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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Who is going to step up and buy this Echo Park home?

The sales listing for the Echo Park house at 2966 Landa Street includes all the basic facts and figures: a price of $699,000; 1,100-square-feet of space; two bedrooms and two baths. But one number is not mentioned: 87. That's the number of steps that must be climbed up from the bottom of the hill to reach the front door of this home located on a steep public stairway. That means everything - from guests to groceries - must travel up and down that stairway. "It's been a wonderful place to live," said architect and homeowner Chris King, who designed the house in collaboration with partner Barry Jacob. But after three years of stairway living, King and Jacob have put the house on the market as they search for another project and challenge.

Building what the pair call The StepHouse would seem challenging enough. The StepHouse was perhaps one of the first new homes built on a public stairway in Echo Park in decades. King and Jacob loved the setting and the charm of the stairways. But their interest in building a house with no direct street access, garage or off-street parking forced them into a year-long process of public hearings and meetings with planners to secure permission to build their glass-and-wood house on an empty lot. While the home and its hillside views are eye catching, most visitors can't help but ask about the difficulties of hauling bags of groceries and trash cans up and down the Landa Street stairway.

King said it has not been a big deal. What he's enjoyed is getting to know neighbors as he and Jacob make their daily trek up and down the stairs. "That's what I really enjoy about living on a stair-street," he said. Since moving in three years ago, other have also taken a greater interest in the Landa Street Stairway, including fitness buffs who like to exercise on its nearly 150 steps.

King and Jacob have not decided where they will live if they sell their Step House. Jacob said their home's location is certainly not for everyone. "It's going to appeal to a certain audience, and we are fine with that."

At least their house is located only half way up that stairway.

Top photo from EchoParkModern.com; Bottom photo from HistoricEchoPark.org


  1. This is a great story. But how do they get their trash down? And how did they move in? Or how will the next group? And what sort of challenges were construction?

  2. Easy really... After a while you `just simply get used to it and most importantly, when you are inside this beautiful house, you hardly remember that there are steps to negotiate each time you come and go... Plus the view, the OBVIOUS health benefits of being ACTIVE every day and that oh-so-incredible patio on the front side of the house is well worth the minor inconvenience.

    Tom- An agent who just showed it to a potential buyer.

  3. They broke some of the stairsteps during construction, blocked elderly neighbors in with the work trucks, and created erotion problems with the house right under them. How come you arent writing about this. HAPPY TO SEE THEM LEAVE THE HOOD! THEM DANG HOUSE FLIPPERS.

  4. OK, I've been up the Landa staircase and I would seriously shoot myself if I had to climb those freakin stairs every day just to bring the groceries home. I lived in a house on the other side of EP with a 32 step climb for 4 years and I have to say it becomes a major pain in the butt. Its a major fire hazard too. Can you imagine reselling it? Just to show it you have to have people commit to a mountain climbing expedition. So not worth it

  5. I love that house! I pass by it often and wish i could be in it. It's definitely for a special person, not your average house hunter.