Requiem for 718 W. 30th Street

C.C. de Vere

C.C. de Vere

· 3 min read
718 W. 30th Street, a yellow two-story 1905 Craftsman home, on fire late at night.

(Image courtesy of Citizen)

718 W. 30th Street, a two-story yellow Craftsman house dating to 1905, burned last night.

(Update: LAFD has posted photos.)

It was a large house - 4,556 square feet - and it was empty and boarded up instead of housing people.

I'd love to dig through ZIMAS and tell you all the dirt, but ZIMAS is, as of this writing, displaying an error message.


I was able to pull some data from LADBS - but not much. There are no code enforcement complaints available, and there is no certificate of occupancy. Ironically, the ONLY permit information on file for the house itself was for installing a smoke detector last year.

It will be tricky to pin down how long the house had been empty, but Hoodline refers to "the long-standing vacancy of the home", so I can only assume it's been years.

The house, or what's left of it, is in University Park very close to USC. (A neighborhood which, by the way, has a serious Ellis Act problem.)

I, for one, would sure like to know who owns the house and why they would choose to leave it empty instead of renting or selling it.

See, empty houses (ESPECIALLY wood-framed ones) are more prone to catastrophic fires than occupied houses. A bad enough blaze means a knockdown courtesy of LAFD (who, to their credit, put out this fire in just 35 minutes with no reported injuries).

Does the legal owner of this house stand to benefit from having the lot empty? It's a fair question to ask.

See, developers like empty lots. And I'm sure some student-housing developer is already salivating at the prospect of purchasing this property - a nice deep lot that is about an eight-minute walk from USC.

Back in March, the LA Times took a long, hard look at what the drastic increase in student housing construction has done to the South LA neighborhood just west of USC.

It's only good news if you're a USC student. And even then, it's mostly only good news if you're a RICH USC student. (Despite its "University of Spoiled Children" reputation, not every single student admitted to USC is rolling in unlimited wealth.)

For the families who have lived in the area for years (if not generations), it's meant gentrification and displacement.

While USC's enrollment has risen sharply over the years, the university has failed to provide enough on-campus housing to absorb its much larger student body, forcing thousands of students to seek off-campus housing each year (this is in addition to the students who prefer to live off-campus and have the means to do so).

Students (both rich and poor) need places to live that are a reasonable distance from campus, but should that come at the expense of full-time Angelenos of limited means?

Rest in peace, 718 West 30th Street. You deserved better.

718 W. 30th Street, University Park.

C.C. de Vere

About C.C. de Vere

C.C. de Vere is a fourth-generation Angeleno. She is horrified at what greed and hubris are doing to Los Angeles.

This website was built by her preservation pals at Esotouric.

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