The Little Bungalow Court

C.C. de Vere

C.C. de Vere

· 2 min read
Boarded-up bungalow court on a street with two sapling trees and two parked cars.

Once upon a time, there was a little stucco bungalow court on one of the numbered streets way down in a neighborhood called Watts.

Eight two-bedroom, one-bathroom units flanked a little courtyard. Bungalow courts were, then as today, coveted places to live and a good source of affordable housing across Los Angeles.

I couldn't tell you much about who has lived there, since the court was built the year of the last publicly available census (1950). What I can tell you is that Watts has been through some very hard times, and that little bungalow court somehow fell into enough disrepair that code enforcement was involved by 2003, and it was abated by the city in 2006.

I should mention here that the city apparently didn't even care enough to get the building type right. You can plainly see it's a bungalow court, but the abatement list says its approved use is "commercial". (I'm just going to go ahead and ask the question everyone is thinking: is the city unconcerned about accuracy because it's a modest pair of buildings in Watts?)

The code-enforcement history I found in ZIMAS calls the court an "abandoned or vacant building left open to the public." It's been empty since at least 2006, possibly earlier.

A few years later, the first of several permits were issued (all to comply with LADBS orders):

In 2010, a permit to re-roof and replace the doors and windows.

in 2012, a permit to replace lights, switches, outlets, and smoke detectors, and to upgrade the service meter.

A few months later, HVAC repairs and replacement.

In 2018, plumbing, including water heaters.

The picture above was taken in March 2022, and shows the little bungalow court still boarded up.

Will the little bungalow court ever have a happy ending filled with tenants again? I hope so.

(813-815 East 108th Street, Watts)

C.C. de Vere

About C.C. de Vere

C.C. is a fourth-generation Angeleno and 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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