The 400 block of South Boyle Avenue, filled with lovely classic homes, is eligible for the National Register - or at least it was until about six months ago. One of those homes, abandoned and left unsecured, was badly burned in March, fell victim to several more fires, and has now been lost forever due to the city's gross negligence.
436 S. Boyle Ave., built in 1906, formerly belonged to Edward Hollenbeck (nephew of J. Edward Hollenbeck, for whom nearby Hollenbeck Park is named). The house last sold in 1979, and according to neighbors the elderly owner passed away. The house passed to a nonprofit, which failed to sell, rent, or ensure its security.
When the house was left empty and not properly secured against squatters, the neighbors alerted LADBS and LAPD.
According to neighbors, squatters broke in frequently and scavengers stole items from the house on a daily basis.
The city did nothing.
On March 21, the house had its first fire. By May 19, the house had suffered FOUR fires.
The city still did nothing.
On August 5, yet another fire took out the back house at the rear of the property.
The city STILL did nothing.
The neighbors reached out to their councilmember, Kevin de Léon, MONTHS AGO and received NO RESPONSE. (Kevin, if you happen to see this, you're a complete and utter disgrace and CD14 deserves better.)
In one case, a neighboring homeowner stated that LAFD showed up, but LAPD never did. Gee, it's almost as if the people who run the city don't care about Boyle Heights.
Permits to demolish what little remains of the destroyed house and to cap the sewer line were issued this week, but it's a textbook LA case of "way too little, way too late".