Silver Lake

Silver Lake

Silver Lake is a vibrant neighborhood located east of Hollywood and to the northwest of Downtown Los Angeles that was named by Forbes magazine in 2012 as America's Best Hipster Neighborhood.  It is a hilly area with winding narrow streets, eclectic landscaping and diverse ethnic and socioeconomic groups.  It is considered by many to be the heart of the Los Angeles art and music scene.  The area has witnessed a tremendous revitalization and gentrification since the late 1990's and is home to young singles, middle class families and famous celebrities alike.  Silver Lake is bordered by Atwater Village to the north, Echo Park to the east, Echo Park's Historic Filipinotown to the south, East Hollywood to the west and Los Feliz to the northwest. Silver lake blends into Elysian Valley on its eastern edge.

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 currently they provide water to 600,000 homes in downtown and South Los Angeles.  At capacity, they hold 795 million gallons of water.

During the 1930s, Walt Disney built his first large studio in Silver Lake at the corner of Griffith Park Boulevard and Hyperion Avenue, now 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.  A few blocks away on Glendale Boulevard was the studio of Tom Mix. The location is now occupied by the Mixville shopping center.  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.

The area is known for its wide range of architectural styles.  You will find everything from hundred-year old Craftsman style bungalows to 1930's Spanish and Mediterranean architecture to Mid-Century Modern and many newer homes.  Silver Lake has some of the best examples of modernist architecture in the city.  Architect Richard Neutra designed some of the areas homes and built his own home on Silver Lake Boulevard.  Several homes he designed are on Neutra Place near the Silver Lake Reservoir. 

Silver Lake contains a variety of restaurants, coffee houses and brew pubs.  Among them are Pho Cafe, AromaGobi Mongolian BBQ House and Good Microbrew and Grill.  In addition, the Silver Lake Farmers Market has proved so popular that an additional day was added and now the market is open on both Saturday and Tuesday.