According to the Eastsider, a local historian did research on the turn of the century houses about to be destroyed in Echo Park at 2223-2235 Sunset Blvd and 2216-2218 Elsinore Street so that an enormous 5 story apartment building can be built and found out that an inventor had lived there. To have historical value according to the city of Los Angeles one of the criteria is that somebody of significant historical status had to have lived there at one time. However the paid “historical consultant” from the developers side has said that the craftsman homes they are about to destroy have “no historical significance” and did not mention this invetntor. See The Eastsider for reference
“One of the homes, a 1910 cottage at 2231 Sunset Blvd., was built for a Hungarian immigrant named Stefan Zacsek, his wife, Theresa, and daughter Anna. Zacsek was an ornamental iron worker and inventor who had a few years earlier received a patent for the device shown in the photo, an “apparatus for displaying pictures” or what Rory Mitchell said looks like an early Viewmaster.
Stefan Zacsek also held several patents, including a spring loaded door latch and an “apparatus for displaying pictures” that would allow a person to look through binocular lenses and see a picture. Then, they could pull a handle… and see another picture. But Stefan Zacsek’s early Viewmaster must have proved no match for the growing popularity of the moving pictures intensifying between 1904 when the patent was applied for and 1906 when it was granted.
The moving pictures may not have been kind to Zacsek’s early 20th Century Viewmaster. But the movie business did wonders for Zacsek’s daughter Anna, who appeared in silent films produced by D.W. Griffith. She later went on to become an attorney, with clients ranging from defendants in the Sleepy Lagoon case to architect Rudolf Schindler.
Not that HPOZ status is the end all be all– but with the destruction of these 6 houses for the purpose of building the 5 story development, this will not be an option for this neighborhood in the future. We urge the people of Los Angeles to step in as the oldest neighborhood in Los Angeles and many of the old craftsman homes are being quickly destroyed in Echo Park. Please write emails, blog about it, and come to the hearing on April 14th listed in the Events section of this blog.
Eric Garcetti has said that he would get involved to stop this development and we hope that he is able to come through with some real action.