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What's in a Neighborhood Name?

An architectural marvel is advertised as residing in Mount Washington, but the map tells another story.

How valuable is your neighborhood's name?

That very question has been raised in the comments section of a recent Los Angeles Times feature about a Cazador Street home designed by architect Simon Storey.

The "Big and Small House," as Simon calls it, is a marvel of modern architecture, which despite the challenges presented by the lot's size and geography, still "feels" spacious.

Read more about the "Small and Big House" here.

The article has sparked an interesting debate that has very little to do with architecture, though, and everything to do with neighborhood prestige.

The article's headline refers to the "Big and Small House" as being located in Mount Washington.

However, a pair of residents who live near the home say that it's actually located in Glassell Park. Though the article doesn't list the home's address, one of the commenters reports that it's located directly next to 3937 Cazador St., which is "well within" the Times' Glassell Park mapping boundaries.

What's the difference?

In all manners but perception, there is none. As Northeast Los Angeles residents know, the craggy boundary between Glassell Park and Mount Washington is porous and inconsequential, especially to the neighbors who inhabit the border.

But for real estate agents, Mount Washington's reputation as an urban oasis and home to one of the city's best schools is an attractive selling point, geographical realities be damned.

In this editor's opinion, that sort of stinks. This is an undeniably cool house--a neighborhood gem. If it truly is located in Glassell Park, it should be advertised as such. Being associated with such a home could only help the neighborhood's reputation. Besides, there's enough cool stuff in Northeast Los Angeles to go around.

Kat baxter February 15, 2013 at 09:38 PM
I live at the top of Cazador St. and for the first three years I thought we were residents of Mt. Washington until I learned we were actually in Glassell Park. I still say Mt. Washington b/c I'm just used to it, and it feels like a more accurate description of where we live not necessarily due to it's prestige, but because we live at the top of the mountain. I consider Glassell Park more the foothills. The whole mountain range should be a part of Mt. Washington, in my opinion. Love our neighborhood!
mark February 15, 2013 at 11:25 PM
LA School Identifier says "TOLAND WAY ELEMENTARY". No Mt. Washington Elementary, no Mt. Washington. That's my opinion anyway. Some of those places on the the border... well just check their school I guess.
ManSky February 16, 2013 at 03:01 AM
I'm not sure what this posting is about. There are no clear pictures of the "architectural marvel", and most people who live in the general area self-define with a neighborhood. On my street alone, I might claim Highland Park, Eagle Rock, Glassell Park, Cypress Park, or Mt. Washington. Mt. Washington, for the privileged few, is a small area that overlaps many of these neighborhoods. It might be useful to identify a political entity encompassing these neighborhoods. Mt. Washington is a privileged white enclave that might share its political power with Highland Park (now a gentrifying neighborhood), Eagle Rock (home of Occidental students and faculty), and the other smaller and less diverse neighbors. MW contains good schools and powerful religious groups, but uses its periphery for services, and has no real center. A "northeast" neighborhood could be a strong presence in the city, but, right now, there are too many disparate voices. This is a challenge to the NorthEast.
Mike February 16, 2013 at 10:09 AM
I don't think it's that tricky. In general, Mount Washington and Glassell Park are separated by a street called "DIVISION".
nonoise February 16, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Mt. Washington -Rich, Glassell Park and Cypress Park - Poor. That's the difference.
Picorian February 18, 2013 at 07:24 AM
People probably just wanted to note that the LA Times article is incorrect. Most would say Division is the divider, so that nice trendy looking house in the article is in Glassell Park. Why is there a difference you ask? No idea, just part of the history of Los Angeles I suppose.
Andy Serrano March 27, 2013 at 01:25 PM
Just wait until you have your house appraised for a loan and if the appraiser selects too many homes to compare value that are in Glassell Park or Highland Park and your appraisal will tank.

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