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Silver Lake Travel Guide


Silver Lake is worth visiting for its movieland heritage, although it has lost much of its appeal in this regard over the years with the development of more modern architecture. The district started out as a man-made reservoir built in 1907. Shortly afterwards, a neighborhood developed around it, and the fine homes built there enjoyed sweeping views of the Los Angeles basin below. The community today is separated by the wealthier sections up the steep hills and the poorer parts near Sunset Boulevard. Most of the beautiful houses you’ll find in Silver Lake are up the hills, including the mid-20th century Silvertop House at 2138 Micheltorena Street, which features concrete curves, projecting roofs and balconies, and wraparound glass windows.[1]

The intersection of Silver and Sunset Boulevard is the heart of the Silver Lake neighborhood, full of dance clubs, bars, offbeat shops, art studios, and cheap restaurants. The highlight of Silver Lake, however, is the August Sunset Junction Street Fair, a bohemian carnival celebration when music is performed, and ethnic food is served.[2]

The main attraction of Silverlake is an area that was once called Edendale. This historic area was home to the early movie studios during the silent film era. Charlie Chaplin’s first film was actually produced in Edendale. All of the studios moved out by the 1920s, but they once lined the four-block stretch along Allesandro Street (now renamed Glendale Boulevard) between Duane and Berkeley Avenue. Today, not much of the district’s history remains. The old roads have been paved over but there are still streets you may recognize from old films, like 930 Vendome Street – the setting of a scene where Hardy and Laurel tried to move a piano up an incline in the 1932 movie, The Music Box.[3]

Dickey, Jeff. Los Angeles, 3rd Edition. Rough Guides, 2003. ISBN: 1843530589.

[1] Dickey, 88-89
[2] Id. at 89
[3] Id.

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