of stairs in Laurel and Hardy's film The Music Box are located between lower Descanso Drive and Vendome Street, as it winds up and around the hill.
In the 1950s and 60s Silver Lake, like Echo Park, was home to a middle class Latino community. The community was formed by latinos who worked in the then-bustling manufacturing hub of downtown Los Angeles. In the 1970s, outsourcing brought to an end the prosperity of this group, as they saw their jobs shipped overseas to Taiwan and China along with manufacturing. The neighborhood lost its prominence amid urban decay.
Beginning in the 1970s, the Silver Lake neighborhood became the nexus of Los Angeles' gay leather subculture, the equivalent of the SoMA neighborhood in San Francisco. Since the late 1990s, gentrification has benefitted the area by pushing out public sex and "gay cruising", cleaning up the neighborhood, and opening many stylish independent boutiques, coffee shops, fitness studios, and restaurants.
As of 2013, Silver Lake is represented by Los Angeles City Council Members Mitch O'Farrell and Tom LaBonge and the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council. The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council was formed in the early 2000s (decade) and certified as part of the City of Los Angeles Neighborhood Council system in February, 2003. Its 21-member Governing Board is elected for two-year terms in September. Recent projects have included "Street Medallions" created by artist Cheri Gaulke, "ArtCans", the "Electrical Art Box Project", and the second annual "Make Music LA" created by several different artists, groups, and the SLNC Arts & Culture Committee, whose current co-chairs are Charles C. Renn and Amy Clarke.
Silver Lake has been a victim of gentrification throughout the years. In the 1980s, relatively cheap real estate in a central neighborhood with relatively low population density for Los Angeles attracted many white residents to the primarily Hispanic neighborhood. Over the course of 1988, housing prices rose 26 percent on average across Los Angeles, but 33 percent in Silver Lake. Landlords have pushed tenants out for multiple reasons to allow wealthy businesses to come in and set up shop. By doing so the remaining rent would increase which would allow landlords to raise rent prices. This would leave most of the community unable to continue living in these areas and force them to move out. California has put in place many rent regulations to stop this from happening, but the state also pushes for gentrification in certain areas making these laws unregulated at times. Landlords also find loopholes in the laws or evict people for other reasons altogether. Tenants are often evicted for "damaging the property" when the occasional wear and tear is to be expected by tenants who have lived in these neighborhoods for so long.
Silver Lake's diversity has changed because of this. As of 2014, 71.8% are white up from 50% in 1990, and 16.1% are hispanic down from 37%. African Americans account for only 5.6% down from 11% and Asian Americans only 3.5% down from 10% in 1990.
In the community of Silver Lake lies the namesake reservoir composed of two basins, with the lower named Silver Lake and the upper named Ivanhoe. The lower body of water was named in 1906 for Water Board Commissioner Herman Silver, and in turn lends its name to the neighborhood. The upper body received its name after the 1819 Sir Walter Scott novel Ivanhoe.
The reservoirs are owned and maintained by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP), and could provide water to 600,000 homes in downtown and South Los Angeles; however, only the smaller of the two, Ivanhoe, remains online. At capacity, they hold 795 million gallons of water. The Silver Lake Reservoir's water resources will be replaced by the Headworks Reservoir, an underground reservoir north of Griffith Park, slated for completion by December 2017.
Also within the grounds of the reservoir are several popular recreational facilities --- the Silver Lake Recreation Center, which includes an adjacent city park; the Silver Lake Walking Path, which circumnavigates the reservoirs (2.25 miles); and the Silver Lake Meadow, modeled after N.Y.C.'s Central Park Sheep Meadow. On the northeast corner of the property is the Neighborhood Nursery School, which since 1976 has been at the corner of Tesla Avenue and Silver Lake Boulevard. It is a parent participation cooperative preschool, affiliated with the California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools.
The 2000 U.S. census counted 30,972 residents in the 2.75 square miles (7.1 km2) neighborhood—an average of 11,266 people per square mile, about the same population density as in the rest of the city but among the highest in the county. In 2008 the city estimated that the population had increased to 32,890. The median age for residents was 35, about average for Los Angeles, but the percentages of residents aged 19 to 49 were among the county's highest.
The neighborhood was highly diverse ethnically. The breakdown was Latinos, 41.8%; whites, 34%; Asians, 18%; blacks, 3.2%, and others, 3.1%. Mexico (26.6%) and the Philippines (15.7%) were the most common places of birth for the 41% of the residents who were born abroad, about the same rate as the city at large.
The median yearly household income in 2008 dollars was $54,339, about the same as the rest of Los Angeles, but a high rate of households earned $20,000 or less per year. The average household size of 2.3 people was low for the city of Los Angeles. Renters occupied 64.3% of the housing stock, and house or apartment owners the rest.
The percentages of never-married men (52.6%) and never-married women (38.6%) were among the county's highest. Both stats are likely due to the large numbers of LGBT members of the community and the large numbers of young hipsters.
Considered the new mecca of the LGBT community, Silver Lake looks past the idealized values — a youth, a certain body type, glamour — that are no longer definitive of the gay experience in famous areas like West Hollywood (WeHo). With bars opening left and right in the era of technology, most recommendations for a little night out on the town are located in Silver Lake. The new paradigm provided in Silver Lake creates an environment that makes WeHo seem obsolete with bars that welcome non-stereotypes of gay men. Gay culture in Silver Lake simply fits more squarely with the changing ideals of gay life today. Being gay in modern times means being surrounded with more straight people than not, with friends of ethnic, religious and social backgrounds as colorful as WeHo crosswalks.
In the 1930s Silver Lake and Echo Park still comprised Edendale, and acted as a space where members of the LGBT community were able to express their identities. Prominent female impersonator Julian Eltinge built his house in Silver Lake and performed until the city passed laws criminalizing cross-dressing, after which he continued to recount his drag performances to audiences.
Silver Lake was also home to Harry Hay, credited with founding the first gay organization, the Mattachine Society, which began as Bachelors Anonymous. Hay lived and had meetings in Silver Lake at the time the group began in 1950. Kevin Roderick wrote in his insightful eulogy for Hay in Los Angeles that many consider the house located near Silver Lake to be the birthplace of the gay-rights movement.
The Black Cat Tavern, a fairly popular bar that has now become a historic-cultural monument, was the site of a brutal police raid in 1967 that spread to adjacent bars, becoming a full-blown riot and resulting in more than a dozen arrests. The protests in response to the raid predated the Stonewall riots by two years.
Los Globos is another popular bar that has become the site of Banjee Balls where the LGBTQ youth come together. Voguing is a large part of the balls and brings a Paris Is Burning vibe into Los Angeles night life. The building was originally one of the earliest American Legion halls.
As the AIDS epidemic gripped the USA in the 1980s tensions between gay men and the LAPD escalated. Several LGBT activists in Silver Lake claimed they felt unsafe reporting hate crimes against them to the police, whom they felt harbored anti-LGBT sentiments. Their complaints grew to the point that then-City Council member Michael Woo advocated to establish a hotline to relay information to police indirectly and compile statistics on the frequency of gay-bashings. Some bath houses, which acted as social spaces for gay men, were shut down by the city government in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. The ensuing controversy reflected a nationwide debate about whether this type of action constituted public health policy or perpetuation of discrimination against the LGBT community.
In 1992 about 85 activists protested gay-bashing and violent acts against homosexuals in the area, carrying banners emblazoned with “Stop the Violence” along Sunset Boulevard.
Thirty-six percent of the neighborhood residents aged 25 and older had earned a four-year college degree by 2000, an average figure for the city.
- Allesandro Elementary School, public K–5, 2210 Riverside Drive
- ASA Silver Lake School, private K–10, 2772 Rowena Avenue
- Ivanhoe Elementary School, public K–5, 2828 Herkimer Street
- Kids' World School, private K–12, 2132 Hyperion Avenue
- Micheltorena Street Elementary School, public K–6, 1511 Micheltorena Street
- St. Francis of Assisi Elementary School, parochial K–8, 1550 Maltman Avenue
- St. Teresa of Avila Elementary School, parochial K–8, 2215 Fargo Street
Entertainment and night life
Silver Lake, known as one of "the city's hippest neighborhoods", has many bars, night clubs and restaurants.
Since the 1990s, Silver Lake has become the center of the alternative and indie rock scene in Los Angeles. The neighborhood was home to two major street festivals each year: the Silver Lake Jubilee, held in May and the Sunset Junction Street Fair, held in August. The last festival was held in 2010. It was abruptly cancelled in 2011 just days before it was supposed to take place after years of neighborhood controversy. The Silver Lake Jubilee, a more recent addition, featured live music by local musicians, local artists and community businesses. It moved out of the neighborhood to private grounds near the Los Angeles River and changed its name as of 2013.
Since the indie rock music scene is particularly prominent in this neighborhood, comparisons are often drawn between Silver Lake and New York City's Williamsburg district. As a result, it is sometimes referred to as the "Williamsburg of the West".
Silver Lake is the setting of the song "From Silver Lake" by Jackson Browne, as well as the song "Sleepless in Silver Lake" by the band Les Savy Fav. The band Silversun Pickups took its name from the liquor store at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Silver Lake Boulevard. Dangerbird Records was founded in and is currently located in Silver Lake. Silver Lake has also been the home of independent record label Epitaph Records for many years now. Since 2004, Avatar Records has been headquartered in Silver Lake on Hyperion Avenue and UK indie Beggars Group moved next door to Avatar in 2011.
Film and television
Silver Lake has been used as the film location for several films and television shows. Sunset Triangle Plaza is featured in AMC's Fear The Walking Dead's pilot episode. In the opening scene Nick Clark (Frank Dillane) is seen running frantically down a busy street before being struck by a motorist and collapsing at Griffith Park Boulevard and Edgecliffe Drive. When segueing into the show's title sequence, an aerial high-rise shot of Nick Clark lying in the street shows the pedestrian plaza.
- Skylar Astin, actor/singer
- Anna Belknap, actress
- Eddie Cahill, actor
- Joey Castillo, musician/drummer
- Sal Castro, educator/activist
- Mr. Criminal, rapper
- Ernest E. Debs, Los Angeles politician
- Lisa Edelstein, actress
- Jack Falahee, actor
- Judy Garland, actress
- Mike Gatto, politician
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt, actor
- Ryan Gosling, actor
- Kevin Griffin, musician
- Christopher Guanlao, musician
- Hannah Hart, internet personality
- Harry Hay, gay-rights activist
- Grace Helbig, internet personality, comedian
- James Eads How, hobo organizer
- Janet MacLachlan, actress
- Laura Marling, musician
- Tom Mix, actor
- Rachel McAdams, actress
- Johnette Napolitano, singer
- Richard Neutra, architect
- Anaïs Nin, author
- William H. Parker, Los Angeles Chief of Police
- Cassandra Peterson, actress
- Maria Rasputin, daughter of Grigori Rasputin
- Christina Ricci, actress
- Jeff Schroeder, musician, guitarist for the band Smashing Pumpkins
- Chester See, internet personality, musician
- Randy Sklar, actor/comedian
- Jill Soloway, TV and film writer and director, creator of Transparent
- Benjamin Wynn, composer/music producer
- Rob Zabrecky, performer
- "Central L.A.". Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
- Thomas Guide: Los Angeles County, p. 594. Irvine, California: Thomas Bros. Maps, 2004.
- "Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA". Google Maps. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
- "Silver Lake". Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
- "Silver Lake NC Map — Boundaries and Regions". Silver Lake Neighborhood Council. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- Townsend, Larry. The Leatherman's Handbook. New York: Other Traveller, 1972.
- Boxall, Bettina (August 27, 1997). "Neighbors Tackle Gay Cruising". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
- "City of Los Angeles Council Directory". Retrieved September 2, 2013.
- "Silver Lake Neighborhood Council". Retrieved September 2, 2013.
- amyclarke (June 28, 2013). "Make Music LA: Sunset Triangle Plaza Acoustic Concert, Silver Lake". Gaia Grove. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
- "SLNC Arts & Culture Committee". Retrieved September 2, 2013.
- "Welcome to Silver Lake". Retrieved August 1, 2008.
- "Silver Lake Improvement Association". Retrieved April 22, 2011.
- "Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy". Retrieved April 22, 2011.
- "Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce". Retrieved April 22, 2011.
- De Wolfe, Evelyn (March 12, 1989). "Silver Lake: Westside Life Style at Half Price". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
- Sims, John Revel (2014). "It was like dancing on a grave": Eviction and Displacement in Los Angeles 1994–1999. UCLA dissertation. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
- QuickFacts Silver Lakes CDP, California. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
- de Turenne, Veronique (March 13, 2008). "Silver Lake goes dry". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
- Rob (June 16, 2009). "13 Facts About The Silver Lake Reservoir". Take Sunset. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
- "LADWP Begins Refilling the Silver Lake Reservoir". (May 7, 2008). Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
- "Headworks Reservoir – Silver Lake Reservoir Complex Storage Replacement". (March 2, 2012). Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- "The Neighborhood Nursery School". Retrieved February 25, 2013.
- "Parent Involvement in Child's Education". California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
- Trykowski, Tyler (April 19, 2013). "Move Over, West Hollywood — Silver Lake Is the True Gay Mecca". LA Weekly. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
- Hurewitz, Daniel (2007). Bohemian Los Angeles and the Making of Modern Politics. Berkeley: University of California Press. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
- Roderick, Kevin (January 2003). "Epitaph: Harry Hay". Los Angeles. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
- Barragan, Bianca (April 2, 2014). "Mapping Los Angeles's Groundbreaking Role in LGBT History". Curbed LA. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
- "Banjee Ball at Los Globos". BanjeeBall.com. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
- "Los Globos". LA Weekly. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
- Gordon, Larry (April 23, 1987). "Hot Line Proposed for ‘Gay-Bashing’ Reports". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
- Rivera, Carla (August 31, 1988). "Bathhouse for Gays Closed Over AIDS Risk". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
- Kazmin, Amy Louise (November 14, 1992). "Marchers Rally Against Rash of Gay-Bashing Incidents in Silver Lake". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
- "Silver Lake Schools". Mapping L.A., Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
- "Los Angeles Schools". GreatSchools.org. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
- "Silver Lake Branch Map". Los Angeles Public Library. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
- Khouri, Andrew (July 13, 2013). "In urban L.A., developers are building trendy homes on tiny lots". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
- "Silver Lake Jubilee". Retrieved April 22, 2011.
- Perpetua, Matthew (August 24, 2011). "Sunset Junction Festival Officially Canceled". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
- Staff (March 1, 2013). "Music Festival Coming to Arts District". Los Angeles Downtown News. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
- JT (May 31, 2011). "Silver Lake California and Williamsburg Brooklyn: Two ends of a secret hipster worm-hole?". Flying North. Retrieved August 13, 2013.
- Broverman, Neal (October 8, 2009). "Dubious Claims? Silver Lake is the New Williamsburg". Curbed LA. Retrieved August 13, 2013.
- "From Silver Lake lyrics". MetroLyrics. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
- "Sleepless in Silver Lake lyrics". MetroLyrics. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
- Staff (March 7, 2012). "Silversun Pickups Announce 3rd Album". AtlasJAMS. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
- Wood, Mikael (April 16, 2009). "Dangerbird's Wings: Silversun Pickups' Label Bangs Out a Template for a Post-Major Label Landscape". LA Weekly. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
- "Epitaph Records: Employees". Epitaph.com. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
- "Contact". AvatarDigi. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
- "Offices". Beggars Group. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
- Cuttler, Andrea (March 1, 2013). "Skylar Astin on 21 and Over, Pitch Perfect, and Rites of Passage Like Girls and Turning 21". Vanity Fair. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
- "2455 Ivanhoe Drive, Los Angeles – Silver Lake, CA 90039". BlockShopper. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
- Staff (July 16, 2009). "CSI: NY Star Eddie Cahill Marries Nikki Uberti". Celebrity Bride Guide. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
- Staff (November 13, 2007). "Break It Down: Joey Castillo of Queens of the Stone Age". Artist Direct. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
- Woo, Elaine (April 15, 2013). "Sal Castro dies at 79; L.A. teacher played role in 1968 protests". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
- "Mr Criminal's life in Silver Lake". YouTube. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
- "Location of the Debs' residence". Mapping L.A. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
- "Ernest E. Debs reference file". Los Angeles Public Library. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
- Goodhue, Norma H. (January 27, 1958). "Mrs. Debs Leads Dynamic Life of Service, Interests". Los Angeles Times, p. A-3.
- Dulin, Dann (May 2006). "House Call", A&U Magazine. Retrieved March 17, 2009.
- Izon, Juliet (October 7, 2015). "Jack Falahee Talks About Playing a Gay Character in How to Get Away with Murder". Los Angeles Confidential. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
- Schechter, Scott (2006). Judy Garland: The Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Legend, pg 27. Taylor Trade Publishing, Lanham, Maryland. ISBN 0-8154-1205-3. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
- "Full Biography for Mike Gatto". SmartVoter.org. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
- Shatkin, Elina (October 1, 2012). "Joseph Gordon-Levitt". Los Angeles. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
- "History of Silver Lake". Westmoreland Lofts. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
- Montoya, Maria C. (May 28, 2009). "Better Than Ezra frontman Kevin Griffin's move colors new 'Paper Empire'". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved June 19, 2009.
- Staff (September 28, 2006). "The Watson Twins display their Southern Manners". FasterLouder.com.au. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
- Sproul, Suzanne (May 8, 2013). "Burbank's My Drunk Kitchen host cooks up national tour". Whittier Daily News. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
- Timmons, Stuart (October 25, 2002). "Harry Hay Paved the Way for Modern Gay Activism". CounterPunch. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
- Zinoman, Jason (November 15, 2014). "Grace Helbig’s Digital Path to Fame". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
- McKee, Bradford (August 10, 2001). "The Architecture of R.M. Schindler". Washington City Paper. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
- Staff (October 17, 2010). "Passings: Simon MacCorkindale, Janet MacLachlan". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
- Lamont, Tom (April 27, 2013). "Laura Marling: 'Americans – they're just a lot more poetic'". The Observer. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
- "Silver Lake Architecture". The Silver Lake News. Retrieved April 12, 2014
- Cromelin, Richard (February 24, 1994). "Q&A with Johnette Napolitano: 'We've Done What We Set Out to Do'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 20, 2010.
- "Neutra VDL Studio and Residences". Neutra VDL. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
- Valerie (January 18, 2011). "Anaïs Nin's Silver Lake Home". Take Sunset. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
- Kramer, Alisa Sarah (2007). William H. Parker and the Thin Blue Line: Politics, Public Relations and Policing in Postwar Los Angeles. ProQuest, p. 108. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
- Goldsborough, Bob (February 26, 2009). "'Elvira' – actress Cassandra Peterson – lists a 2,821-square-foot house she owns in the Silver Lake/Echo Park area of Los Angeles for $1.499M – almost $200K less than she paid for it in 2007". Berg Properties. Retrieved September 26, 2011.
- Massie, Robert K. Nicholas and Alexandra. New York: Atheneum, 1967. ISBN 0-440-16358-7
- Ryon, Ruth (January 25, 2004). "A native returns to anchor". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
- Looseleaf, Victoria (October 13, 2005). "A few feet away from Six Feet Under days". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
- Staff (September 18, 2012). "Eagle Rock and Silver Lake musical duo hit the right note with animated series". TheEastsiderLA.com. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
- "Biography for Rob Zabrecky". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Silver Lake, Los Angeles.|
- Silver Lake Neighborhood Council
- LA City Council District 13
- Comments about living in Silver Lake
- Silver Lake crime map and statistics
||Los Feliz and Griffith Park||Atwater Village||Glassell Park and Frogtown|
|East Hollywood||Frogtown and Echo Park|
|Westlake and Koreatown||Elysian Park, Downtown and Chinatown||Angelino Heights and Downtown|