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